By ann summers
We now know how the ruling class will rule: on the backs of middle-class folks and delivered like any media ratings audience where the Brexit-style message resonated to an ideologically stable population sub-group that had been data-mined because of a Black POTUS.
Essentially it was the same ‘bagger-class, alienated yet economically stagnant, easily filled with the TV remote’s channel favorites limited to seeing diversity at a remove easily Othered. These people were sufficiently angered by the differences drawn since the Clinton 42 administration. Darn that hip-hop music from the “inner cities” and darn their welfare “socialism”.
This group was actually the same GOP base from other elections, just that the product differentiation was better constructed in 2016. Profane male TV gasbag seems so much more appealing to that base than lifelong feminist policy wonk.
Trumpian politics will be conducted like the Apprentice: Autocrat edition.
Crypto-fascist Ethno-nationalist Steve Bannon’s “restoration” is more of a Meiji Restoration although modernization has little to do with 2016’s power shift to an imperious POTUS and it’s a capitalism often fantasized but never realized.
“This is not the French Revolution,” says Bannon. “They destroyed the basic institutions of their society and changed their form of government. What Trump represents is a restoration—a restoration of true American capitalism and a revolution against state-sponsored socialism. Elites have taken all the upside for themselves and pushed the downside to the working- and middle-class Americans.”
In doing so, Trump knit together a worldview, frequently propounded by Bannon, that the U.S. was on the cusp of joining the right-wing populist uprisings that have swept across Europe.
It was Trump who featured Nigel Farage, the champion of the United Kingdom’s Brexit campaign, at a Mississippi stadium rally and Trump who became the American embodiment of that sentiment. “It was basically the game plan from the very first day I arrived,” says Bannon…
Throughout October, the surge of early ballots from these voters grew so strong that Oczkowski’s team members (Matt Oczkowski, the head of product at London firm Cambridge Analytica and team leader on Trump’s campaign.) decided to reweight their surveys to account for the possibility that the electorate might look much different than even they had imagined.
Part of it, Oczkowski concedes, was wishful thinking—an attempt to conjure up an electorate that would favor his candidate just enough to illuminate a plausible path to victory.
“Older white voters were returning early ballots at an enormous clip,” he says. “So either older people were voting early because of enthusiasm or this was a trend that would carry through to election night.”
The Post-war suburbanization of America around the Korean War is supposedly the Great that America aspires to return to, again, or for Trump the Levittownism of easy racial covenants and commodified financing, where Jim Crow and civils rights problems were located somewhere else farther away, or like the Communists, limited by a strong military’s containment policies, also somewhere else farther away, except in 1962.
When asked by a reporter for The New York Times, when he thought America was last ‘great’, Trump chose the late ‘40s and the ‘50s. “We were not pushed around, we were respected by everybody, we had just won a war, we were pretty much doing what we had to do.”
Trump’s twisted version of America is focused, almost solely, on being the biggest and baddest bully on the block. It’s a vision of the America First mindset taken to it’s most bizarre extreme. Donald Trump’s America is the Fourth Reich.
Rural voter masses weren’t hidden from HFA, unlike OFA they just didn’t care enough about them and assumed messaging and GOTV elsewhere would offset any perceived Trumpian gains. This combined with some demographic failures in underperforming areas as well as some very smart targeting of swing state districts created the apparent Trump Electoral College victory, even with the disparity in voter plurality.
These are not neo-Nazis in their Death Metal mosh pits, but folks who see their F-150 pickup trucks being insulted by having to share the road with priapistic Priuses. They were insecure about their political representation but were easily misled by stochastic appeals to false consciousness for hating one group as a proxy within a complete media system of disinformation products.
As with any strategy of tension, fear of the Other destroying the “homeland” has far too much uncertainty, even for folks whose real predators might be their local banks and mortgage companies whose banksters have yet to spend a day in jail.
They could hate the “elites” bruited about by RW talk radio without the consciousness that the objects of their hatred had little to do with the real elites who were exploiting them — the very corporate media delivering them their hate messages sometimes gratis for Trump.
And the hate-object candidate was, someone who unfortunately had built up media negatives to that same audience over a long life in the public eye. She had to be a danger because she was too friendly with things they didn’t really want to understand because it didn’t seem necessary.
Trump’s numbers were different, because his analysts, like Trump himself, were forecasting a fundamentally different electorate than other pollsters and almost all of the media: older, whiter, more rural, more populist. And much angrier at what they perceive to be an overclass of entitled elites.
In the next three weeks, Trump channeled this anger on the stump, at times seeming almost unhinged.
Trump’s analysts had detected this upsurge in the electorate even before FBI Director James Comey delivered his Oct. 28 letter to Congress announcing that he was reopening his investigation into Clinton’s e-mails. But the news of the investigation accelerated the shift of a largely hidden rural mass of voters toward Trump.
Inside his campaign, Trump’s analysts became convinced that even their own models didn’t sufficiently account for the strength of these voters. “In the last week before the election, we undertook a big exercise to reweight all of our polling, because we thought that who [pollsters] were sampling from was the wrong idea of who the electorate was going to turn out to be this cycle,” says Matt Oczkowski, the head of product at London firm Cambridge Analytica and team leader on Trump’s campaign. “If he was going to win this election, it was going to be because of a Brexit-style mentality and a different demographic trend than other people were seeing.”
Trump’s team chose to focus on this electorate, partly because it was the only possible path for them. But after Comey, that movement of older, whiter voters became newly evident.
It’s what led Trump’s campaign to broaden the electoral map in the final two weeks and send the candidate into states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan that no one else believed he could win (with the exception of liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, who deemed them “Brexit states”). Even on the eve of the election Trump’s models predicted only a 30 percent likelihood of victory.
THE MESSAGE TRUMP DELIVERED TO THOSE VOTERS WAS RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM ANYTHING THEY WOULD HEAR FROM AN ORDINARY REPUBLICAN: A BRACING SCREED THAT IMPLICATED THE ENTIRE GLOBAL POWER STRUCTURE—THE BANKS, THE GOVERNMENT, THE MEDIA, THE GUARDIANS OF SECULAR CULTURE—IN A DARK WEB OF MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL CORRUPTION. AND TRUMP INSISTED THAT HE ALONE COULD FIX IT.
But we’ve now crossed that bridge with Trump. He’s not just a fascist. Nor a fan of McCarthyism. He’s not a bully or a fraud or a demagogue. He’s all those things, but he’s crossed the line into something much more. It’s not as if Trump is getting ready to set up an American version of Auschwitz or something, but his speech last night sure did sound eerily like something Hitler could have delivered circa 1933.
And his statements since have been even more overtly Third Reichish, conjuring up cabals of treacherous elites who “know what’s going on” but refuse to do anything to save America from the dangers surrounding her.
“No one could have anticipated the exceptional concentration of wealth and talent in just a handful of urban centers. Class is etched into location, and the way location defines your economic opportunities—but the brew is combustible,” says Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and author of The Rise of the Creative Class. “It’s really the bypassing of a way of life, and they know it. And no one is standing up for them.” www.bloomberg.com/…