The Raj

Dana Loesch once noted via subtitle that “you can’t govern a country you’ve never been to”.  I might add that it’d be hard for the mainstream media to cover a nation none of them understands – but that’s another article.

The easiest way to govern people that you never see, and don’t care to bother to understand, is to tell them what they really want and need.  And the American Left is doing that via the notion that the great mass of Americans in largely-red “flyover land” – the expanse between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre that America’s political and major media classes regard with such frigid fear – consistently “vote against their interests” by voting Republican.  The phrase “voting against their interests”, where “they” are people you don’t know, whose lives and values you don’t understand, used to remind me of a zookeeper wondering why the cats in the panther exhibit turned up their nose at Panther Chow – but that underestimates both the panthers and the zookeepers.   It’s really more like the relatoinship between plantation owners and their serfs – but not that kind of plantation owner, y’understand.  No, the kind that cares about his/her serfs, and wants to do right by them, and who is hurt when they, being unruly knaves, spurn his/her benificence.

And being good plantationers, they occasionally try to understand their subjects.

Of course, those attempts invariably fail – run aground on their patronizing, condescending, usually classist assumptions.

The NYTimes bestseller list first saw this phenomenon with the best-selling What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Franks, in which the writer – a Kansan who fled the state for New York – prescribed a generation of Kansans (and by extension other flyover staters) becoming, or at least voting like, Ivy Leaguers.

I personally saw it in Gail Collins’ inadvertently comical trip to Williston, in which she looked at the roughneck oil-town environs through her Park Avenue contact lenses, and in the documentary “The Overnighters”, which pounded oil workers into sociology-class stereotypes with the energy of a Nigerian metalsmith turning an oil drum into a cook stove.

So when a Berkeley sociologist1 Arlie Russell Hochschild goes to rural Louisiana  to chronicle the lives of Tea Partiers, you’d think you could predict the results.   The book is called Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, and it’d seem you’d be right. No, I’ve not read it, and likely won’t.  But the surprise is in the review itself, in the Washington Post, whose article on the book is titled “A Berkeley sociologist made some tea party friends — and wrote a condescending book about them“.  

I’ll invite you to read the whole thing.  But this reminded me of Gail Collins standing in the line at McDonalds in Williston:

When she lands in Louisiana, Hochschild realizes, “I was definitely not in Berkeley, California. . . . No New York Times at the newsstand, almost no organic produce in grocery stores or farmers’ markets, no foreign films in movie houses, few small cars, fewer petite sizes in clothing stores, fewer pedestrians speaking foreign languages into cell phones — indeed, fewer pedestrians. There were fewer yellow Labradors and more pit bulls and bulldogs. Forget bicycle lanes, color-coded recycling bins, or solar panels on roofs. In some cafes, virtually everything on the menu was fried.”

Dear God, no yellow Labs or solar panels? How do you live?

And I’m trying to imagine this bit here…:

Hochschild preps for her conservative immersion by reading “Atlas Shrugged,” because we know tea party types are into that. “If Ayn Rand appealed to them, I imagined, they’d probably be pretty selfish, tough, cold people, and I prepared for the worst,” this acclaimed sociologist writes. “But I was thankful to discover many warm, open people who were deeply charitable to those around them.”

…had Hochschild changed her subjects from rural whites to Urban blacks, and Ayn Rand to Malcolm X.  

She’d never do lunch in Berkeley again.

The second American Revolution will be against our fellow Americans.

12 thoughts on “The Raj

  1. Is my yellow lab too west coast hip for me, or is she still acceptable for me to own because she’s a hunting dog?

  2. ~ organic produce in grocery stores or farmers’ markets
    ~ foreign films in movie houses
    ~ small cars
    ~ petite sizes in clothing stores
    ~ pedestrians speaking foreign languages into cell phones
    ~ yellow Labradors and no pit bulls and bulldogs
    ~ bicycle lanes
    ~ color-coded recycling bins
    ~ solar panels on roofs
    ~ nothing fried to eat; no bacon
    ~ a Berkeley sociologist

    There Prince of Darkness, you have the complete bill of materials for my little corner of Hell.

  3. Smithy: have you trained your dog to cower at the sound of even distant gunfire? Then you’re west coast hip. Otherwise, you’re OK. Unless you’re feeding him tofu dog food or something like that.

    Spent two summers in LA, and it was striking how amazingly California was in touch with Asia and the rest of the world, but out of touch with its own country. Sort of. They understand some of the cultural habits of other people, and will gladly eat a “Californicated” version of their cuisine, but if you take them to the poorer areas of developing countries where they have squatter toilets or none at all, you will see an approach every bit as derogatory as this appraisal of Louisiana.

  4. Nah swiftee were just going to put you in a clockwork orange style chair and force you to watch MSNBC 24/7

  5. Swiftee, the few times I end up at Whole Foods Coop or the Trader Joes on Lexington and Randolph, I have to make the world right again by going to the Mills Fleet Farm in Hudson. Just sit in the parking lot for a while and read the pro-gun, anti-Hillary/Obama bumper stickers and the pickup trucks. Then go inside and walk by the camo lingerie and the signs that say “if you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank the military”.

  6. Mitch, here may be something of interest. So Governor Dayton has banned state travel to North Carolina and Mississippi because those states say males and females cannot use the opposite sex bathroom and showers. Dayton says that is horrible. Below is from the Mesabi Daily News today. This is Virginia Minnesota public schools:
    The complaint filed Wednesday “explains some of the real concerns of students and parents, such as when a biologically male student (Student X) who identifies as a female — and who is allowed to enter the girls’ locker room under the district’s policy — went on to dance in the locker room “in a sexually explicit manner — ‘twerking,’ ‘grinding’ and dancing like he was on a ‘stripper pole’ to songs with explicit lyrics, including ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis. On another occasion, a female student saw the male student lift his dress to reveal his underwear while ‘grinding’ to the music,” according to the ADF news release.
    “Young female students, initially unaware that the district was allowing biologically male students to use the girls’ locker room, were shocked and alarmed when a male student began using the locker room and now have no assurance that they may use girls-only facilities without a male entering the once-private locker rooms and restrooms,’’ the ADF states.

  7. The Virginia story illustrates, IMO, how those on the “societal vanguard” really don’t care about those afflicted with gender disphoria. I can’t imagine hearing about one of my daughters doing this without seeing myself having a good talk about why such behavior is degrading, lewd, and a sign of someone being rather needy for attention. A son? Come on back to reality, son–you don’t have any milk to shake, nor will you ever, no matter what you try.

    But the societal vanguard, no. They just want to give some injections and mutilate parts of a kid’s body instead of dealing with the core issues. And when 40% of the kids they so abuse attempt suicide (real statistic I believe), many successfully, they’ll just turn their heads and say they didn’t see it coming, even though it’s been going on for decades.

    Talk about hearts of stone.

  8. BB, not only does my dog perk up at the sound of gunfire and want to run towards it, she can smell the difference between range shells for trap and bird shells for hunting. The latter sends her into a frenzy and she’ll keep looking at the door in anticipation of an outing.

  9. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 09.09.16 : The Other McCain

  10. If everyone has to choose a red state or a blue state I would advise all to mount .20 cals on their cars, load up the kiddies and head south – cuz Minnesota would be primed for a Starbuck’s-swilling, MPR-listening, bike riding, Prius driving, ALC Lutheran purge -in the name of ‘inclusion.’

  11. “If everyone has to choose a red state or a blue state…”

    then I suggest converting blue states to red, the same we we converted America from monarchy to republic.


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