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The So-Called "White Trash" Vote
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September 15, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Canadian columnist Heather Mallick wrote a column that has been frequently rebuked as evil and stupid. [A Mighty Wind blows through Republican convention , September 5, 2008, Heather Mallick, CBC News ] She wrote a lot of personal attacks on Palin and her family, plus weird sexual innuendos against Republican males, and stuff that probably qualifies as "hate propaganda" under Canada`s hate laws. She doesn`t seem to understand American electoral politics, though:

"She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn`t already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America`s name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right. "

The reason that so-called "White trash" voters appeal to both the right and the left, (Karl Rove and Howard Dean) is that they are the voters, the American nation, and still, despite 40 years of mass immigration, the majority. Coastal elites seem to think of everyone in America with a job rather than a career as trash. James Lileks, responding to Mallick, notes the electoral reality:

"Leaving aside whether Europe would like us more if we did something about those horrible people they see in “The Dukes of Hazzard”  documentaries, you have to love the idea of the “white trash” demo sullying our name inside our borders – she’s talking about the thin crust of coastal dwellers who regard Manhattan as some sort of precious monastery that keeps the dim flickering light of civilization alive. Why, if the hillbillies disappeared, the New Yorkers would be reduced to making disparaging remarks about people from New Jersey who take the bridges and tunnels to go clubbing in LowSoHo or MoTriVil or whatever old neighborhood has been fitted out with thudding discos and fusion-sushi joints.

Why does this demographic – the white trash, I mean, not the orange trash of the Guido Jersey interlopers - have such a “curious appeal” to the right? Because the right, perhaps, thinks of them as “voters” who cast “ballots” in “elections” for people to don’t consider rhinoplasty so they can look down their noses even further than God intended."

And, of course, there was no reason to believe that the GOP had the regular American vote sewn up. The Wall Street Journal had a similar sneer against regular Americans.

"There`s another reality Mr. Bush is facing up to and it`s called the Hispanic vote. Paleocons and nativists may think the key GOP demographic is uneducated whites. But it`s hard to imagine a majority Republican future without at least being competitive among Hispanics. "

I responded to them by saying

"Uneducated whites." Thanks a lot, guys. I suppose they mean uneducated by comparison with the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. But really, what kind of a thing is that to say?

There`s a simple arithmetical point here: the WSJ-level "educated" are, let us say, the top 2% of the population. They`re outnumbered when it comes to voting, by the other 98%. If the Republican Party doesn`t appeal to the "uneducated" it will be about as big as the Green Party.

See also Sam Francis`s comment on David Brooks`s  sneers at the ordinary people seen at a Buchanan rally:

"Actually, it`s not so hard to classify which political category such people belong to. They`re called `Democrats,` and the contempt for them that our Mr. Brooks exudes helps explain why they never show up in the crowds around other Republican candidates."