'White Trash'

South Florida Times - - OPINION - Toniwg1@gmail.com

race, their ar­rival here pre­ceded the Africans brought to la­bor, pri­mar­ily in the fields.

When Hil­lary Clin­ton de­clared that Trump’s sup­port­ers were ‘a bas­ket of de­plorables’, a code switch that back­fired on her, she may have been quot­ing a page, or two, or even 200 from Ms. Isen­berg who lists dozens of sim­i­lar, and more provoca­tive la­bels for this group - who have been with us since the found­ing of the coun­try.

There are far worse de­scrip­tors for the lower class whites pep­pered through­out Isen­berg’s book - the class that ul­ti­mately voted Trump into of­fice - now euphemisti­cally re­ferred to as the ‘for­got­ten Amer­i­cans.’

It is worth not­ing that demo­cratic, elec­toral politics as prac­ticed in the USA, has al­ways been messy. But is has sel­dom been demo­cratic.

But back to An­drew Jack­son and Trump. Jack­son - a well-known fighter, In­dian-re­mover, and slave owner, rep­re­sented a man of the times. Ac­cord­ing to Isen­berg, his “ly­ing and boast­ing made up for the ab­sence of class pedi­gree. He used duels, feuds, and oaths to rise in the po­lit­i­cal peck­ing or­der in the young state of Ten­nessee.”

Isen­berg goes on to say that dur­ing his cam­paign for pres­i­dent, Jack­son did not stand for univer­sal suf­frage - only for the few, and he had lit­tle in­ter­est in get­ting non­slave own­ers, nee non-land own­ing whites suf­frage, but in­stead “the at­trac­tion to a cer­tain class of land-grab­bing whites and the em­brace of rude in­stinct of mas­cu­line lib­erty.” Is the pic­ture com­ing in any clearer? I give Trump props for know­ing just enough his­tory about An­drew Jack­son to have bor­rowed a few pages from his book: em­u­lat­ing oafish be­hav­ior is ok in the end if it gets you elected; “speak­ing your mind’ re­ally means speak­ing their minds (“Lock her up”, for ex­am­ple); ex­er­cis­ing a strong arm is an ad­mirable trait and is to be ad­mired, and, to quote Isen­berg again, “his (Jack­son’s ) ut­ter lack of ci­vil­ity made him the voice of the non-elite out­sider.”

And about Trump, Isen­berg says that ev­ery time he spoke, he forged a bond with ‘work­ing class’ vot­ers de­spite his wealth, his up­per class dis­tinc­tions, and his gold-ac­cented Louis XIV fur­ni­ture.

They did not care be­cause he re­jected PC eti­quette; he was one of them!

The other night, when former pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­ceived the Kennedy Pro­files in Courage Award, he ad­vised us in his ac­cep­tance speech, to have the courage to call out hate not just in others, but also face hate in our­selves. I was re­minded of what I used to think about whites - un­til I read Isen­berg’s book! And then I looked around ...

OMG. I live in Texas!

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