Sunday, October 5, 2008
White Trash For Obama
Nothing spruces up a reliable shitbox car quite like a White Trash for Obama bumper sticker side by side with the classic automotive statement of support for Real Change. I voted for Kerry and Gore, but didn't have the requisite emotional investment those times around to crap up my bumper with their names. This time, it's different.
The question of why poor people often vote Republican, against their economic interest, has perhaps been best addressed by Thomas Frank's What's The Matter with Kansas? Frank argues that the Democrats have abandoned the field on economic justice, leaving the path wide open to a redefinition of class politics by the right in demagogic cultural terms.
Think the 2004 RNC attack ad. "Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs." Pure class resentment, reframed to hit the left.
While the electoral re-alignment of 2004 was fueled by Democratic candidates who embraced economic populism, the party as a whole remains largely in the back pocket of big money
At this point, however, people still have more reason to trust Democrats with the economy than Republicans, who seem entirely preoccupied with raiding the larders of a sinking ship. Today's New York Times' Economic Unrest Shifts Electoral Battleground brings welcome news of how the economic meltdown has blown open an Obama lead. While anything can happen between now and November, including a stolen election, martial law and the suspension of the election entirely, or a terrorist attack that returns America to full-on politics of fear, qualified hope springs eternal. In this car, anyway.