To misappropriate The Last Psychiatrist, if you have to ask, it’s for you. By “you,” of course, I mean John Stoehr, and by John Stoehr, I mean the Eastern Seaboard’s most corncobbable binch.
If you look any of this shit up, you’ll discover that it’s a low-level internet flame war between a Yale adjunct with a US News & World Report byline and a swarm of leftist trolls. Of itself, it’s of no real consequence, and so too much has surely been blurted out into the ether about it by now. At the same time, the internet is a most generous friend, a capaciously housed O. J. to our Kato, so we might as well indulge ourselves and have even more to say about this bullshit.
Sometimes I agonize over my essay titles. Other times, the spirit (don’t ask which) moves me with a title and I spend the next months or years intermittently thinking my way into an essay conforming vaguely to that title before finally cranking it out. In this particular case, I jacked my title verbatim from our aforementioned corncobbable binch, Mr. Stoehr. This is a guy who publishes 69-post Twitter threads (giggity) about Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare replacement strategy (not giggity) but doesn’t know how to look up memes on Urban Dictionary, so he tries to crowdsource definitions of the insults he’s catching on Twitter, the same platform on which he’s simultaneously being dogpiled. Right there we know we’ve got us a dork.
Strictly as a journalist, he doesn’t appear anywhere near the bottom of the barrel. The problem is that he rudely tells trolls who got rude with him first to shut the fuck up and then gets drawn into foodfights involving liberal (heh) helpings of Manchego Foquaulliaulle. Quite a catch socially, then. Worse, he tries to silence his trolls by smearing Current Affairs as a pathetic rag and appealing angrily to the authority of his own magazine, US News & World Report. The bizarre thing is that Stoehr has elections data at his command that he says refute claims that Bernie Sanders won the working class, but he still resorts to appeals to the authority of his employers. He can’t help but brag about how he’s finally made it as a bit player in two notorious scams.
As I said, this guy is a fucking dork. But he isn’t the only one. His arrogant assumption that every knee on the earth and above the earth and under the earth shall bow at the holy names of his University and his Report is insane, but countless people in the classes he’s trying to reach share it with him wholeheartedly. They can’t imagine otherwise. Why wouldn’t an educated person trust Yale and US News & World Report? Why wouldn’t an educated person vote for Hillary Clinton? These are closely related questions, by the way, and not just because John Stoehr is a corncobbed Hillbot who petulantly defends his fellow binch. We’ve got a lot of highbrow idiots running around, utterly incredulous that their cherished institutions are not universally worshiped but increasingly reviled by those of us who believe that they’ve done us wrong. They can’t imagine that they’re defending the indefensible and that, if the incumbents running and profiting from these institutions don’t back off, there may be a whirlwind for all of them to reap. The newfound bipartisan solidarity in the Never Trump movement, the chumminess that, say, formerly aggrieved Democrats now feel towards the Bushes, has precious fuck-all to do with principle. It’s the class solidarity of wartime allies who can tell that there’s a war afoot and that they need to close ranks to beat back the poors.
In general terms, it has nothing to do with values and everything to do with interests. It’s Bacon’s Rebellion again, and Trump’s bringing home the Bacon. Okay, he isn’t actually, but at least he talks about it to no end, and in a political context as degraded as ours, that’s worth more than it should be.
I have yet to come across a really good, credible, granular survey of how many young Americans there are today who are aggrieved and resentful over their socioeconomic marginalization, but this is obviously a huge problem. One of the reasons why Bernie Sanders got ratfucked in the primaries was that he tried to address it candidly instead of brightsiding the whole family on Abuela’s behalf. He let quite a few of the downwardly mobile young know that he was listening to them and that they weren’t the only ones languishing in the basement. Your Fleek Abuela’s response? Nannienannie poopoo, you all live in the basement! To be a bit vague, there is a huge amount of resentment on the margins directed at the educational-industrial complex. It comes from people who didn’t quite consider it prudent to go through with college, from dropouts who couldn’t hack it for various reasons, from graduates who are stuck in bad job markets repaying crushing student loans to heartless banks that fronted the money to opulently endowed universities that can hardly be bothered to give their alumni a real hand up, and from God knows how many alumni at various socioeconomic levels, most of them not so hot, who are as sick of being panhandled for spare change by their alma maters as I’d ever be with the Dunkin’ Doorman if he kept bothering me for coffee. The transit service out of Atlantic City is pretty solid for such a depopulating dump; there’s no train out of Collegeland.
US News & World Report plays a special unctuous role in this racket by publishing an annual series of supposedly comprehensive college rankings. Current Affairs could be published by retards and still be more credible to people whose experiences with college have mainly been ones of dispossession, humiliation, and false hope.
The way John Stoehr was approached by the troll rabble, then, was exactly how a free and upstanding citizenry ought to approach its public intellectuals. The upper classes don’t roll over and submit like good little bitches when they’re given shitty constituent services; they raise holy hell. Why on earth should we reciprocate their ill will with our own goodwill? Look at how indecently they’ve treated Trump voters. Look at how belligerently they’ve approached Sanders and Stein voters for sinking their dogshit Eva Peron, Hillary. Maybe Trump’s a nutcase who keeps terrible political company; many of us who voted for him or considered doing so didn’t necessarily expect anything better of him. But when the incumbent institutions have become so desperately hateful and vicious in their own defense, how can they blame those who feel left behind for voting for outsiders in the hope, however faint, of getting some fresh blood into the joint and shaking things up? We have all these institutions that promise profusely to deliver the goods, but we’re still being left behind to fend for ourselves. Why shouldn’t we conclude that we’re deliberately being failed by shysters who don’t give a damn about us?
Bernie seems to get it. I suspect that he’s so hated by the bourgeois liberal pseudoleft in large part because he gets it. He was a college graduate who got his first real job at the age of forty while Hillary was off paying her dues like a good little mercenary and her draft-dodging husband was flying back to Arkansas to order the killing of a man who was too retarded to realize that there would be no time for dessert afterwards. A large swath of her base has some really weird and ugly feelings towards those who won’t sell their souls, or who maybe can’t figure out how to close the sale. Stoehr may be able to explain some things about the working-class black and Latino votes for Hillary, but no way in hell is Lord Corncob convincing me that her pissy affluent voters were just my hallucinations. For a guy who researches the primary returns so thoroughly, he’s sure a dipshit. Bernie’s win in Iowa doesn’t matter because Iowa is a Whitey Rez? Great insight there, white boy. Love too lose West Virginia by fifty points with that attitude, too.
Another awesome thing about the Democratic Party (mainly in the same sense that a Komodo Dragon tearing a water buffalo to shreds is also awesome) is the contrast between the soft bigotry of low expectations and the hard bigotry of high expectations. Your parents’ maid and gardener are blessed with the former; someday they, too, may be enfranchised to serve as Abuela’s dutiful racial subalterns. My kind, on the other hand, is blessed with the latter. The yuppie swarm is insulated enough from the barrio and the ghetto, and sometimes from the dark meat in general, to imagine that darkies who wandered off the plantation to vote for Bernie don’t exist, and that the Bern was there exclusively to season the white meat, kind of like heroin. If you’re trying to make sense of any of this, ignore that this is a stance of uptight whiteys; you’ll go mad trying to cohere it.
What the yuppie swarm can’t ignore is failed yuppies who turned into class traitors by voting for the Vermont Meshuggah. This is who they really hate. They don’t hate their submissive domestic help. Notice how they’re so solicitous of the feelings of poors who aren’t much like themselves, often because they’re foreign and don’t so much speaka the English, but contemptuous of the feelings of assertive Anglophones who call foul on them. The vitriol deployed against the white working class is right on the precipice of renewed critiques of the uppity niggra. If anyone more than showboating hoteps had tried to rock the black vote for Trump last year, the Hillbots wouldn’t have made it five minutes without mouthing off like Michael Richards. These are people who really, truly, deeply do not want to have to share their politics with their fellow citizens. They can’t help but get riled up when we talk back to them.
Their high expectations of people like me is that we turn out and vote for someone we consider an unconscionably crazy bitch. Up to a point they’ll even condescendingly excuse Trump voters for being uneducated, hence ignorant, and hence stupid. Some of them excused me for voting for Jill Stein because I voted in California. That’s cool, since I would have been even more likely to take the plunge for Trump in a swing state. The devil of the lesser of two evils is in what the electorate considers evil. I was far from the only voter who considered the Clintons a fatally toxic crime family whose patronage machine was destroying both the Democratic Party and our national politics. Why would I believe affluent sheepdogs when they insist that Trump is bringing something even worse to the table and that I had a solemn duty to hold my nose and vote for a proven troublemaker? As I said, many of us who had relatively good feelings about Trump started out with low expectations of him. His not being a Clinton seemed like a pretty solid start.
A yuppie president was not in the cards for this term. We could have had a Democratic populist. Implicit Trump voter Michael Moore certainly would have voted for Bernie. Post DNC ratfucking, the yuppie-punching quasipopulist ADHD Republican president we got was the Donald. It didn’t have to be that way, but with fine public servants like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and John Podesta, it did. One way to understand the overlapping Trump-Sanders base is to consider that Trump, as a Republican candidate and nominee, was invested with no fiduciary responsibility to keep the Democratic Party from going down in flames. Some of us hoped for better than that on the part of the Democrats themselves, but look at what we and our candidate got instead. Let’s be honest: the Clintons are a trash fire that Sanders keeps trying to put out, or at least tamp down a bit. It isn’t going too well, so it may be up to the rest of us to finish what he started.
This is another great example of a fuck-up institution that keeps failing those it swears it is constituted to serve. Bernie keeps trying to work within it to pull it to the left, i.e., back towards its own forsaken traditional base, and incidentally to save it from itself, and he keeps getting treated like shit for his trouble by grandees who treat their constituents even worse. But that’s exactly how our entrenched institutions operate today. These institutions won’t serve their constituents if they can’t serve themselves in the process. The astute leftists who predict that Bernie will be too conservative for the electorate in 2020 (e.g., Deadl E. Cheese and Haircut_Hippie) are onto something. The prominent incumbents we have now are too rapacious and arrogant to listen to dissidents who insist, with evidence backing up their arguments, that they’re on course to be guillotined if they don’t stop robbing their fellow citizens blind. It’s taken a pretty aggressive constituent revolt to get individual Republicans in the US Senate to break ranks with their constipated old geezer of a leader Mitch McConnell on the Obamacare repeal bills, for example, and what’s at stake there is constituents dying from deliberate medical neglect.
Corncobbing a binch now and then is the least we can do. We’ve been done a hell of a lot worse than that, and some favors cry out to be returned.