Update: There is likely something in this of why black males are defecting to Trump much more than black females, but I can’t quite see what that is. Offer suggestions you think might fit.
As I developed this, I think I came upon an explanation of the Sanders/Biden split in the Democratic primaries as well. I almost made that into a separate post because I am striving for shorter essays these days, but the one topic just flowed into the other. Bear with me, and be charitable.
James the Lesser uses the word “perverse” to describe the elevation of feelings over actual sickness and safety in the comments under Protecting Feelings, just a few days ago. It is also revealing of the motivations of those folks. No one who has been sick near death would say having their feelings hurt was worse, nor would we say that if we had had the experience of watching another go through a terrible illness. It is rather like those people who tell us that various verbal oppressions are just as bad as physical abuse, or that sexual harassment is just as bad as rape. Those who have been abused or raped might give a different answer, don’t you think? These must either be people who do not believe that the danger is real, or are vulnerable enough that the social death of hurt feelings is the worst they can imagine.
This latter came up in reference to Jonathan Haidt’s The Coddling of the American Mind, which I discussed about ten weeks ago. He identifies the highschool classes of 2013 and 2014 as a sharp break point, with anxiety, depression, and suicide rising in that group and remaining high. He attributes this to this being the first cohort which had personal devices starting in middle school. They really do live in a world where social death is more frightening, because it can strike in an instant and there is no effective fighting back. Those whose personalities were formed outside of internet life have resilience against this.
If we expand this idea of internet living increasing vulnerability to believing in social death, this elevation of feelings over real danger is likely more intense with those on social media, of any generation. To live in the metropolis of social media, one has to be concerned with fashion and with expert reading of social cues. Getting those wrong can get you sent to the outer darkness. Therefore, that group was likely predisposed to liberalism to begin with.
I still retain a few liberal and Democrat readers here who are likely already irritated. I do recognise that this is not all liberals. I would in fact estimate that this is less than half, and along the continuum of social vs intellectual primacy, less than a third are strongly in the social-only category. The Sanders/Biden split is related to this. But liberalism is mostly spread socially rather than intellectually, so I think you will have to just swallow a fair bit of this. The quick test of whether it’s you I am talking about is if you think that Trump support is mostly socially driven. If that’s you, you are projecting, and missing an important distinction.*
Tangent: I discussed the association between reading social cues and political liberalism many times years ago, though I don’t think I have mentioned it as much the last few years. I even had them named as the Arts & Humanities Tribe and contrasted them to other American tribes. I consider it a main reason why entertainers and artists, students, academics, and those deep in bureaucracies tend to be liberal. They read social cues extremely well and confuse that with intelligence. Some are also intelligent, of course. There is likely even some correlation between the two. Just not the same thing, despite the fact that late night comedy makes its living on pretending that the one is the other. If you are interested in this, go over to my regular site and enter “humanities” in the search bar.
There. I just explained all that eye-rolling and those condescending tones to you. You’re welcome. /tangent
At some level those of us with some immunity to the threat of social death really don’t understand those others who think that black people feeling good about themselves because of some positive aura around blackness in general is much more important than, y’know, having a job, a family, health, friends, and a sense of purpose and meaning. While they would agree in the abstract that of course those other things are more important – they can read the social cues and know how to answer test questions, as noted above – their actions suggest they don’t quite believe it. They know it should be true, but their emotions activate them around the former much more than the latter. They don’t turn out for demonstrations and politicians who uncover ways for Native Americans to get jobs, but for demonstrations and politicians which prevent working-class jobs from arising for Native-feelings reasons. If it doesn’t result in money given to the government which we can dispense to Native Americans, we don’t want it. That the government, and the government-lovers get to play God and be the distributors of
vote-buying justice is the most important thing.
Now to the Sanders/Biden split. Bernie is clearly in the feelings group. Joe may be corrupt, he may be senile, he may be completely misguided about how the poor can actually get more good things in this world, but he is definitely in the camp of improving black lives by getting them jobs, getting them education, getting them justice. There is the cynical accusation (openly from fringe conservatives, more quietly from even mainstream liberals) that African-American votes are entirely about being given stuff, if not for themselves than for friends and relatives who AA’s think can’t make it without help. The Sanders-Biden split among black voters speaks against this theory. Black voters want things they believe will get them jobs or justice or educational attainment they believe is being denied them. They may be entirely wrong about how that occurs, and I think they are. But only some are in the give-me-free-stuff camp, and the most liberal of young people of all groups may have them beat on the percentages of that. Most POC’s are in the fine American tradition of wanting to be given advantages, not gifts, just like the rest of us.
This is written just after Super Tuesday, and look at the states where Biden trounced Sanders: Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, with large black populations. Hell no, don’t give us one of those socialist bastards who want to destroy the system. We just want our people to get their cut. Sanders wins the states where white liberals want socialism – California, Colorado, Massachusetts – and (Democratic, not all) Latinos are deeply radicalised. Sanders appeals to abolish-the-system voters. Biden appeals to game-the-system voters. The latter believe they are improve-the-system or fix-the-system voters, and this is at least true in theory. They are also fallen humanity who cannot endure uncomfortable truth, but I don’t think any worse than I am on that score.
*That distinction is not entirely to the credit of Trump supporters, but you first have to have the humility to accept other explanations before I can tell it to you. The old Yankee Fahmah joke was that the old codger you asked for directions sent you on a long series of complicated turns and bad roads so that you ended up back in front of him a few hours later, not very happy. “That was just to make sure you know how t’ follow directions, because this next paht is goin’ to be complicated.”
Cross-posted at Assistant Village Idiot.
12 thoughts on “Protecting Feelings II”
#1: 80% of blacks vote en bloc Democrat, across state lines. The party of slavery, of segregation, of welfare. Nothing save the destruction of the welfare state, which would necessitate the destruction of postmodern America, will change this. The only other demographic group that are such loyal house slaves of progressivism are queers. (I’m sorry. I’m not calling the sick vile scat fetishists ‘gay’ any more.’ All the tolerance has been beaten out of me with a shovel).
#2: Nobody ever gave me or mine any goddam advantages, and I never wanted any. I grew up below the Federal poverty level and when I moved to Silicon Valley to grab a slice of the IT pie my first boss was a Chinese *woman.* To believe so is to buy into the specter of white privilege, which is a Marxist blood libel.
#3: No amount of pandering or hand-holding will win over people who are bent on enslaving themselves and/or destroying the society around them so They Can Get Theirs. The Founders didn’t waste time mollycoddling Tories. Nor should we, if we want to salvage anything.
#4: The internal agonies of the Democratic Party are causing a lot of smug snickers amongst conservatives. This is asinine. They are announcing with loud and ready voices what they will do the very next time they seize power, which will likely be after Trump is gone. Open borders, socialized meds for illegals, guns bans nationwide where you can’t move to a ‘free state’ because there won’t be any. And remember, these are planks of a popular ideological movement, not a few corrupt politicians or campus radicals. You saw what happened in Virginia, where they gerrymandered and ethnically-cleansed their way to victory, then imposed draconian gun bans and opened up the entire state to Section 8 housing. We will all be Virginia, for a few years. Then we will become California. Then we will become a hybrid between Venezuela and the Soviet Union. That’s the template. They openly say so every time they open their evil filthy goddam mouths.
You’re like a bunch of Jews laughing at Hitler’s antics in the early 30’s. Knock it off.
“a main reason why entertainers and artists, students, academics, and those deep in bureaucracies tend to be liberal. They read social cues extremely well and confuse that with intelligence.”
This seems likely to be true of entertainers and of some kinds of artists…but academics? A lot of academics seen to be socially rather clueless.
re bureaucrats, I’d think that those who maneuver themselves into the higher levels may be good social cue-readers, but doubt this is true of the majority.
I don’t think that Bernie and Joe are very far apart at all. Biden, would open the floodgates of government largess just as far and just a quickly as Sanders; the difference is that as a lifelong mainstream Democrat, Biden’s afraid to admit it. Or that’s the way it used to be. Sanders seems to show that whatever common self respect made people in the depression reluctant to take handouts is absent from an increasingly large proportion of the population. They don’t care about whatever fantasy he’s pushing that will pay for his “programs” and wouldn’t be able to evaluate them if they did. They’re just getting in line with their hands out.
The race hustlers and Democratic operatives are in abject terror of the middle class AA population noticing that it’s not 1960’s Selma anymore. That outside of skin color, they have nothing in common with the bangers and dope heads of inner-city Chicago or Baltimore. You’d think more of them would resent being pandered to as if they did.
Social media may turn out being one of those things like automobiles and air travel that change the world beyond recognition. Or it may burn itself out. Children have always been capable of great cruelty, usually from a lack of judgement and empathy that gets better with age. Some, unfortunately, discover a sense of pleasure and power they never outgrow. The distancing of social media and especially anonymity give the openly inclined as well as the cowardly bully a ready audience and unending gratification.
Personally, I’m getting a little tired of having to pickup the slack for the ones that can’t put their phone down for as long a a couple of minutes. Call me an old fogy.
A bit of a healthcare story for PenGun if he is still around.
My grandkids are not into reading books, which disappoints me, but they are into sports in a big way. Their parents, my son and DIL put in enormous hours going to games and practice. I grew up in the days of free range kids. I even quit kindergarten and never told my mother until years later.
She never missed me and the school never called her. I lived to read books, which after all were the means of escape for kids without TV. My father had dropped out of school in high school at age 15 to join the Navy. He never went back. He did not approve of books.
My other son, who has two young daughters, is married to a wildly left wing woman who probably knows Christine Blasey Ford. She is also psych professor at a small college in the Bay Area. Their two kids are undisciplined and almost feral children. I don’t see much of them. I feel sorry for the kids. I don’t really think of them as grandkids.
My own family is mixed in political sentiment. Two daughters are lefties, one is an arty type and the other is an FBI agent. One son and one daughter are conservative. The other son is a trial lawyer. ’nuff said.
I agree that Biden is farther left than he is presented. That is just the reality of the Democrat Party now. Bloomberg probably thought there was a middle of the road Democrat he could appeal to. That was a delusion. Buttgig and the Hawaiian woman may sound moderate but they are just as radical. Not as obnoxious, perhaps.
What comes after Trump is a real question. Fortunately, I am old enough to probably avoid those problems. I can only hope that this November election teaches the Democrats some sense. I don’t have a lot of optimism, though.
@ Phil – I consider that being born in this country was a considerable advantage in life, especially after comparing it to the life my two from Romania started with. History has given me a lot I didn’t earn, actually.
@ David Foster – I wondered as I was writing if I should specify about the social cues, but worried I was going too long. Academics are very good at reading the cues within their culture. You don’t get a PhD, except perhaps in STEM, without it. I think advancement within the academy still includes a lot of discipline knowledge. But these days it also involves just plain not getting in trouble by offending the wrong deans, who have multiplied like bunnies. Also, I did mean those denizens of the bureaucracies that made their way up, yes. I don’t mean to be entirely cynical about that. There are some people of exceptional skill who read other people poorly who succeed, yes. But many of the truly obnoxious characters in a bureaucracy, who seem to be violating basic social norms, are in fact reading their own situations very well.
Is anyone gaming out the attractions to Democratic voting blocs of a joint ticket? Biden/Bernie or the other way ’round, either one?
Is that alliance even thinkable?
… why black males are defecting to Trump much more than black females …
I am not familiar with the numbers, but would not be surprised if that is the case. It is rather obvious that women have become the beneficiaries of Positive Discrimination on the part of government. Just talk to any divorced dad, or look at the occupants of positions in most bureaucracies, or check out who is going to college these days. Net effect is that women are more invested in the status quo than men — and the status quo is Big Intrusive Government run by Democrats.
So for women of African heritage, and indeed for women of European heritage too, voting for the Democrat (any Democrat) is a logical act which is in their own narrow near-term interests, and is also emotionally satisfying because … Democrats care, you know!
Two data points from last week.
Went to visit a Dr. client of mine in Tamarac FL, Tamarac is in Broward County and is a very Blue area. In the waiting room of the Dr, saw a 35-45 YO black man wearing a MAGA hat and a Trump 2020 shirt.
Next data point, one customer is a street sweeper (Cleans the parking lots of big box stores) 40 yo black guy whose business is growing by leaps and bounds. Why? Immigration concerns has driven the big box stores to hire his company with employees paid on the books and who have filled out I9s vs. his competition who normally hire illegals and pay cash.
If the Repubs were really smart, they would refer to illegal immigrants as “cheap labor”.. Parrot the Demo talking points from 10 years ago, and then make the Dems defend “cheap labor”…
I predict your data points are mere outliers, and 80% of black folk that go to the polls will pull the lever for whoever the Democrats cough up. Watch.
Phil: “… 80% of black folk that go to the polls will pull the lever for whoever the Democrats cough up.”
You are probably right — but that would still be a huge step forward, a whole lot different from close to 100%.
If we look at another example of tribal voting — UK’s hereditary Labour voters — in the recent election the Labour Party had a leader who was uncharismatic, personally unlikeable, incoherent on Brexit, and pushing ridiculous policies; even so, 80% of those who voted Labour in the prior election still voted Labour this time. If Trump can similarly peel 20% of the African heritage vote away from the Democrats, it will Rock the Kasbah.
I don’t think you understand. 80% of blacks have voted Democrat for all of living memory. Which is obscene given what the Dems did to their ancestors and their grandfathers and grandmothers, but we are also talking about the demographic that commits more than half — yes, I’m serious, go to FGI.gov and see for yourself — of every category of violent crime, and WILL NOT LET ANYONE ADDRESS THIS upon pain of das racis. Even though fractionally over 90% of the murder victims are, well, each other. We are not talking about people who are into the rational self-interest gig. We are talking about suicidally, homicidally tribal. And tribes are easy to manipulate. Which the Dems know. Which is why they are destroying the Republic and successfully creating an impoverished pesthole of squabbling tribes in its place.
I repeat: This will have no discernible effect — none — on the hallowed Black Vote, in any state or at the national level. Four-fifths or more will go to the Dems, in every county, state, and jurisdiction where the Black Vote is a factor. If you like we could put a little money on it.
Phil, when you start with “I don’t think you understand,” you had better be able to back that up with sensible reasoning and good data. Otherwise, you invite people to respond testily. You didn’t, so I will respond testily. The statistics on comparative rates of violence are well-known to me – I think better than to you, frankly, as you left out an important point. But that is not relevant to a discussion of voting patterns. It seems to be just one more thing you are angry about regarding black people.
Trump’s approval numbers among AA’s are quadruple what they were before the election in 2016, 34% to 8%. Perhaps that was an outlier poll. Perhaps that will not translate into votes. Still, it’s new, and higher than Romney, McCain, Bush, Dole, Bush, Reagan ever had. By the way, I’m not that old, and blacks voted reliably Republican in my living memory. You set 80% of the black vote as the proof point for your prediction. If the Democrats only get 80% and/or there is extremely low black turnout because of Trump support, however mild, that would be a major sea change and devastating to Democrats. They have never finished below 85%, and 90% is more common. A 10% drop in two years? Tremendous.
The number you pick – 80% – would actually be good evidence that my offhand observation is correct, so no, I’m not going to count that as evidence you have deep insight into the subject. One set of polls puts the approval numbers for Trump by black females at a very low 7%, but a reasonably good 32% among black males. That would be excellent if he even approached that.
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