Republican Elites' Mommie Dearest Relationship with Heartland Voters

In the immortal words of President Barack Hussein Obama, "There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up. I don't know what it is. But that's what happens."

Well, Mr. Obama may not know what it is, but you and I do, and this year it’s especially true of Republican elites.

The spirit of Joan Crawford lives on.

America’s Thin Coastlines Versus Its Vast Heartland                  

Perhaps you’ve seen the 1981 cult movie classic, Mommie Dearest. In the short video clip you are about to watch, Christina Crawford asks her mother, Joan, the fading screen star, “Why did you adopt me?” You see, Christina knew the real Joan, not the image carefully crafted for public consumption. Tea Partiers for years have asked the Republican establishment what is essentially the same question: “Why did you pretend to love us, and then disrespect us?” The truth is that while their votes were gladly welcomed, Tea Partiers themselves were ridiculed and their interests rejected.  

Fast forward to 2016: Many Republican elites have spent the entire year delivering the exact same message to Trump supporters throughout the Heartland. 

Required Viewing 

Mommie Dearest: the collective Id of the Republican brain trust.                                        

Joan Crawford, a.k.a. Mommie Dearest, though dead for nearly forty years, illustrates for us the behind-closed-doors attitudes of much of the conservative intellectual, political, and pundit class toward Heartland voters.   

If you want to understand the level of tension and contempt Beltway Insiders harbor toward Main Street America, be sure to watch the entire 3 minute, 22-second video below.  It shows a confrontation between the long-suffering American Heartland -- the country class voters who have been waking up over the last few years – and the collective Id of the fit-to-be-tied Republican elites who, like Miss Crawford, are increasingly desperate and insecure as they face dwindling prominence and control.   

I know, I know, it’s eerie how familiar this scene feels to all of us. It’s a drama we in the country class live over and over again, day in and day out as we read and watch the politicos and pundits on TV.  We're tired of being slapped around, choked into silence, and ignored.

We could have been one great big happy family, but navel-contemplating elite conservatives have divorced themselves from normal Americans.

The Insiders Melt Down and Resort to Name Calling and Threats

”Besmirched, Tainted, Rapists, Sycophants, Cowards and Scarlet Letter-wearing Prostitutes. That’s what the Conservative Intelligentsia think of those of us who support Donald Trump.

Many Bush-era Republican insiders call Trump “a vulgar man” who says “offensive and outrageous things.” Every time I hear this I scratch my head and wonder, “What has he said that is offensive and outrageous?” He’s just a normal guy who thinks normal thoughts. He’s 100% refreshing. Somebody has finally opened a window to chase away the cobwebs and let the stale air out from the Republican Party. We don’t need a Stepford president, assembled by committees of Republican consultants, and we sure don’t need a Manchurian Candidate beholden to foreign interests and Wall Street. 

The NeverTrump Set stands in judgment of us, and they want us to know it.

One prominent social conservative issued a not-so-veiled threat:

". . . it will be important whether Trump wins or loses for there to be spokesmen and leaders of social conservative causes who will not have been besmirched and tainted by their association with Trump". [Italics added]

Translation: If you publicly support Donald Trump, social conservatives (and the large, powerful, network of well-endowed organizations they currently control) will forever marginalize you.

Another asserted, “Trumpism represents an angry outburst . . . we should be able to sympathize with [their] bitterness while holding Trump’s supporters at arm’s length,” [italics added]. The author has it exactly backwards. It is the Heartland which now holds the fringe upper crust at arm’s length, many holding their noses as they do so. 

This rising tide of threats is coming not just from social conservatives, but also from fiscal conservatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens recently asserted that those who disagree with him deserve to be taught a lesson:

“It’s important that Donald Trump and what he represents -- this kind of ethnic quote, ‘conservatism,’ or populism be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party, the Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form.” [italics added]

Bill Kristol, neocon editor of the Weekly Standard and Trump detractor, asked via Twitter back in December:    

Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at editor@weeklystandard.com

He was clearly ready to take his marbles and go home. George Will already has. And quite sadly, Erick Erickson seems sometimes to have actually lost his marbles.

Conservative Correctness: the Flipside of Political Correctness

These high profile, highly respected conservative personalities with injured psyches are unwittingly adopting the tactics of the ultraliberal left, as they threaten to inflict future social isolation on those who happen to disagree with their firm stance against a Donald Trump presidency. 

This isn’t leadership.  This is pure, distilled political correctness under the guise of conservatism.  Let’s call it “Conservative Correctness.”

Wittingly or unwittingly, they seek to cause others to suppress free inquiry and rechannel behaviors in line with their own.

Sadly, those who have always championed intellectual curiosity and free discussion are now acting to stifle it.

Over at Eric Erickson’s site, The Resurgent, Steve Berman echoes Bret Stephens:

“The reason to vote for [another candidate] is to punish the GOP for its whoredom and Trump for being the John. They must be punished and in a way everyone will recognize . . . The sycophants, cowards and prostitites (sic) in the GOP need to wear their scarlet letter. And future proto-despot party rapists need to be dissuaded from attempted rape.

I hope . . . to punish those who forced this upon us,” [all italics added].

There it is again.  Republican voters who do not agree with this commentator must be made to wear their scarlet letter.  We must be severely punished.  Like Cain, we must be made outcasts.  Like lepers, we must be made to live outside the camp. 

Why do they hold such contempt for Heartland voters? They disdain us because we are now the establishment, and they are the fringe.

A Plea

I write all this not because it gives me pleasure to speak about such things, but because I have for a long time loved and admired many of these people who comprise the Republican elite.  Some I have had the privilege to work with, standing shoulder to shoulder on the important fiscal and social issues of our time.  So what I have witnessed over the last year is deeply, personally troubling.

I cannot condone putting the interests of a small cadre of insiders above the interests and combined wisdom of the people of America’s heartland.   

I hope that the video clip acts as a mirror to let the NeverTrumpers see and understand how they are perceived outside their Washington/Manhattan bubble.  Here’s one more quick (16 second) try:

1981’s “No more wire hangers!” is 2016’s “Never Trump!

The Ruling Elite -- the Democrat-Republican, Liberal-Conservative Duopoly -- which controls Washington DC can’t be trusted to represent Main Street America.  It can’t even be trusted to understand Main Street America. “Not even a smidgeon,” as President Barack Hussein Obama might say.

In the immortal words of President Barack Hussein Obama, "There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up. I don't know what it is. But that's what happens."

Well, Mr. Obama may not know what it is, but you and I do, and this year it’s especially true of Republican elites.

The spirit of Joan Crawford lives on.

America’s Thin Coastlines Versus Its Vast Heartland                  

Perhaps you’ve seen the 1981 cult movie classic, Mommie Dearest. In the short video clip you are about to watch, Christina Crawford asks her mother, Joan, the fading screen star, “Why did you adopt me?” You see, Christina knew the real Joan, not the image carefully crafted for public consumption. Tea Partiers for years have asked the Republican establishment what is essentially the same question: “Why did you pretend to love us, and then disrespect us?” The truth is that while their votes were gladly welcomed, Tea Partiers themselves were ridiculed and their interests rejected.  

Fast forward to 2016: Many Republican elites have spent the entire year delivering the exact same message to Trump supporters throughout the Heartland. 

Required Viewing 

Mommie Dearest: the collective Id of the Republican brain trust.                                        

Joan Crawford, a.k.a. Mommie Dearest, though dead for nearly forty years, illustrates for us the behind-closed-doors attitudes of much of the conservative intellectual, political, and pundit class toward Heartland voters.   

If you want to understand the level of tension and contempt Beltway Insiders harbor toward Main Street America, be sure to watch the entire 3 minute, 22-second video below.  It shows a confrontation between the long-suffering American Heartland -- the country class voters who have been waking up over the last few years – and the collective Id of the fit-to-be-tied Republican elites who, like Miss Crawford, are increasingly desperate and insecure as they face dwindling prominence and control.   

I know, I know, it’s eerie how familiar this scene feels to all of us. It’s a drama we in the country class live over and over again, day in and day out as we read and watch the politicos and pundits on TV.  We're tired of being slapped around, choked into silence, and ignored.

We could have been one great big happy family, but navel-contemplating elite conservatives have divorced themselves from normal Americans.

The Insiders Melt Down and Resort to Name Calling and Threats

”Besmirched, Tainted, Rapists, Sycophants, Cowards and Scarlet Letter-wearing Prostitutes. That’s what the Conservative Intelligentsia think of those of us who support Donald Trump.

Many Bush-era Republican insiders call Trump “a vulgar man” who says “offensive and outrageous things.” Every time I hear this I scratch my head and wonder, “What has he said that is offensive and outrageous?” He’s just a normal guy who thinks normal thoughts. He’s 100% refreshing. Somebody has finally opened a window to chase away the cobwebs and let the stale air out from the Republican Party. We don’t need a Stepford president, assembled by committees of Republican consultants, and we sure don’t need a Manchurian Candidate beholden to foreign interests and Wall Street. 

The NeverTrump Set stands in judgment of us, and they want us to know it.

One prominent social conservative issued a not-so-veiled threat:

". . . it will be important whether Trump wins or loses for there to be spokesmen and leaders of social conservative causes who will not have been besmirched and tainted by their association with Trump". [Italics added]

Translation: If you publicly support Donald Trump, social conservatives (and the large, powerful, network of well-endowed organizations they currently control) will forever marginalize you.

Another asserted, “Trumpism represents an angry outburst . . . we should be able to sympathize with [their] bitterness while holding Trump’s supporters at arm’s length,” [italics added]. The author has it exactly backwards. It is the Heartland which now holds the fringe upper crust at arm’s length, many holding their noses as they do so. 

This rising tide of threats is coming not just from social conservatives, but also from fiscal conservatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens recently asserted that those who disagree with him deserve to be taught a lesson:

“It’s important that Donald Trump and what he represents -- this kind of ethnic quote, ‘conservatism,’ or populism be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party, the Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form.” [italics added]

Bill Kristol, neocon editor of the Weekly Standard and Trump detractor, asked via Twitter back in December:    

Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination? Suggestions welcome at editor@weeklystandard.com

He was clearly ready to take his marbles and go home. George Will already has. And quite sadly, Erick Erickson seems sometimes to have actually lost his marbles.

Conservative Correctness: the Flipside of Political Correctness

These high profile, highly respected conservative personalities with injured psyches are unwittingly adopting the tactics of the ultraliberal left, as they threaten to inflict future social isolation on those who happen to disagree with their firm stance against a Donald Trump presidency. 

This isn’t leadership.  This is pure, distilled political correctness under the guise of conservatism.  Let’s call it “Conservative Correctness.”

Wittingly or unwittingly, they seek to cause others to suppress free inquiry and rechannel behaviors in line with their own.

Sadly, those who have always championed intellectual curiosity and free discussion are now acting to stifle it.

Over at Eric Erickson’s site, The Resurgent, Steve Berman echoes Bret Stephens:

“The reason to vote for [another candidate] is to punish the GOP for its whoredom and Trump for being the John. They must be punished and in a way everyone will recognize . . . The sycophants, cowards and prostitites (sic) in the GOP need to wear their scarlet letter. And future proto-despot party rapists need to be dissuaded from attempted rape.

I hope . . . to punish those who forced this upon us,” [all italics added].

There it is again.  Republican voters who do not agree with this commentator must be made to wear their scarlet letter.  We must be severely punished.  Like Cain, we must be made outcasts.  Like lepers, we must be made to live outside the camp. 

Why do they hold such contempt for Heartland voters? They disdain us because we are now the establishment, and they are the fringe.

A Plea

I write all this not because it gives me pleasure to speak about such things, but because I have for a long time loved and admired many of these people who comprise the Republican elite.  Some I have had the privilege to work with, standing shoulder to shoulder on the important fiscal and social issues of our time.  So what I have witnessed over the last year is deeply, personally troubling.

I cannot condone putting the interests of a small cadre of insiders above the interests and combined wisdom of the people of America’s heartland.   

I hope that the video clip acts as a mirror to let the NeverTrumpers see and understand how they are perceived outside their Washington/Manhattan bubble.  Here’s one more quick (16 second) try:

1981’s “No more wire hangers!” is 2016’s “Never Trump!

The Ruling Elite -- the Democrat-Republican, Liberal-Conservative Duopoly -- which controls Washington DC can’t be trusted to represent Main Street America.  It can’t even be trusted to understand Main Street America. “Not even a smidgeon,” as President Barack Hussein Obama might say.