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Sat Oct 1, 2016, 08:52 AM

 

Understanding the white working class and how to talk to them in this election.

Last edited Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:12 AM - Edit history (1)

I was raised in the white working class. Working class income, paycheck to paycheck, old used cars, few extras, very small house in a small town, kids around me mostly very similar. People all around me spent a lot of time hunting, ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter, and loving competitive sports. In the neighborhoods we ran in groups and fought out our disagreements on the streets. No helicopter parenting. To earn money we did everything from collecting and redeeming returnable bottles and cans, to shoveling snow, to pulling nightcrawler worms and selling them, to selling fish we caught to the local market. When old enough, we worked in local small businesses. We also were in scouts and other groups, served the community, and were very patriotic.

Union white working class people used to be heavily Democratic. Then we allowed the unions to get busted up and jobs sent to the Third World, so it's little wonder why these folks are so sick and tired of these trade deals which were supposed to be so good for us and have been terrible.

So while Republicans helped send the jobs away, they became good at convincing so many white working class folks that it was the unions' fault, minorities' fault, and everyone else's fault except the rich and powerful who are the ones who really screwed them over. The Republicans promise to make sure they have their guns and bibles while they happily dance in the streets as they help corporate CEO's get rich from plants in China.

The problem is, Democrats do a SHITTY job of MESSAGING to these folks, and the party has been inconsistent in standing up on the issues that affect them. The party needs to be a populist working folks party as much as anything else, and it needs to understand their culture again. We have to message powerfully to their CLASS BASED STRUGGLE.

You say to working class folks: HOW DOES GIVING MILLIONAIRES MORE TAX CUTS CREATE JOBS? WE'VE SEEN THAT MOVIE AND IT DOESN'T WORK. NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL. WE NEED TO KILL FAILED TRICKLE DOWN AND CREATE JOBS BY GETTING MORE JOB PARTNERING WITH BUSINESSES TO EXPAND THEIR OPERATIONS AND GET MANUFACTURING GOING IN A BIG WAY, BUILD NEW ROADS AND BRIDGES, AND INVEST HEAVILY IN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE THOSE JOBS DON'T GO OVERSEAS. AND WE NEED TO RE-NEGOTIATE ALL THOSE CRAPPY TRADE DEALS AND NO MORE TRADE DEALS THAT DON'T WORK FOR US, PERIOD.

On Trump you say: THIS GUY WAS BORN A MILLIONAIRE AND GOT MILLIONS TO START HIS BUSINESS. WE DIDN'T GET ALL THAT. HE MAKES HIS SHIRTS, TIES, AND FURNITURE IN CHINA, BANGLADESH, AND MEXICO AND SAYS THAT'S GOOD BECAUSE PEOPLE THERE NEED JOBS TOO. TRUMP IS ONLY FOR TRUMP AND DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT US.

On guns, the bible, and the flag you say: WE COMPLETELY SUPPORT THE RIGHTS OF SAFE AND LEGAL HUNTERS AND TARGET SHOOTERS TO OWN GUNS FOR THESE AND HOME PROTECTION AND WE ALWAYS HAVE. HELL, I'LL GO HUNTING WITH YOU. I'LL GO TARGET SHOOTING WITH YOU. TELL ME WHERE AND WHEN. ALL I WANT IS TO MAKE SURE GUNS DON'T GET INTO THE HANDS OF DANGEROUS PEOPLE. THAT'S ALL. I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, AND THE FLAG. I LOVE AMERICA. PERIOD.

Working class people may say they don't trust government, but at the same time they WANT government to do a number of things. They want defense. They want good roads and bridges. They want education and training. They want JOBS. So say, "GOVERNMENT CAN'T AND SHOULDN'T DO EVERYTHING. BUT WE NEED COPS, FIREFIGHTERS, ROADS, BRIDGES, GOOD SCHOOLS AND JOB TRAINING, A NATIONAL DEFENSE. AND WE NEED GOVERNMENT TO BE ON THE SIDE OF WORKING PEOPLE.

Now, the racial dynamic is tough with some of these folks, and you won't reach them all. But we have got to start strongly supporting and articulating the populist and progressive economic messaging that will engage these folks. And we need to understand their cultural lives. It is ok to honor the American flag, support safe and legal gun ownership, and say it is ok to believe in god and have a religion as most progressives in fact do.

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Reply Understanding the white working class and how to talk to them in this election. (Original post)
RBInMaine Oct 2016 OP
beachbum bob Oct 2016 #1
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #2
beachbum bob Oct 2016 #3
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #4
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #5
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #7
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #8
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #9
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #11
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #15
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #13
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #17
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #21
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #23
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #14
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #10
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #12
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #16
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #18
Demsrule86 Oct 2016 #19
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #20
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2016 #22
helpisontheway Oct 2016 #6
DeminPennswoods Oct 2016 #24
RBInMaine Oct 2016 #25
DeminPennswoods Oct 2016 #28
underpants Oct 2016 #26
wcast Oct 2016 #27

Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 08:56 AM

1. the best lines of attack on trump that will appeal the most to white working class

 

are numerous

1. trump using eminent domain to steal peoples houses

2. trump not paying full invoices or not paying at all to stiff suppliers and contractors

3. trump refusing to release tax returns

4. his dishonoring of females

5. his contempt of working americans

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:01 AM

2. Yes, that all fits the narrative I've stated. But we gotta SAY IT TO THEM. Thanks. Good stuff.

 

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:03 AM

3. basis of great 30 and 60 second political ads as well as talking points for all

 

democratic candidates and spokespeople

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:05 AM

4. Gotta talk to folks CLEAR and PLAIN and STRONG. Don't go into Harvard MBA tiatribes.

 

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Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:09 AM

5. Trump claims he will bring back manufacturing; that is key...

I live around such voters...tax cuts, income inequality as issues leave them unmoved...it is about the trade. My son works for autos and his Dad did before him. It is about the trade. Unions have weakened and are not bringing home the bacon for their members lately. There are some very bad contracts. For example, autos now have tier one workers or temporary workers who get $14.00 and hour. Also,temporary workers are used to replace retirees-few new hires. We need to tell working people that we will restore manufacturing jobs and have an actual manufacturing policy to do so.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:30 AM

7. I do think they care about income inequality, but yes, totally agree that it's JOBS JOBS JOBS.

 

You CONNECT the income inequality to JOBS JOBS JOBS. Maybe they don't begrudge people getting rich, but when a few are getting rich and THEY aren't, that breeds resentment. You say, "Your paycheck sucks because we have a system rigged for the rich and against us. We need to kill failed trickle down, loopholes for the rich, bad trade deals, and work with businesses to get manufacturing going again in a big way. And we need to make sure you get the training and education you need for the new jobs."

And when you show them Trump bragging about making his stuff in China and saying that's great because those people need jobs, that is political Kryptonite.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:04 AM

8. Hitting Trump on China is a good idea,

but you have to explain how you plan to bring back jobs...many lost everything in the MidWest due to bad trade policies and feel betrayed...don't talk about retraining either...plenty'retrained' for non-existent jobs. I had been living in Georgia...we had been in New York before the auto plant closed. I had not been to the Mid West in years before moving here. When I drove through Gary Indiana and Detroit, I wept. It was devastating to see what had been allowed to happen to much of our country. And you see it everywhere with shuttered factories in Cincinnati, Columbus,Cleveland, Youngstown, Cortland (Delphi supported that town for years),Warren and many other areas. Youngstown and Warren were particularly hard hit in my area. Cleveland has made a comeback but there are still some hard hit areas. My future daughter-in -law sold a house in Youngstown that belonged to her Grandmother for less than $30,000. Other similar houses in the area had sold for $80,000 in 2008.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:08 AM

9. Yes, explain how you're going to get the jobs going. I meant training for the NEW jobs. Some will

 

have to be new operations. You'd be lying to them if you promised to bring ALL the old jobs back, and they know it.

How do you suggest explaining how to get jobs going? I know the trade deal argument. What else?

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:14 AM

11. New jobs are fine...but there have to be real jobs

for those who train for jobs. Also, if we want to stop income inequality, we need manufacturing. It will never happen in the service economy or the consumer based economy.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:23 AM

15. Exactly. My very point. In my area, businesses say they won't come here because we don't have the

 

workers who are trained for the jobs. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? We need to have our vocational programs, community colleges, and universities training people for the jobs that will come to a place IF the labor pool is available. That means setting up partnerships with incoming businesses and the vocational training facilities. And also bringing in operations where people already have the skills.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:16 AM

13. Also, if you tell people here the jobs are gone

then you are going to lose period. There are jobs in steel and autos today and other manufacturing..we are not talking buggy whips. Thus with a market as large as ours, those jobs can be brought back using a carrot and stick method. There is money in making things which is why China is still swimming in cash despite a rocky economy.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:24 AM

17. Please be more specific about explaining to people how to bring all the old factories back.

 

Please give me a scenario. Imagine you are Hillary Clinton standing in front of a group of displaced folks who used to work in auto and steel making. What do you say to them to get their vote?

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:47 AM

21. I will not sign the TPP. I will not sign any trade agreements that cost American jobs.

I believe we need a manufacturing policy that will map out our strategy for bringing jobs back and creating new jobs in all areas of the United States, particularly in the hard-hit Mid-West region. The United States will make the solar panels and alternate energy equipment which will be used in the 21st century. The United states will manufacture what is needed to rebuild our old tired infrastructure. We will make things again in this great country and our economy will grow. My administration will use all tools at our disposal including tariffs to stop American job losses and to increase manufacturing in this country.

Now, if we don't get the House, we must hammer the GOP with trade every day and not blame the president. I have lived in many areas..few like trade as it practiced today...end free trade and bring back commerce!

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:55 AM

23. Are there more specific things she can say to Ohioans based on particular industries they have lost?

 

In Maine, our paper industry has taken HUGE hits. Along with shoe making, clothes making, and furniture manufacturing. All lost to China, etc.

What we need to do up here is explain just how we can get those particular operations going again. It may involve converting some mills. Some jobs in some places have already returned from overseas because wages are increasing there and shipping costs here are less. So it can be profitable again. In Maine we can make some shoes and very nice furniture again using local wood. We can also increase biofuels production in some of these old paper mills.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:17 AM

14. How do you suggest explaining to people clearly how jobs are going to be brought back?

 

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:11 AM

10. Also, the TPP is life and death here

The only thing that saved this entire region was Lordstown (General Motors). The TPP will certainly drive auto jobs overseas and this area would be ruined. We came here in August of 08...a few weeks after we moved here...hubs was laid off...American autos fought to survive. The entire area shut down basically... even the malls were empty in the weeks before a really terrible Christmas. Honestly, Hubs and I considered driving off a bridge so the kids would not starve. We didn't and survived, but trade and the TPP are really important issues here. President Obama saved many people's jobs here with the auto bailout and used political capital to do so...I will be forever grateful. I believe President Obama saved the economy. And for those who bash him on TPP, he ran on supporting trade agreements...I voted for him anyway and am glad I did so.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #10)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:16 AM

12. Working class people need to made to see that Republicans LOVE "free trade" and always have and have

 

done NOTHING for them. This is where Dems have fallen short with their messaging.

And it's true. When people are in financial distress, they do turn to their traditions and seek refuge in their culture, religion, etc. And Republicans are good at saying, "We will make sure you always have your guns and your Bibles (even if we help send your jobs to China)".

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:24 AM

16. Yes, but the Dems have been for free trade also.

Obama is for the TPP and supports trade agreements. So we have a liar Trump who claims he will not sign TPP and will improve or get rid of bad trade agreement...He won't do it...but desperate people might give it a shot.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:28 AM

18. I said that Dems have been inconsistent on the kind of class populism that should be our CORE.

 

And we need to fix it. Obama is out of step on the TPP.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:34 AM

19. I agree. People vote for Democrats despite their views of trade not because of such views.

We vote for the entire package generally...but here in Ohio, people may see a chance that Trump will really be better on trade...he won't, and he is a liar...but that is why this state is close.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:36 AM

20. If you were Hillary standing in front of displaced Ohio workers, exactly what would you say to them?

 

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 10:52 AM

22. Yep. I think that's the main reason that Ohio is a close race at all.

I still think Ohio will go blue in November, but it will probably be close.

By the way, I'm logging off after this post to get ready for the Ohio State game. Lol.

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Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 09:18 AM

6. My husband works for the railroad

and many of his co workers will vote for Trump. They are upset because of all the furloughs. This year they closed a lot of the terminals that deal with coal. The workers blame Obama for the issues with coal. The union usually recommends that the workers vote a certain way but the workers do what they want.

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Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 11:02 AM

24. They need honest reality

The fact is with automation, even if manufacturing comes back big, there won't be nearly as many jobs because so much work, especially repetitive work, is automated. In my area, a major oil company is building a gigantic ethane cracker plant. I can only imagine the construction site must be like when the big steel companies built their mills years ago. For this huge complex, the company might create 600 jobs. 50 years ago, it might have been several thousand jobs, but not today.

These older blue collar workers need to know that the reality is their way of life is disappearing. There won't be a lot of the jobs for which they are trained and know how to do.

Clinton hasn't focused on it much, but her plan to get people into the trades, skilled and unskilled, is the right approach. If your company needs electrical work, or plumbing or remodeling, they won't be calling to China or Mexico or India to do that job.

The other thing that needs to be done is to reassure these workers who's way of life is disappearing that their pensions and retirements are secure. Making sure the federal pension guarantee fund is fully funded so no fairly negotiated benefits are ever taken away. It's a way of saying American appreciates all you do and have done to make us an economic power and we'll make sure you are taken care of as the economy transitions to automation and technology driven industries.

Right now these workers are scared. They don't know what the future holds.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 11:39 AM

25. I agree but also need to get more and NEW manufacturing going. Can't be what it once was, but also

 

doesn't have to be as bad as it is.

We have lost paper mills in Maine not just due to foreign competition. There is also less need for paper, and new machines don't need as many workers. We have one mill in particular running strong, but they sell all over the world and produce more than ever but don't need as many workers because the machines are so much more efficient.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #25)


Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 12:20 PM

26. Great insights

Thanks

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Response to RBInMaine (Original post)

Sat Oct 1, 2016, 12:58 PM

27. After giving the message, we then have to follow through.

For too many years Democrats have been happy to campaign for the middle class vote by saying the right things, but with little follow through, and many times, were in agreement with the opposite party.

Also, the message for poor working whites is the same we need for poor working everyone. Jobs, good jobs, pensions, health care, quality schools. The rich and elite have gotten theirs, it is time we got ours.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying both parties are the same. But, we need to pay more than lip service to the working poor.

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