Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): January 2021

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A pundit calls Trump voters stupid. How fresh.

Kevin D. Williamson, a National Review writer turned failed Atlantic pundit, is brilliant. He shoves reality right into the thinking Republican’s gut. Sometimes, it hurts. And sometimes, he beats you with his snobbery, like in his latest screed.

He rants (and disappoints):

You Trumpish Republicans sneered that Joe Biden was too corrupt and too senescent to win a presidential campaign, that he was one part mafioso and one part turnip.

That turnip kicked your dumb asses from Delaware to D.C.

So you rioted. Real smart move, Cletus.

Williamson wastes hundreds of adjectives calling Trump Republicans “stupid,” as if that’s not something Trump supporters heard day in and day out since the moment Trump descended the golden escalator. Williamson proved he can use a thesaurus, but he used it to lob insults. So that’s … productive. 

Kevin D. Williamson in a dunce hat
Kevin D. Williamson is smarter than you.
And he wants you to know it.

The vast majority of Trump supporters didn’t riot. The vast majority of Trump voters weren’t in DC on Jan. 6. They were working. They were grocery shopping. They were attending Bible studies and youth basketball games. They were helping their kids finish up homework, provided to them over endless Zoom classes. They were matching the socks and folding laundry. And they actively avoided watching the news on Jan. 6, hoping to escape the neverending clown show that is our national discourse. 

They aren’t “Cletus,” though most of them probably don’t spend hours a day navel gazing about etymology like Williamson does. They don’t have time to noodle on the origin of the word “umbrage.” They’re too busy trying to raise their children and eek out a living. 

And they are ignored and abused by a political system that offers them nothing. At worst, they’d prefer to be left alone by politicians and policy wonks who started wonking the day they graduated from college and never worked an hourly job in their lives. At best, they’d like policies that spur economic growth -- the kind that leads to upward pressure on wages -- and policies that give their own children a fighting chance for a bright future.

Their kids go to a public school where less than half of the student body tests at grade level in reading and math. At worst, their kids are trapped in those schools AND those schools have been closed for nearly a year because of COVID. One county over -- even one subdivision over-- the wealthier kids are tucked safely in private schools where they’re testing above grade level and learning in-person.

Your so-called Cletuses recognize their children will not be able to compete. So they hope beyond hope that good-paying jobs will be available to their kids whether they are taught to read at grade level by 10th grade or not. They used to rely on union jobs and manufacturing. But those jobs are quickly disappearing. American manufacturers are shipping those jobs overseas, thanks in part to Beltway elites and their bloated tax and regulations proposal. In one of his first actions as President, Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline and with it, an estimated 11,000 jobs.

Many of the unskilled labor roles that remain in America are outsourced to international laborers through misguided visa programs that allow companies to import people who are willing to work for less, creating downward pressure on all wages. Meanwhile, Biden is opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants who are likely to become a permanent underclass undercutting American workers and wages decades into the future.

These are real challenges. Trump failed at solving them (and there are fair arguments that he didn’t really try), but he recognized them and gave voice to them. 

Williamson and his over-educated ilk could serve as a lifeline to people who don’t have the time, the educational prowess or the connections to speak for themselves. Instead, Williamson and most of the writers at National Review sneered down their noses at the voiceless. In doing so, they helped usher in the Trump presidency.

The Cletuses needed a voice. They found Trump. Or rather, Trump found them. And he didn’t do it in a vacuum. The Kevin D. Williamsons of the world would be wise to remember the part they played.