In the past three decades, the only two Democrats to win the presidency, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, were politicians who organized campaigns around rhetorical and ideological pitches that were designed to reassure voters skeptical of liberal values "" an attitude that dominates among white males. Even these victories, however, took place amid special circumstances, with the Watergate backlash of 1976 and the Ross Perot independent boom undermining Republicans in 1992.
I started writing about and thinking about stupid white men when I started this website. My first ads with google Adsense used the key word "Stupid White men" and google rejected the ad because it was a hate term. I persuaded them that it was actually the title of a best selling 2001 book by Michael Moore, "
Kuhn discusses the fact that since 1980, the Democrats have not been able to hold more than 38% of the white male vote, that, from 1948 through 2004, Democrats barely lost any support from women, but saw a 25% decline in white male support among the lower income group. Among middle class whites, Dems l ost 15% of white women but 29% of wh ite males.
The white backlash against liberalism, of course, predated the 1980 election. It was Lyndon Johnson, 16 years earlier, hours after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, who turned to Bill Moyers and said, 'I think we have just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.'"
Kuhn cites Lyndon Johnson confidant Harry McPherson, who suggests that the white men are responding to the Democrats the way a henpecked husband responds to his wife. When the Democrats raise their issues of inequality, the message white men hear is similar to "the language many wives use in speaking to their husbands, particularly toward the end of marriages. You never think of the children, or of my mother, or of me; only of yourself."
As portrayed by the new breed of liberalism, the white man held all the cards, and everyone else's bad deal was his fault. The problem was that the bulk of white men did not feel like dealers or players. They felt like pieces on someone else's table, and their livelihood, their family's very stability, was in richer men's hands, as well. Increasingly, as Reagan assumed the presidency, many white men, particularly those in industrial trades, found their lives marked by instability. This was true in the home, as cultural changes refashioned the role of women and the place of sex in popular culture. And it was especially true in the workplace, as many once-secure union jobs disappeared.
White males have lost a lot in recent decades, with more than half of the nine million Americans added to the poverty rolls being from white male-headed households. Kuhn writes,
These men are seen as failing to capitalize on "white male privilege."- Those who felt powerless, like so many women and minorities, were told they were indeed powerful.
...Conservatives came to validate a struggle many liberals had demeaned as merely the anger of the "angry white male."-
"Liberals didn't realize they had a whole constituency of disenfranchised people without rights who were called standard masculine men,"- Harvard University social psychologist William Pollack explains. "I'm not saying that all liberal Democrats saw these men as the enemy, but they didn't see them as the victim "" but these men felt more and more victimized."-- Advertisement -
Today, many white men continue to feel disempowered, distant from liberal mores and unmoored from the stability that their fathers and grandfathers enjoyed. Like others, white men feel controlled by bosses and compelled by fiscal responsibility. They take on thankless work to meet their obligations, and it often creates a sense of compromised manhood.
I've written about this, about cuckolded, impotent, angry white men, who use Bush's bragadocio like Viagra.
I See Stupid White Men. What Makes Them That Way? observes how white, Christian men between 25 and 50 are most likely to show little interest in the issue of voting integrity, when pretty much all other demographics demonstrated interest.
Back, in February, 2006, I wrote about exactly what Kuhn describes, the emasculated white male... and I was not very tolerant, probably angrier and more cruel than I'd write nowadays. But back then, things were very dark and looming fascism, with Republican control of both houses of congress... The message of the article concluded that the right wingers actually contribute to an maintain the loser, little-dick mentality.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Right Wing Little Dick Syndrome Like the dumb souls, called "little heads" in the movie, Defending Your Life, I see "little dicks" as dumb white men who use their support of pseudo-macho Bush and his stupid war and the whole range of right wing causes to feel more manly. There is a cure.
About the same time, in Feb 2006, I wrote, Redneckville "How would you feel if you could travel back in time and visit a rally in Germany, supporting Hitler. Would today's stupid white men have been Hitler Supporters"
"Like a time traveller seeing Hitler supporters in the 1930's, I see these average to below average intelligence, sports fanatic, gun toting, self righteous, hyper masculinized guys as a major part of THE problem. I see them as unconscious puppets, easily manipulated by the dark, corporate fascist forces that have been shaping the US since Bush stole the presidency. Call me paranoid. Tell me to lighten up. But I am no longer willing to be cheerful and friendly with these failures of democracy, these losers who have sold out our precious freedoms so they can, even if it's at a subconscious level, feel more manly, more tough, by buying into Bush's war, his pseudo tough, stupid, cowboy talk about evildooers, swamps and caves. These men ARE the swamp and cave dwellers, and they are actively helping to send the US into a third world era."
Back in July, 2004, I wrote this article, Cuckolded by Bush. Then I reprinted it in November 2006, just before the most recent election. The article description read, "Part of the trashing of a cuckolded man, part of the shame and embarassment that is part of being cuckolded is the reality that the cuckold chose his mate. He made a decision to commit to someone who ended up cuckolding him. Likewise, the person who voted for George Bush, or for slimeball congressfolk has been cuckolded-- betrayed, embarassed, dishonored, emasculated, taken advantage of, made a fool of...."
I believe its message is a powerful one that democrats could use VERY effectively. Here's a sample.
Part of the trashing of a cuckolded man, part of the shame and embarassment that is part of being cuckolded is the reality that the cuckold chose his mate. He made a decision to commit to someone who ended up cuckolding him.
Likewise, the person who voted for George Bush, or for slimeball (George Bush Senior's word) senators or congressmen (or women like Katherine Harris) has been cuckolded-- betrayed, embarassed, dishonored, emasculated, taken advantage of, made a fool of....
The cuckolded mate may rationalize, to avoid facing the reality of the mate's betrayal. "She made a mistake," or "she used bad judgement," or "she took bad advice, " or "here hearts in the right place and she still loves me."
But after two, three... five or ten times, the cuckold finally says "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" And finally, the cuckold leaves the life of the fool behind.
That's all it takes to stop being a cuckold-- a cuckold who says he won't take it anymore is no longer a cuckold. Facing the reality about the cuckolding partner and either stopping her (or him) or leaving the relationship ends the time as a cuckold. If you are a cuckold, then you have fallen down in stature, in self esteem, in respect, you allow yourself to be made a fool of. You can stand tall again when you stop allowing yourself to be cuckolded.
There are millions of people who George W. Bush and the Republican party have been cuckolding. And there are also million of Americans who have always seen Bush and his party for the cuckolders they are. These Americans have not been shamed by Bush. They have been disgusted by what he has done to the cuckolds he has duped and abused.
...Like money-changers in the temple, Bush and his cuckolding cronies donned the raiment of the holy, but underneath their shallow disguise, the Bushies were ready for treachery and betrayal.
Are you a Bush cuckold? Did he seduce you with his failed claims of fighting terrorism, or his false piety and political, not pious position on abortion? Or is he playing you, like another good 'ol boy, though he's really a rich new englander whose daddy has saved his ass time and again?
Any way you look at it, you've been suckered and you're a Bush cuckold. Worse, your participation in being duped by Bush has threatened the most basic principles of this nation.
Wake up. Stop being made a fool of. Throw the bastard who is cuckolding you out. Half of the population of America see you as a cross between a brainwashed fool and a stupid ass. Even more people outside the US see you as a supporter of the most despised man in the history of the world. Yes-- there are more people in the world now and so, Bush is despised by and hated by more people than Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin or even Osama Bin Laden.
What do you think of the people who supported them? Know that there are Billions of people who think that of you-- that you are a fool, a cuckold supporting the most despicable person the planet has ever known. Wake up
Kuhn's certainly correct. If the dems want to hit a home run in November 2008, they need to wake up the rest of the white men. Michael Moore titled his book "Stupid White Men." But they're not stupid. They're pathetic victims, as Kuhn says-- angry, frustrated, feeling more at home with right wing macho talkers who take advantage of them and pass legislation emasculating them even more than they do with the Democrats who have grown to target women, blacks and gays.
Hillary has the right idea talking tough. But coming from her mouth, the message won't reach these guys. She's the enemy-- the strong woman-- who has played a major role in taking down their world-- at least, so they perceive.
The NRA gets it. The swiftboat ad creators get it, when they use narrators with ultra deep bass voices to make their dripping with contempt comments on liberals.
I'm not sure the white men who hold liberals in hated contempt are salvageable. But here are plenty of white men who haven't reached that point, who can see what lost souls the dregs of the white male far right have become-- blind, angry, impotent-- and those who can still see, who have not choked and died on the koolaid are redeemable.
Maybe we ought to show footage of the despicable white male Gathering of Eagles (GOE) losers who beat up and kicked gold star father Carlos Arredondo-- after he tackled the cretin who stole his deceased (killed in Iraq) son's photo from the coffin he was towing at the peace demonstration. These goose-stepping neo-nazis are where right wing white men go when they hit bottom, beating up fathers of heros-- fathers who have the courage to speak the truth about the war.
Kuhn, to his credit, at least in the article, does not glorify these white men. I like the way he gets us to see them as victims too. But victims who commit crimes, like the GOE losers, should be imprisoned, just as there are millions of Black victims of social injustice, who are incarcerated. Instead, Bush honors these jack-booted neanderthals.
In 2008, though, if the Dems are smart, they will give the GOE all the media they can, and will show them as the stupid neanderthals who support George W. Bush and his rubberstamping right wing nuts. There's a reason Ron Paul is doing so well on the net and with contributions. There is a groundswell of people who are sickened by the right's willingness to throw away the constitution. Smart campaigners will paint the dregs of the right wing white men as dishonest, hypocritical, like Larry Craig, corrupt and brutally anti-american, embracing fascism and fear.
The Right wing lost last november because white men began waking up. Some will never wake up. We can use them to demonstrate where the ones with hope have come close to going. It's wake up time for the white man.