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The Liberal Elite vs. The Hourly Worker

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You can make the argument that the 2016 election was a referendum on Hillary Clinton and Obama. The flaw in that reasoning would be Hillary winning the popular vote. I’m not going to go there, but I will go into why she lost so many counties and the ideological fight between the Hillary voters.

What’s deplorable is a presidential candidate ostracizing one group of voters in order to feed red meat to their base. On the cusp, and quite literally, that appears to be Hillary Clinton. However, both candidates are responsible. Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” speech was both a label and a rallying cry for Trump voters. For Hillary supporters “Liberal elite” is a label. Shaming Hillary for calling voters deplorable is one thing, but calling ambiguous masses of voters the for mentioned pejorative is essentially the same thing. Even though it is a negative term that doesn’t make it untrue, just not on the ambiguous scale Trump sets. Who is are the liberal elites? To find a real liberal elite the criteria is very short: live in suburbs, and/or are middle to the higher class, and/or were a vegan for a summer. All in all these people have good intentions for the world. One flaw they have is that they view the world through their personal lens, as we all do, but theirs is more sheltered and gets rinsed in green tea and caramel macchiatos. These elites are usually college educated and they live in a perpetual bubble of others that are college educated when there is no physical barrier separating them from the people they empathize for, the poor. They have great empathy for all the poor and the environment as well as disenfranchised groups (ambiguously). That isn’t a flaw, but they tend to over compensate for this showing their disconnection.

The Wilson Post Fight For 15, Erick Jenkins Contributor


The white working class is what we mainly heard in the election and we still hear about. The coined “white working class” and the other races of working class equate to a group of hourly working citizens that are usually targeted by the Democrats. In large, they are usually consolidated by the Democratic party. However, this group has disdain for the “elites”, or in Trump, voters view “liberal elites” because they come off as thinking they are better than the hourly worker. Which if my profile of a liberal elite is correct, then it’s not true. Only 30% of our population is college educated and less than that have professional degrees. So most of the population is actually an hourly worker or working class. Working class ranges from 22 to about 50 making this group demographically diverse, but they hold similar family values and religious beliefs. In the 2016 campaign, this group was won over by two candidates: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Hillary’s supporters in unison would want to know why and how then make a moral argument against Trump and a credentials argument against Bernie. The fact of the matter is in the real world to these people that don’t matter. These people want a sustainable wage, jobs, family security, and someone they relate to as a president or leader. Trump and Bernie tapped into their desires and fantasies. I characterized them as fantasy because neither of these candidates could, or now, can actually do these things in the office of president due to ties in the Senate and Congress being weak for various reasons. Lastly, the working class does not understand or care to understand the complexities of the Presidency. When they see a politician they vote for candidates that speak their truth.

What’s your take on these two? How do we bridge the gap? Are these wrong characterizations of these groups? Let me know on social media:

Twitter: @thereal_erickj

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