Mapping the American Working Class

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Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:39 pm

Thread title changed

---------------------------------

American Prospect
Mapping the White Working Class ...

To escape from this box, progressives must recognize that the white working class is not a monolith, but contains a wide diversity of political views. About half of non-college-educated whites identify as conservatives, and nearly all of them have become reliable Republican voters. On the other end of the spectrum is a small group of liberals, who regularly vote for Democrats. Consequently, most working-class whites are either completely unavailable to progressive candidates or (less commonly) already in the progressive camp.

In between is a critically important subset of potentially persuadable voters, the white working-class moderates, or “WWCMs.” About 35 percent of working-class whites have moderate or “middle of the road” political views, which means WWCMs represent about 15 percent of the overall electorate, or approximately 23 million registered voters. While Trump won the working class conservatives by an overwhelming 85 points (Clinton got a mere 6 percent), he had a much smaller 26-point margin among the WWCMs. That margin is double Mitt Romney’s 13-point edge in 2012, and this swing had a decisive impact. If Clinton had performed as well as Obama with those moderates, it would have doubled her national popular vote margin from 2 percent to 4 percent. Even if she had just lost ground among these voters at the same rate she did among white working-class conservatives, she would almost certainly have won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Several months before the election, I conducted a deep study of these moderate working-class white voters on behalf of Americans for a Fair Deal. We convened eight focus groups with these voters in Montgomery, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Appleton, Wisconsin; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rather than focusing on the presidential candidates, we held broader discussions about the nation and its political system, and explored both the barriers and opportunities that progressives face in working-class communities. Sadly, I cannot report that these sessions “solved” the puzzle of the white working class. But the research findings confirm the real possibility that progressives could make inroads with these voters in the future, and take an important first step forward in identifying strategies for reaching them. ,,,

There are many progressive policy priorities that might lend themselves to such organizing, including tax fairness, job creation though community investment, and affordable higher education. Let me suggest just one issue that usually receives little attention but illustrates the kind of concrete impact on working-class lives we need. The WWCMs we spoke with strongly embraced the idea of expanding programs that help non-college-bound youth get the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. This issue could really have surprising power as an organizing issue. Many working-class voters (and others) worry that public schools focus exclusively on preparing students for college, while neglecting the equally important task of preparing non-college-bound students for successful transitions into the workforce. They enthusiastically endorse proposals to provide quality vocational education, apprenticeships, and other programs that would expand opportunities for young Americans—including many of their own children and grandchildren—who are unlikely to pursue a four-year degree after high school. ...

Engaging this critical bloc of voters is an enormously challenging project for the progressive movement, and will be the work of years if not decades. Our research did not unearth a magic bullet that will transform white working-class voters into progressives. But we did find clear openings that give progressives a chance for productive dialogue and engagement with the white working class. It is absolutely possible to erode some of the barriers standing between progressives and white working people. If progressives are willing to engage them in a smart and targeted way, they will make significant gains within white working-class communities in the years ahead.
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Re: Mapping the White Working Class

Post by Foggy » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:45 am

One of every five LIBERALS voted for Trumpney? :o

Were those the Bernie Bros?
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Re: Mapping the White Working Class

Post by Whatever4 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:11 pm

Foggy wrote:One of every five LIBERALS voted for Trumpney? :o

Were those the Bernie Bros?
20% of White working class liberals, not all liberals.
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Re: Mapping the White Working Class

Post by Addie » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:00 am

New York Times OpEd
Move Left, Democrats ...

Hillary Clinton lost the decisive states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan by 77,744 votes; the number of Democratic votes dropped significantly from 2012 levels, and the Republican total increased by about 440,000 votes. The third- and fourth-party surge, however, was larger than the Republican growth, with 503,000 more people choosing the Libertarian or the Green candidate than had done so in 2012. When you look at the white vote in those states, the picture is even more stark.

In Wisconsin, according to the exit poll data, Mrs. Clinton received 193,000 fewer white votes than Mr. Obama received in 2012, but Mr. Trump’s white total increased over Mitt Romney’s by just 9,000 votes. So where did the other 184,000 Wisconsin whites go? A majority went to third and fourth parties, which, together, received 100,000 more white votes than they did in 2012.

In Michigan, where 75 percent of the voters were white, Mrs. Clinton received about 295,000 fewer votes than Mr. Obama did, but the Republican total increased by just 164,000 votes. The ranks of those voting third and fourth party leapt to more than 250,000 last year from about 51,000 in 2012, and Mrs. Clinton fell short by just 10,704 votes.

In Pennsylvania, the Democrats’ problem was not with white voters, but with African-Americans. Mrs. Clinton actually improved on the Democratic 2012 results with whites, but over 130,000 unenthused black voters stayed home, and she lost by about 44,000 votes.

If Democrats had stemmed the defections of white voters to the Libertarian or Green Parties, they would have won Michigan and Wisconsin, and had they also inspired African-Americans in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton would be president.
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Re: Mapping the White Working Class

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:18 am

More like mapping Iowa ...

WaPo
Some Iowans having misgivings about Trump ...

Of the six swing states key to Trump’s unexpected win in November, his margin of victory was the highest in Iowa, where he beat Clinton by 9 points. Yet at the dawn of his presidency, only 42 percent of Iowans approve of the job he’s doing and 49 percent disapprove, according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted last month.

That support varies across the state: In Eastern Iowa, it’s in the low 40s. It’s highest in Northwest Iowa, where 55 percent of Iowans approve of the president’s performance thus far, and it’s lowest in the southeast corner of the state and the Des Moines area, where only 31 percent of Iowans approve, according to the poll.

A 370-mile drive across the state in late February took a Washington Post reporter and photographer through a range of communities that mirror many parts of America. Along the way, more than 100 Iowans explained why so many of them are disappointed in Trump so far.

While Iowa still is home to many strong supporters who say it’s too early to judge him, there are others who say they voted for Trump simply because he wasn’t Clinton. Many Iowans worry Trump might cut support for wind-energy and ethanol programs; that his trade policies could hurt farms that export their crops; that mass deportations would empty the state’s factories and meatpacking plants; and that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would yank health insurance away from thousands in Iowa.

Godat has lived most of his life in Clinton, a town of nearly 27,000. Hillary Clinton won the city by more than 2,000 votes, but Trump won Clinton County, which was one of dozens of Iowa counties that flipped from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. That shift here and in other Midwest states was largely driven by white working-class voters like Godat.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by ZekeB » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:01 pm

Some, you say? I live in Iowa. They only listened to the part of Trump they wanted to hear. Of course they couldn't put two and two together when the trade issue came up in the campaign.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Volkonski » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:49 pm

‘Deaths of Despair’ Are Surging Among the White Working Class

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... generation

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Researchers who sounded the alarm on increasing white working-class mortality blamed the trend Thursday on economic upheaval that created a web of social issues so tightly interwoven that even successful policies would take years to unsnarl them.

Mortality and morbidity, which measure chances of death or illness within an age group, began climbing in the late 1990s for less-educated whites between 45 and 54. That came as progress against heart disease and cancer slowed and drug overdoses, suicide and alcoholism -- so-called “deaths of despair” -- became pervasive.

:snippity:

Less-educated whites are unique in their plight. Mortality has continued its long-run decline for whites with bachelor’s degrees, Hispanics and blacks. In 1999, the rate for whites between 50 and 54 with only high-school degrees was 30 percent lower than the mortality rate of blacks that age. By 2015, it was 30 percent higher, a cross-over echoed across age groups.

:snippity:

As opportunities eroded, so did institutions that composed the backbone of middle-class existence. Traditional churches ceded ground to creeds that emphasize individualism -- as a result, people feel increased responsibility for their own successes or failures. Marriage became less common as men became less likely to work, leaving both genders with less stability.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by TollandRCR » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:36 pm

Hidden in that chart is the extraordinary fact that while death rates increased from 1998 to 2015 for both white males and white females aged 50-54 with a high school education or less, the increase in the death rate was much higher for women than for men.



Why the huge increase in mortality among women? I think that no such increase has been seen in any other developed country. It is hard for me to see how drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide could account for this. If these diseases of despair do account for it, then there is despair beyond imagining in middle-aged women of the working class with little education.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Volkonski » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:02 pm

The Brookings paper is here-

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/up ... deaton.pdf

Apparently suicides, drug poisonings and alcohol-related diseases do account for the increase in deaths among 50-ish whites. Similar increases have not occurred in other developed counties (perhaps because of better social safety nets?).
That deaths of despair play a part in the mortality turnaround can be seen in Fig
ure 1.5, which presents mortality rates from alcohol and drug poisoning, suicide, and
alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis for US white non-Hispanic men and women (USW)
ages 50-54, and those in comparison countries.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by TollandRCR » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:07 pm

Volkonski wrote:...Apparently suicides, drug poisonings and alcohol-related diseases do account for the increase in deaths among 50-ish whites. Similar increases have not occurred in other developed counties (perhaps because of better social safety nets?).
But why are we seeing this increase? Why do we see it among women with less than a high school education aged 50-54? I see alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide as effects, not causes.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Volkonski » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:12 pm

TollandRCR wrote:
Volkonski wrote:...Apparently suicides, drug poisonings and alcohol-related diseases do account for the increase in deaths among 50-ish whites. Similar increases have not occurred in other developed counties (perhaps because of better social safety nets?).
But why are we seeing this increase? Why do we see it among women with less than a high school education aged 50-54? I see alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide as effects, not causes.
Loss of economic opportunity. Fewer good paying jobs for unskilled and semiskilled workers.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Lani » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:33 am

In the original paper, Figure 1.5 on page 48 shows the so called despair mortality rate slowly rising in the 1990's, and then skyrocketing beginning in 2000. However,
Death rates have been increasing for middle-aged white women, decreasing for men
http://andrewgelman.com/2015/11/10/deat ... g-for-men/
The published curves were biased because they did not correct for the changing age distribution within the 45-54 bin. When we make the adjustment we find something different: no longer a steady increase. And when we look at men and women separately, we find something more.

This update has not yet percolated through the news media.
:snippity:
All these reports should be corrected to make it clear that the increase stopped in 2005. Since 2005, mortality rates have increased among women in this group but not men.
:snippity:
Let me emphasize that this is all in no way a “debunking” of the Case and Deaton paper. Their main result is the comparison to other countries, and that holds up just fine. The place where everyone is confused is about the trends among middle-aged non-Hispanic white Americans.

The story being told is that there was something special going on, with an increase in mortality in the 45-54 age group. Actually what we see is an increasing mortality among women aged 52 and younger—nothing special about the 45-54 group, and nothing much consistently going on among men. Perhaps someone can inform Douthat and Krugman and they can modify their explanations accordingly. I’m sure they’ll be up to the task.
Lots of graphs in the article.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:34 am

Note carefully the role of education in the analysis and the graphs. This is NOT about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women. It is about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less. That is where the despair comes from -- the lack of needed education.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Lani » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:06 am

I think the main point demonstrated is that the mortality rate from all causes, including both genders and all ethnic backgrounds for ages 45 to 54, has been rising in the US since about 1998 while declining in the countries listed in figure 1.3, page 47. While higher than the other countries (which have universal healthcare), the US rate was dropping at a similar rate until the late '90's.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by RVInit » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:58 am

It would be interesting to know the political affiliation when it comes to this increase in suicide. I live smack dab in the middle of white rural Florida. These people are absolutely convinced that the whole country, as well as they, were in a death spiral during the Obama years. I know this data comes before Obama, but we also had Clinton before Bush, and we also had white rural Florida believing everything was a disaster during those years.

Thing is - my sister is a great case in point. During the Obama years she maintained a job, had health insurance, goes on vacation down to the Keys twice a year, has good relationships with her kids and her husbands kids, drives a nice, late model car, lives in a nice house. And yet - was absolutely convinced that her life was the disaster that Faux news told her it was - and that Obama was the cause of it.

My neighbors, who are almost all retired, subject themselves to Faux news every waking hour. Some of them drag their fucking teevees outside onto the porch and then I have to listen to Faux news or close up my house and turn on the air conditioning. I can't help but wonder how much all the doom and gloom these people voluntarily foist upon themselves from rwnj media is actually affecting their mental well being. My neighbors don't seem to be happy in spite of the fact that they are retired, live comfortably without having to continue working, and in no danger of having THEIR health care taken away - what the fuck do they have to complain about - plenty - according to all the media they listen to. And they believe it. :bangwall:
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Addie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:42 pm

Politico
Democrats burned by polling blind spot

The party didn't just lose among rural white voters, it may have missed them altogether.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by listeme » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:59 pm

I'm trying to figure out from that article whether the party's pollsters had results that were significantly different from the rest of the pollsters. I'm heading to bed but will try to dig into it more in the next day or two.

The writing is a little opaque or my brain is fried. Or possibly both.

Like the Bevin example:
The first evidence of the party’s polling blind spot surfaced in a governor’s race: the 2015 contest in Kentucky. Both public and private polls going into the election showed Democrat Jack Conway and Republican Matt Bevin running neck-and-neck — Conway had a 3-point lead in the final RealClearPolitics average — but Bevin won by a comfortable, 9-point margin.
Doesn't seem to support the thesis of the Politico article, and yet it is clearly supposed to be, you know, proofy.

Addie! I keep responding to your articles but I love them and just like to dig into the stuff you post :lovestruck:
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:28 am

A lot of blame can be put on nonresponse. The nonresponse rate has been rising in the U.S. since the 1960s. Pollsters do not publish their nonresponse rates, but I suspect that some of them have only 15% or less response rates. If those who respond do not differ from those who do not respond, all is well. If you believe that, I have a herd of mastodons that I would like to sell you.

Differential response rates partly accounted for the massive errors in Florida in Bush v. Gore. Republicans tended to walk past the exit poll booths. In addition, the pollsters had used 1990 Census data to draw their sample of precincts -- in the most rapidly changing state in the nation.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:52 am

No worries. I appreciate it :bighug:
listeme wrote:Addie! I keep responding to your articles but I love them and just like to dig into the stuff you post :lovestruck:
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by DejaMoo » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:42 am

TollandRCR wrote:Note carefully the role of education in the analysis and the graphs. This is NOT about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women. It is about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less. That is where the despair comes from -- the lack of needed education.
I often wonder how much of this discontent/despair has it roots in the USAnian cultural obsession with material wealth and the vastly increased exposure to other people's higher standards of living, initially thanks to cable/satellite tv and now to the internet.
The sixties and seventies were less obsessed with material goods, but that really changed in the eighties, as exemplified by the prime-time soaps and the show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Cable and satellite tv made it possible for millions of people who were formerly limited to no television or only local television to suddenly see how other, better-off people lived in more-affluent areas. I expect that contrast to their rural, less-affluent standard of living was and is jarring. Nowadays, instead of comparing themselves to their neighbors, they're comparing themselves to people with vastly more wealth all over the world, and finding their lives lacking. Naturally they're angry and bitter - "how come WE don't have it as good as THEY do?"

Another thing I frequently wonder is, if the US is capable of resettling refugees from other countries, how come we have no policies in place to resettle US citizens residing in regions with lousy economies that offer no hope for their futures? If we can't or won't bring jobs to the economically-depressed parts of the US, we should have a federal program offering to connect these folks with jobs and housing in other parts of the country. Preferably it would also provide them with a few thousand bucks resettlement money so they can actually afford to move. After all, that's one of the major impediments they face: they haven't the money to get out, even when they want to leave.

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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:52 am

DejaMoo wrote:
TollandRCR wrote:Note carefully the role of education in the analysis and the graphs. This is NOT about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women. It is about middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less. That is where the despair comes from -- the lack of needed education.
:snippity:
Another thing I frequently wonder is, if the US is capable of resettling refugees from other countries,how come we have no policies in place to resettle US citizens residing in regions with lousy economies that offer no hope for their futures? If we can't or won't bring jobs to the economically-depressed parts of the US, we should have a federal program offering to connect these folks with jobs and housing in other parts of the country. Preferably it would also provide them with a few thousand bucks resettlement money so they can actually afford to move. After all, that's one of the major impediments they face: they haven't the money to get out, even when they want to leave.
I bet the situation is not economically that bad yet that US citizens start fleeing their homes to look for jobs. How did that actually look back in the time of the Great Depression? When one looks at Africa in general, it's not the whole population on the move but the young men that are able to sustain a hard and hazardous journey on search for work. And it's often their family that pay them the ticket to gainful employment cause they know their men will send back the money to feed the clan. Does the American society still stick together like that?

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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by DejaMoo » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:15 pm

RTH10260 wrote: I bet the situation is not economically that bad yet that US citizens start fleeing their homes to look for jobs. How did that actually look back in the time of the Great Depression?
It's always been that way here. That is the story of America - the constant move, both families and individuals - in search of better opportunities. Even after the country was settled, people by the thousands or tens of thousands left economically depressed areas and moved to where the jobs were. For example, from the start of WWII to the early 70s, there was a steady exodus from the South to the industrial areas in the North and West.

But over the past few decades that has changed. America has become a less mobile society, and part of the reason is that it has become much more expensive to move. We have more stuff, and it costs money to store it or move it with us. Where rooms by the week used to be common place, and you just had to pay the week's rent in advance, now it's mainly apartments leased on an annual basis, requiring an application form (for which they charge a fee), then you have pass a credit check, background check, and be able to pay upfront the first and last month's rent, plus a security deposit. Most Americans simply haven't got that much cash to put down, much less have anything left over to live on until they land a job and finally get their first paycheck (usually two weeks after starting work, but sometimes as long as a month).

The exception is/has been welfare. People could move, hit the local welfare office, and usually get a one-time cash assistance grant, and sometimes, depending on their circumstances, food stamps and subsidized housing. But we gutted those programs, and without them, the very poorest are stuck in place, unless they want to throw caution to the wind and risk homelessness and hunger by moving and hoping to somehow find a place to stay and a job - as fast as possible.
When one looks at Africa in general, it's not the whole population on the move but the young men that are able to sustain a hard and hazardous journey on search for work. And it's often their family that pay them the ticket to gainful employment cause they know their men will send back the money to feed the clan. Does the American society still stick together like that?
I live in an area that has been a magnet for immigrant settlements since the 1970s, and it seems to me that it is predominantly immigrants who retain that value. They understand that they need each other's support in a way that has been brainwashed out of our native-born residents, in whom it has been replaced by the myth of total self-reliance.

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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by NMgirl » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:05 pm

Off Topic
This is perhaps a bit off topic but for those who live in the PNW, the Jacob Lawrence exhibition, "The Migration Series" at the Seattle Art Museum is wonderful, with Lawrence's prose as effective and evocative as the paintings themselves. I had a meeting in Seattle last week and felt privileged to see his work.

http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions

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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by listeme » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:30 am

Salon: http://www.salon.com/2017/03/30/new-ele ... as-better/

A couple of snippets:
When it comes to the argument that Democrats can win by promising more robust social and jobs programs, that’s exactly what Hillary Clinton did. As Vox demonstrated in December, most of Clinton’s campaign speeches were focused on jobs and the economy, not on “identity politics,” as her detractors claimed. Her campaign platform was the most progressive in history and included support for a $15 minimum wage and adding a public option to Obamacare.

The grim fact of the matter is that a certain proportion of white voters break for the Democrats when they feel desperate and need the Democrats to save them from Republican mismanagement. Once the Democrats get things stable, though, those voters go right back to voting their racist and sexist resentments.
There's a lot of disagreement about how we got here, and I don't think one theory fits all. I think this piece adds to the conversation, though.
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Re: Mapping the American Working Class

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:10 pm

listeme wrote:Salon: http://www.salon.com/2017/03/30/new-ele ... as-better/

There's a lot of disagreement about how we got here, and I don't think one theory fits all. I think this piece adds to the conversation, though.
I think this piece adds to it, too:

Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party
:snippity:
But the enduring Confederate influence on American politics goes far beyond a few rhetorical tropes. The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries.

That worldview is alive and well. During last fall’s government shutdown and threatened debt-ceiling crisis, historian Garry Wills wrote about our present-day Tea Partiers: “The presiding spirit of this neo-secessionism is a resistance to majority rule.”

The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.

When in the majority, Confederates protect the established order through democracy. If they are not in the majority, but have power, they protect it through the authority of law. If the law is against them, but they have social standing, they create shams of law, which are kept in place through the power of social disapproval. If disapproval is not enough, they keep the wrong people from claiming their legal rights by the threat of ostracism and economic retribution. If that is not intimidating enough, there are physical threats, then beatings and fires, and, if that fails, murder.
:snippity:

Tea Partiers will tell you that the Second Amendment is our protection against “tyranny”. But in practice tyranny simply means a change in the established social order, even if that change happens — maybe especially if it happens — through the democratic processes defined in the Constitution. If the established social order cannot be defended by votes and laws, then it will be defended by intimidation and violence. How are We the People going to shoot abortion doctors and civil rights activists if we don’t have guns?
...So the Second Amendment is there not to defend democracy, but to fix what the progressive “voters of Brooklyn” get wrong.
The entire article is definitely worth a read. It fits what we see with the poot/milita movements, including their actions and their rhetoric.

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