The string of fake “attacks”, and political resentment

The Jussie Smollett imbroglio is only the latest in a long, long line of alleged attacks against liberal, left-wing and progressive causes and individuals by alleged supporters of President Trump.  Almost all of those allegations have proved to be false, made up by their alleged victims.  There’s a list of some of them here, if you’re interested – and it’s by no means exhaustive.

I suspect the underlying reason for these fake attacks is resentment, pure and simple.  The “enlightened” classes are furious that the voters of America elected Donald Trump in the first place.  How dare the “deplorables” reject the guidance of those who know better, and elect someone who’s so beyond the pale?  They’re showing that resentment by trying to tarnish both President Trump’s reputation, and that of everyone who voted for him, with racist and other politically incorrect propaganda.  So far, they’ve failed miserably as far as Trump supporters are concerned . . . but they’re succeeding in the sense that their own people, those who opposed Trump from the beginning, are all too often taken in by such propaganda, and in a knee-jerk, reflexive response, reiterate the same tired old anti-Trump catcalls yet again.  It’s a self-reinforcing echo chamber.

On the other hand, the resentment of those who elected President Trump is equally real – and far more justified, IMHO.  To explain, here’s a January 2016 blog post by John Michael Greer.  That blog has been closed, so this excerpt is taken from an archived edition of his post.  (You can find his current work at his new blog.)  Bear in mind that Mr. Greer’s words were written before President Trump was elected.

The dreary insults that have been flung so repetitively at Donald Trump over the course of his campaign are fine examples of the species: “deranged Cheeto,” “tomato-headed moron,” “delusional cheese creature,” and so on.

The centerpiece of most of these insults, when they’re not simply petulant schoolboy taunts aimed at Trump’s physical appearance, is the claim that he’s stupid. This is hardly surprising, as a lot of people on the leftward end of American culture love to use the kind of demeaning language that attributes idiocy to those who disagree with them. Thus it probably needs to be pointed out here that Trump is anything but stupid. He’s extraordinarily clever, and one measure of his cleverness is the way that he’s been able to lure so many of his opponents into behaving in ways that strengthen his appeal to the voters that matter most to his campaign.

. . .

It so happens that you can determine a huge amount about the economic and social prospects of people in America today by asking one remarkably simple question: how do they get most of their income? Broadly speaking—there are exceptions, which I’ll get to in a moment—it’s from one of four sources: returns on investment, a monthly salary, an hourly wage, or a government welfare check. People who get most of their income from one of those four things have a great many interests in common, so much so that it’s meaningful to speak of the American people as divided into an investment class, a salary class, a wage class, and a welfare class.

. . .

Just as the four classes can be identified by way of a very simple question, the political dynamite that’s driving the blowback mentioned earlier can be seen by way of another simple question: over the last half century or so, how have the four classes fared?

The answer, of course, is that three of the four have remained roughly where they were … [but] … Over the last half century, the wage class has been destroyed.

. . .

There’s a further barrier, though, and that’s the response of the salary class across the board—left, right, middle, you name it—to any attempt by the wage class to bring up the issues that matter to it. On the rare occasions when this happens in the public sphere, the spokespeople of the wage class get shouted down with a double helping of the sneering mockery I discussed toward the beginning of this post. The same thing happens on a different scale on those occasions when the same thing happens in private. If you doubt this—and you probably do, if you belong to the salary class—try this experiment: get a bunch of your salary class friends together in some casual context and get them talking about ordinary American working guys. What you’ll hear will range from crude caricatures and one-dimensional stereotypes right on up to bona fide hate speech. People in the wage class are aware of this; they’ve heard it all; they’ve been called stupid, ignorant, etc., ad nauseam for failing to agree with whatever bit of self-serving dogma some representative of the salary class tried to push on them.

And that, dear reader, is where Donald Trump comes in.

The man is brilliant. I mean that without the smallest trace of mockery. He’s figured out that the most effective way to get the wage class to rally to his banner is to get himself attacked, with the usual sort of shrill mockery, by the salary class. The man’s worth several billion dollars—do you really think he can’t afford to get the kind of hairstyle that the salary class finds acceptable? Of course he can; he’s deliberately chosen otherwise, because he knows that every time some privileged buffoon in the media or on the internet trots out another round of insults directed at his failure to conform to salary class ideas of fashion, another hundred thousand wage class voters recall the endless sneering putdowns they’ve experienced from the salary class and think, “Trump’s one of us.”

The identical logic governs his deliberate flouting of the current rules of acceptable political discourse. Have you noticed that every time Trump says something that sends the pundits into a swivet, and the media starts trying to convince itself and its listeners that this time he’s gone too far and his campaign will surely collapse in humiliation, his poll numbers go up?

There’s more at the link.

That resentment got President Trump elected, and it still works for him today.  Just look at the crowds flocking to every public rally he calls.  They’re not just numbered in hundreds, or thousands, but in tens of thousands.  They vastly outnumber similar crowds (or the lack thereof) attending left-wing politicians’ rallies.  The resentment of the “wage class” is still just as strong as ever, and that’s because the insults directed against it by the other classes are still just as small-minded, mean-spirited and bigoted as ever.

Now, consider Newton’s Laws of Motion, particularly the Third Law, which can be summarized as:  “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”.  These are laws relating to the physical universe, but this one in particular has proved applicable across many other fields as well.  In response to the resentment of the wage class, the other three classes are getting equally resentful, although without the same grounds for doing so.  How dare the “deplorables” challenge the greater wisdom, insight and intellectual understanding of their betters?  I think that has a great deal to do with the string of fake attacks on left-wing and progressive individuals, and attempts to use them to attack President Trump and his supporters.  “If we can’t persuade them by logic, let’s shame them into abandoning Trump by showing how racist/sexist/whatever-ist his supporters are!”  Needless to say, it’s not working.  The fake nature of most such attacks is usually immediately apparent . . . except to those who want to be fooled by them.

It seems resentment is now a major factor in the American political equation.  That’s not healthy, and not a good foundation for the future, but I don’t see any way of minimizing or avoiding it, given all that’s led up to our present circumstances.  Both sides resent the hell out of each other, neither is willing to view the other through anything except the filter of resentment, and both are acting in accordance with that filter.  That bodes very ill for our nation’s future.



  1. Resentment has been a tool of the Left for generations.

    We of the Right are finally waking up and responding to their attacks of the last 86 years.

    We didn't start the fire…

  2. It would seem to me that the left live in a bubble that they populate with the evil strawmen that they believe exist on the right.
    This bubble isolates them from reality and prevents them from an honest assessment of the right's true positions and policies.
    So they wait for the right to commit the atrocities that their bubbles tell them must be inevitable.
    And when such acts fail to materialize their frustration moves them to "help things along" because of course it was going to happen anyway, so let's just stage something and get it over with.
    But their detachment from reality leads to such over reach as the Smollett business and so very many others, believable in their own heads but obvious fakes to anyone with a sound foundation in reality.
    Long may they continue to act this way as it does a fantastic job of driving fence sitters into the conservative camp.

  3. I differ with you on one point here, Peter. While the Left resents the hell out of everyone to their Right *personally*, the Right resents the hell out of *what the Left says about and does and wants to do to and toward them*. It is the Leftists who see all opposition through the prism of their resentment, who call anyone and everyone who disagrees with them haters.

  4. I think some of the derangement of the Far Laef is being encouraged by the Democrat Party panjandrums in the hopes that the Far Left will commit political suicide in 2020. The panjandrums REALLY screwed up in 2016. Using the 'superdelegates' to ensure that Shrillary got the nomination was an exercise in anti-democratic elitism that might have been excused…if she had won. Her loss has to have made the idiot political insiders who championed her less secure int her positions. But the people who might challenge them for leadership of the Party are the Far Left.

    I think the Democrat panjandrums are encouraging the Far Left to make themselves look bad, having written off 2020. When the Far Left's antics cause a even bigger blowout in 2020, the panjandrums will step in, and show what 'older and wiser' heads can do….in 2024, when Trump won't be running.

  5. As someone who has been down the rabbit hole of bullying, I am intimately familiar with the habit of bullies to weep and wail, when after months of tripping, hitting, spitting, and assorted female gossip-spite, you stand up and punch them in the face.

    So when I read…"Both sides resent the hell out of each other, neither is willing to view the other through anything except the filter of resentment, and both are acting in accordance with that filter"

    I think… "There's another member of the salaried class who doesn't get it." And I'm salary class myself.

    I'm not sure my esteemed host gets it either.

    But I do believe that the justified resentment, dismissed as "just the same as those guys" and the abandonment of judgment (because it's hard, and utterly alien to the lefty zeitgist we marinate in) is a driving force in our divisions.

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