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Revenge of the Forgotten Class


Revenge of the Forgotten Class

Alec MacGillis

In March, I was driving along a road that led from Dayton, Ohio, into its formerly middle-class, now decidedly working-class southwestern suburbs, when I came upon an arresting sight. I was looking for a professional sign-maker who had turned his West Carrollton ranch house into a distribution point for Trump yard signs, in high demand just days prior to the Ohio Republican primary. Instead of piling the signs in the driveway, he had arrayed them in his yard along the road. There they were, dozens and dozens of them, lined up in rows like the uniform gravestones in a military cemetery.


It was not after the theft from the authentically liberal-progressive Sanders but after the defeat of the neoliberal-neoconservative Clinton that this sort of response has finally arrived. That says a lot about why so many people have so thoroughly abandoned the Democratic Party.

Although MacGillis' tone here is mostly respectful, the emphasis on the lack of education reads as tone-deaf. Republican and Libertarian sites engage a lot of "dumb liberal" rhetoric too. That does not make it perceptive nor a good idea. These people were sharp enough to perceive that Clinton in no way represented them; the educated MacGillis appears to have missed that.

Because the party has ceased to be pro-worker and pro-labor, people who are tend to vote against it. Were the Republicans not so horrible, it would happen a lot more. Which party will learn this first? At the moment, I do not see much of a sign. There's something nice about Democrats waking up, but so far it does not seem to be direction.


It is hard for the Democrats to get these working class voters now that the Democratic Party is seen as the party of African Americans. And these working class people are more than just workers. Many are evangelical Christians find themselves in a country where they no longer seem to have a place. The biggest reason these people no longer have good paying jobs is automation. The US produces as much or more goods then it did a couple of decades ago but does so with only a third of the workers. And trend will only get worse as robotics and artificial intelligence advances. The days of good paying jobs for unskilled or semi-skilled workers are not coming back. The Democrats do not have much to offer these people except training programs and educational programs. Trump was able to offer them lies and many of these people with little else to turn to were easily scammed. They are next victims of a Trump scam. The Republicans now thrive on lying. Denying global warming is probably there most blatant lie but there are many others. The problem for the Democrats is how do you combat a party that is based on lies and have many people all too willing to believe the lies. The Democrats may be faced with no choice but to write these people off or hope they reject the Republican lies and turn again to the Democrats.


In addition to the fact that Clinton totally ignored the Rust Belt states these are exactly the states that gave Trump the presidency.
Check out GregPalast.com. He has followed vote rigging in both parties for years and has very interesting data on how these states were used to fix the election for Trump. Had these tactics not been in place she would have won.


"They keep us so fucking busy and poor that we don't have the time.": And this goes straight to the heart of it all. Could also be why so many do not vote.


I agree with you about those jobs not coming back. That ship has sailed. I've said before that we need to look to Germany and South Korea. The US has to transition from labor-intensive work. That's over for us.

However, I'd also like to point out that there's another problem, a pay problem. Those industrial jobs had good pay largely because of unions, and I doubt I need to tell you about the state of unions in the USA today. You rightly point out the tremendous productivity gains, but there hasn't been the same kind of distribution of those gains that happened up through the Seventies, leaving workers far, far behind.

So while we do have to adjust our thinking to a new reality about work, we also have to remember the very unequal pay that is the cause of so much of the resentment today.


Leonard Pitts called this article's forgotten class "the invisible people that both the GOP and Democratic Party had abandoned".

If you think voter turnout was low, it would have been lower if any of the other 16 GOP contenders had been nominated. Trump was able to keep himself defined as an outsider throughout the election cycle while all of the other contenders were insiders loathed by "invisible people".


What I got from this article is that there are a lot of our fellow peons in this country that just want a chance -- a chance to work hard and be rewarded with a fair wage that will allow them to have a modest life -- one with a decent house, car and wages that pay for those. I find it wholly reprehensible that far too many of our elected terrorists (and those who want to be our elected mo-Rons), not to mention our fellow peons, find it way too easy to judge and condemn those who they see as 'the other' when it is wholly probable that we will be right there with them b4 Trump's reign of idiocy is over. Trump IS a disaster, and he will BE a disaster as long as we allow him and his ilk to ride roughshod over us; haven't we gotten seriously fed-up with idiot presidents doing exactly that? It is way past time to band together and use our words, and back them up with corresponding ACTION!


Should we presume you are only referring to the Republicans and the Democrats? Socialists, Communists and Greens have always stood for the poor and working class. Time we start building a True Left Coalition. I'm getting busy where I live. Let's do it!


Exactly what caught my ear. Who on earth is this "they"? Our biggest problem as a nation is enmity. DJT played on this with his generalized charges and promises. I worry most about how people like this woman will react when DJT finds out, as he is already, that he can't deliver.


Yes, Giovanna. That is what I mean. A coalition outside of either party sounds fine to me.


I believe that ALL people were included in the Clinton campaign and that it mattered not whether they listened (which they obviously did not). The "forgotten" were not forgotten at all; they were just waiting in the wings because they were p-o'd that they had to see a Black man as president for eight years and shuddered at the thought of a woman being his replacement. Racism, ignorance, misogyny, and outright mean-spiritedness were and are the motivations for DT supporters.