First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.
Second, people who work in the Trump administration have wildly divergent views about their boss. Some think he is a deranged child, as Michael Wolff reported. But some think he is merely a distraction they can work around. Some think he is strange, but not impossible. Some genuinely admire Trump. Many filter out his crazy stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist.
.. Third, the White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn’t tweet. The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we’d see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals
.. there are two White Houses. There’s the Potemkin White House, which we tend to focus on: Trump berserk in front of the TV, the lawyers working the Russian investigation and the press operation.
Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss.
.. The anti-Trump movement suffers from insularity. Most of the people who detest Trump don’t know anybody who works with him or supports him.
.. gets viewers addicted to daily doses of righteous contempt and delicious vindication.
.. The movement also suffers from lowbrowism. Fox News pioneered modern lowbrowism... “For Wolff’s book, the truth seems almost a secondary concern to what really matters: engagement.”.. In every war, nations come to resemble their enemies, so I suppose it’s normal that the anti-Trump movement would come to resemble the pro-Trump movement.. It’s a struggle over what rules we’re going to play by after Trump. Are we all going to descend permanently into the Trump standard of acceptable behavior?.. There’s a hierarchy of excellence in every sphere. There’s a huge difference between William F. Buckley and Sean Hannity, between the reporters at this newspaper and a rumor-spreader. Part of this struggle is to maintain those distinctions, not to contribute to their evisceration.
What’s driving it is the class culture gap.
One little-known element of that gap is that the white working class (WWC) resents professionals but admires the rich. Class migrants (white-collar professionals born to blue-collar families) report that “professional people were generally suspect” and that managers are college kids “who don’t know shit about how to do anything but are full of ideas about how I have to do my job,”
.. Barbara Ehrenreich recalled in 1990 that her blue-collar dad “could not say the word doctor without the virtual prefix quack. Lawyers were shysters…and professors were without exception phonies.” Annette Lareaufound tremendous resentment against teachers, who were perceived as condescending and unhelpful.
.. Why the difference? For one thing, most blue-collar workers have little direct contact with the rich outside of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. But professionals order them around every day.
.. “The main thing is to be independent and give your own orders and not have to take them from anybody else,” a machine operator told Lamont. Owning one’s own business — that’s the goal. That’s another part of Trump’s appeal.
.. Trump’s blunt talk taps into another blue-collar value: straight talk. “Directness is a working-class norm,”
.. “If you have a problem with me, come talk to me. If you have a way you want something done, come talk to me. I don’t like people who play these two-faced games.” Straight talk is seen as requiring manly courage, not being “a total wuss and a wimp,”
.. Trump promises a world free of political correctness and a return to an earlier era, when men were men and women knew their place. It’s comfort food for high-school-educated guys who could have been my father-in-law if they’d been born 30 years earlier. Today they feel like losers — or did until they met Trump.
.. Many still measure masculinity by the size of a paycheck.
.. For many blue-collar men, all they’re asking for is basic human dignity (male varietal). Trump promises to deliver it.
.. The Democrats’ solution? Last week the New York Times published an article advising men with high-school educations to take pink-collar jobs.
.. WWC women voted for Trump over Clinton by a whopping 28-point margin — 62% to 34%. If they’d split 50-50, she would have won.
.. Obama sold Obamacare by pointing out that it delivered health care to 20 million people? Just another program that taxed the middle class to help the poor, said the WWC
.. Means-tested programs that help the poor but exclude the middle may keep costs and tax rates lower, but they are a recipe for class conflict. Example: 28.3% of poor families receive child-care subsidies, which are largely nonexistent for the middle class.
.. they lived a life of rigorous thrift and self-discipline.
.. Vance’s book passes harsh judgment on his hard-living relatives, which is not uncommon among settled families who kept their nose clean through sheer force of will. This is a second source of resentment against the poor.
.. I fully understand why transgender bathrooms are important, but I also understand why progressives’ obsession with prioritizing cultural issues infuriates many Americans whose chief concerns are economic.
.. Massive funding is needed for community college programs linked with local businesses to train workers for well-paying new economy jobs. Clinton mentioned this approach, along with 600,000 other policy suggestions. She did not stress it.
.. Being in the police is one of the few good jobs open to Americans without a college education.
.. although race- and sex-based insults are no longer acceptable in polite society, class-based insults still are.
.. If we don’t take steps to bridge the class culture gap, when Trump proves unable to bring steel back to Youngstown, Ohio, the consequences could turn dangerous.
“The whole south campus of the school was built with football money,” says Murray Sperber, who has written extensively about Notre Dame football. That the University of Notre Dame today is a big, important, wealthy school — ranked 18th among national universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report survey, with the 12th largest endowment — is directly attributable to football.
.. Thus, my first reaction upon reading in The Times that the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, was threatening to leave big-time college football if the athletes gained the right to be paid, was to scoff.
.. I think Jenkins and Bienen are aiming their remarks not just at the public, but also at the California appeals court that will soon decide whether to uphold a lower court’s decision in the Ed O’Bannon case. That decision calls for players to be paid up to $5,000, which wouldn’t exactly break the bank.