Quiz Time: Who Said It?

Regarding the “irredeemable deplorables”—the white working class that liberals now openly disdain—a few perceptive liberals have pointed back to something written in 1998 by Richard Rorty, the “neo-pragmatist” epigone of John Dewey, in his book Achieving Our Country:

Members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.

At that point, something will crack. The non-suburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots.

Oooo, liberals say, wasn’t Rorty prophetic about Trump! Maybe so, though some other time I may review the ways in which Rorty was not always welcome or celebrated on the left, and other defects.

Meanwhile, how about this observation about the white working class:

They feel absolutely lost, defeated, and frustrated. They’re the ones paying the taxes for advantages they don’t enjoy themselves. They hoped to retire on Social Security, but inflation has wiped out its value. Everything they believed in is being wiped out. On top of it all they’re being stigmatized as the racists, bigots, and ignoramuses of our society.

And who do you suppose wrote this? Would you believe. . . Saul Alinsky? (In 1972, in fact.) I guess Hillary forgot all about her senior thesis at Wellesley about the greatness of Alinsky when she had her senior moment about “the deplorables.”

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