People have complimented my writing, and for that I am eternally grateful, but a long-time friend of mine described my writing as accurately as anyone ever has – she said that I have a gift for defining the obvious when everybody else is trying to ignore how obvious it is, that I can put things into the written word that people are thinking but just have not found a way to say out loud.
I am not terribly smart or good looking, but I do possess fairly keen observational skills, honed by stalking and hunting pretty much everything that can be hunted in the red clay hills of North Mississippi. First it was rabbits with a slingshot and snares, then a homemade bow and arrows, then graduating to doves and squirrels with a .410 shotgun and a Stevens No. 17 falling block single shot .22 and finally to deer, duck, and coyote with larger bore rifles and a 12-gauge shotgun.
I learned from an early age how to “read” my environment, how to observe and to learn from those observations – and that is pretty much the basis for my writing. I use those Mississippi skills in another set of environments, that of culture and politics.
So here is an observation from today as I thought about why it seems that there is a large segment of our population that is constantly told to just sit down and shut up.
I tried to reason out why people who have businesses and jobs and just want to work to provide more than a subsistence standard of living for their families, and to have enough left over to buy a few adult toys or take a vacation or two so the family can have a little fun are spoken to and of as if they were the cause of all of America’s problems.
It seems that this pretty much describes middle class America, and numerically speaking, there are far more in this group than there are in the ruling class.
There is no doubt that this “sit down and shut up” attitude has created a massive feeling of disenfranchisement as the ruling class ignores what they have done to this country, its economy, and its people through their policies.
It seems to me that what is happening is that the middle class is being told they do not matter because in the eyes of the ruling class, they already have ENOUGH. How dare they want more? How dare they want to succeed and improve their financial standing and their standard of living beyond what the ruling class thinks they should have. Don’t they know that trying to get ahead is racist, bigoted, and pretty much every bad thing that can be conceived? Do not they know that when they succeed, that is like stealing from those who are not as successful? Because in our opinion they have enough, therefore, they have no right to speak and they should just take one for the team and just keep paying their taxes.
It is not just Democrats, although they do make up a large percentage of the condescension, it is statist Republicans as well. There is a significant percentage of the Washington GOP who have as much distaste for America’s middle class as the Democrats do and that shows in their abandonment of the fight for this election.
If you feel as though you are voiceless and invisible (at least until you owe the IRS), you are not wrong. I cannot help but think about the person that Yale University professor William Graham Sumner identified in an 1876 essay as:
“As soon as A observes something which seems to him wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X, or, in better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X… What I want to do is to look up C. I want to show you what manner of man he is. I call him the Forgotten Man. Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct. He is the man who never is thought of…. I call him the forgotten man… He works, he votes, generally he prays—but he always pays…“
I think that is what President Trump brought to America – for four years, the middle class working men and women felt a little less forgotten. We felt important enough to be part of a free America again and less like a herd of milk cows in a government pasture.
At least that is my observation.