Two phrases have been bandied about in recent weeks that caught my attention. The first is rather trivial. The second speaks to a deeper problem in American thought processes.
Love Trumps Hate
Someone thought this slogan, seen on placards at the Democratic Convention, was very clever. Trump (Donald’s last name) is used in card game parlance as a card of a suit that has been designated to beat any card of any other suit. As a verb, it has come to mean “beat”. So “love trumps hate” is equivalent to love beats hate. The logical problem here is that the verb “trump” plays a POSITIVE role in the sentence, love trumps hate. We are supposed to associate hate with Donald Trump. But his name is actually used as a positive acting verb. The slogan doesn’t really meet its purpose when you think about it. Two other permutations of the sentence would really have been more to the point: “love hates Trump” and “Trump loves hate”.
White Working Class Voters
Each time I hear this phrase it irks me more and more. It is common terminology among the talking heads of both liberal and conservative media.
The working class cuts across all races and ethnicities. To constantly refer to the white working class is to suggest race trumps class in this society. Why wouldn’t black working class voters like Trump? Why should their race override their economic concerns?
More bothersome is that blacks (and to some extent Hispanics) are portrayed in political talk as a monolith. You almost never hear phrases like “black college graduates” or “black suburban mothers” while whites are sliced and diced to the nth degree.
This is a pox on our society because it reduces blacks to a simple common denominator – their race. Nothing else matters. But I suggest that the black single mother in an urban ghetto has very different concerns from a black divorced mother in Westport, Connecticut collecting alimony every month from her wealthy ex-husband.
Let’s call this what it is – racism, plain and simple. It is propagated across the media regardless of political ideology. As I have stated many times here, our racial problems are grounded in economic problems. The struggling working class black man has much more in common with the struggling working class white man than the black man living in Beverly Hills. You’ll never hear that on TV. Not from Sean Hannity and not from Rachel Maddow. In fact, not from anywhere in popular discussion. And that is why our so-called racial problems are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? The bar is open.