Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
March 18, 2019, 10:59:03 am
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Please delete your old personal messages.

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Politics
| |-+  Political Debate
| | |-+  Political Essays & Deliberation (Moderator: Beet)
| | | |-+  Yankee Values vs. Identity Politics
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Yankee Values vs. Identity Politics  (Read 854 times)
WI is Safe D
Beef
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5,844
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« on: September 14, 2018, 03:26:53 pm »

Yankee Values vs. Identity Politics
What the Right gets wrong about the Left, and how the Left helps them.

I am so sick of the way politics in the US today is framed. Are you a "socially liberal or conservative?" Are you "fiscally liberal or conservative?" Do you stand or kneel? Are you a sniveling "social justice warrior" only concerned with "identity politics," or are you a knuckle-dragging, KKK Men's Rights Nazi fascist?

What happened to wanting clean air and water, safe food and medicine, educational opportunities for all, fair labor practices and a safe workplace? Making sure that all people in all lines of work can have a dignified life, share in the prosperity of the economy, have a decent home, good health, and enjoy a retirement in their later years? Keeping people from going bankrupt because they got sick at the wrong time, or became disabled at the wrong time? Not having to choose between making ends meet and getting quality health care? Making the world better for coming generations? Keeping children safe from violence? Fostering peace and civility? Policies based on evidence and science, like doing something to combat climate change? Working towards a world without war?

I call these "Yankee values." These political and philosophical impulses are why people in New England, the Great Lakes, Cascadia, and California vote Democrat. They have nothing to do with racial, gender, religious, or sexual identity. In fact, these values have their roots in the religious values of the Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, and Unitarians who settled the Northeast and spread west. Yankee values do respect racial, gender, and religious equality, but this is because radical egalitarianism was a religious value. It was one of the guiding principles that our republic was founded on. And as this egalitarianism expanded to include more people, the fight to abolish slavery, the fight against global authoritarianism, the fight for civil rights - these grew out of religious values. And they were always considered core American values. Peace, justice, and the American way.

Republicans have been very successful with the message that responsible government working for the common good, working towards all of these goals, will kill the economy and take away your job. Or even worse, give your job to someone "jumping the line" ahead of you. They have framed these debates over good government and a fair society in terms of cultural identity. They tell you that Democrats don't care about us "ordinary folks." They serve the interest of minorities, immigrants, weirdos, atheists, and the global economy at our expense. And they'll call anything that puts the onus on big business and the super-wealthy to be good citizens as "socialism."

Then the Democrats take the bait. The Democrats call Republicans racist, backwards, and ignorant. They also make it about identity. And then it becomes an "us versus them" battle. Donald Trump's supporters say he may be an unsavory person, but he's on "our side." Those who get so upset at him, it's "those people" who are mad because they're losing. And the Democrats, in response, completely lose the plot. They counter by calling Trump's supporters "deplorables," describing themselves as a coalition of minorities, women, and "allies," and counting on demographic changes to create the "emerging Democratic majority." Which only throws gasoline on the fire and increases the divisions in our society.

In the run-up to the 2020 election, we are going to hear a lot from Republicans and right-wing pundits about how great the economy is, how low unemployment is, how we're all paying less in taxes, and how Donald Trump and the Republicans should be given the credit. Even if all of this were true (it's not), there is more to life than a paycheck. We all need a job. We need a paycheck, it's true. But people are falling behind despite earning a paycheck. People can't afford to buy a house, or are losing their homes. People are crushed under a mountain of student debt, or have children whom they can't send to college for a better life. People have to skimp on necessary medical care or mental health treatment because of inadequate insurance. Our children are falling behind the rest of the world due to inadequate primary and secondary education. The future for our children and grandchildren is being ruined due to environmental destruction and climate change.

Thanks to the "us versus them" framing of politics, we're going to hear about how it's only "those people" who are manufacturing pretend problems because they're mad about how much they're losing. "Those people" are inventing issues like climate change, systemic racism, rape culture, and patriarchy because they're a bunch of socialist losers who don't care about "people like us." When really, the only people who have to benefit from downplaying these issues are the ultra-wealthy. The ultra-wealthy never have to worry about whether they can afford a house, get adequate medical care, or get the best education. They don't have to worry about rotting communities or racial hatred because they can just move someplace nicer. They can send their children to the finest private schools without a worry about the public ones. Their primary concerns are the success of their business enterprises, and paying as little in tax as possible. That's not to say the ultra-wealthy are bad people. That's not to say they don't care about the common good. But their interests are not the same as everyone else's.

Now, don't get me wrong: women's rights, LGBT rights, police brutality, the mass incarceration of people of color, systemic racism and bigotry in general, these are vital issues and need to be front and center. But it's time to start framing the debate in terms of the public good, social progress, and opportunity for all Americans. The struggle for justice and equality is an American struggle. This is the struggle of the urban poor, middle class suburbanites, farmers in Kansas, and investment bankers on Wall Street alike. This is about all of us.
Logged
darklordoftech
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 3,719
United States


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 03:50:09 pm »

Something you touch on that I love to talk about: People often think that today's Religious Right is descended from the Puritans, but that isn't true. In truth, the Religious Right is a mixture of slaveowner culture and Scotch-Irish culture while today's "blue state America" is a mixture of Puritan culture, Quaker culture, and the cultures of various immigrant groups. The Puritans valued education, didn't care for westward expansion, and frowned upon gun dueling.
Logged
Associate Justice PiT
PiT (The Physicist)
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 28,582
United States


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 04:02:29 pm »

     Interesting essay. I think another problem that the Democrats face is that they frankly have not been very successful in enacting these Yankee values in the states where they hold power. Just look at this graph of the states by income inequality:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/12/us-states-with-the-highest-levels-of-income-inequality.html
Img


   The three best states for income inequality vote Republican while the liberal strongholds of California and New York are among the worst. Looking at it overall, there is little partisan correlation. You're right that this isn't the only metric of inequality or the only thing that matters in life, but for how much the Democrats talk about this being a problem you would think they would have made more progress on it. Further down the same page, you get this graph:

Img


     I live in the Bay Area, and the crunch is far too real. I see it devolving in almost real time into a dystopia where only "techbros" can really thrive as the cost of housing balloons, and people outside of the tech subculture are becoming increasingly angry over it. Given that we are running up on almost seven years since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, the outrageous cost of living and deep social problems that persist in many of this country's liberal strongholds renders the authority of the Democrats to speak to these values highly suspect. In other words, the Democrats are not making a good case for why the voters should trust them to act in their interests.
Logged
Beet
Moderator
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 24,161


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 04:13:39 pm »

Oh, wow. California is even worse than I thought. #4 in income inequality and #2 in fastest growing income inequality. That's in addition to the Republican criticism of mass numbers of illegal immigrants who contribute to it all. I can just imagine the Trump comments in 2020 if Kamala Harris is the Democratic nominee. He's going to have a field day.
Logged
WI is Safe D
Beef
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5,844
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 04:46:10 pm »

Something you touch on that I love to talk about: People often think that today's Religious Right is descended from the Puritans, but that isn't true. In truth, the Religious Right is a mixture of slaveowner culture and Scotch-Irish culture while today's "blue state America" is a mixture of Puritan culture, Quaker culture, and the cultures of various immigrant groups. The Puritans valued education, didn't care for westward expansion, and frowned upon gun dueling.

Yes, exactly!  I studied 17th century English radical religious movements in college as one of the focuses of my history degree. The Puritans and their non-conformist brethren of the day were anti-authoritarian and radical egalitarians. They eschewed the high church liturgy and vestments of the Church of England because they were symbolic of hierarchy. They believed in councils of elders (presbyters) or independent congregational control rather than bishops. They went to war against the king. They moved the American colonies and went to war against the king. Had they lived in the 19th century they would have been anarchists. Had they lived in the 20th century, they would have been communists.

One of the recent political developments that depresses me is what I (and other historians) call the "southernization of White America." Slaveowner culture was based on deference to authority, hierarchy, and patriarchy. We see that in the emphasis on respecting the military, the flag, and the national anthem. We see that in the South's worship of a hyper-masculine, posturing, strongman billionaire. This culture is spreading like wildfire across the country, and I fear Yankee culture going extinct everywhere outside of New England and Cascadia.
Logged
WI is Safe D
Beef
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5,844
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 05:05:38 pm »

     I live in the Bay Area, and the crunch is far too real. I see it devolving in almost real time into a dystopia where only "techbros" can really thrive as the cost of housing balloons, and people outside of the tech subculture are becoming increasingly angry over it. Given that we are running up on almost seven years since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, the outrageous cost of living and deep social problems that persist in many of this country's liberal strongholds renders the authority of the Democrats to speak to these values highly suspect. In other words, the Democrats are not making a good case for why the voters should trust them to act in their interests.

As I've said, the Democrats have been successfully baited into the "identity politics" framing, and have in many places abandoned the progressive principles that should form the foundation of their party.  Great, you're a member of the Silicon Valley tech elite with your wild glasses and rainbow hair to show the world how "woke" you are. Are you actually doing anything to help anyone, or just virtue-signaling to tell everyone you play for the right team?  Furthermore, big-city Democratic political machines exist to perpetuate themselves, not improve the lives of their constituents. They thrive on corrupt power and patronage, just like always.

But that aside, you have to ask yourself, where do the ultra-wealthy live? New York, San Francisco, and other financial and tech hubs. Of course you're going to find income inequality there. That where the people generating the income inequality live.

Then there's Louisiana.  Ah, good old Louisiana.  You could write stacks of books on the problems in that state, and their "unique" relationship with government.
Logged
Representative Carpetbagger
CELTICEMPIRE
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4,025


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 05:58:01 pm »

Yankee Values are better, and I wish there was a party that embraced them.  But they haven't been important since the GOP embraced the Southern Strategy and Democrats embraced Roe v. Wade.
Logged
Associate Justice PiT
PiT (The Physicist)
Moderators
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 28,582
United States


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 12:50:29 am »

     I live in the Bay Area, and the crunch is far too real. I see it devolving in almost real time into a dystopia where only "techbros" can really thrive as the cost of housing balloons, and people outside of the tech subculture are becoming increasingly angry over it. Given that we are running up on almost seven years since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, the outrageous cost of living and deep social problems that persist in many of this country's liberal strongholds renders the authority of the Democrats to speak to these values highly suspect. In other words, the Democrats are not making a good case for why the voters should trust them to act in their interests.

As I've said, the Democrats have been successfully baited into the "identity politics" framing, and have in many places abandoned the progressive principles that should form the foundation of their party.  Great, you're a member of the Silicon Valley tech elite with your wild glasses and rainbow hair to show the world how "woke" you are. Are you actually doing anything to help anyone, or just virtue-signaling to tell everyone you play for the right team?  Furthermore, big-city Democratic political machines exist to perpetuate themselves, not improve the lives of their constituents. They thrive on corrupt power and patronage, just like always.

But that aside, you have to ask yourself, where do the ultra-wealthy live? New York, San Francisco, and other financial and tech hubs. Of course you're going to find income inequality there. That where the people generating the income inequality live.

Then there's Louisiana.  Ah, good old Louisiana.  You could write stacks of books on the problems in that state, and their "unique" relationship with government.

     I would agree that the Dems are pushing back issues that brought the bulk of their base to the table, and this is causing them real problems now. That is why Trump was able to pick up Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; long-time Democrats who didn't think the Democratic Party was doing much for them decided to try their luck with him. As an aside, I predict that these people return to the Democratic fold in the long-term, and the #NeverTrump conservative suburbanites likewise return to the Republican Party once his Presidency is in the rear-view mirror.

     I don't know enough about economics to really speak to this, but I am not sure that we can simply make the case that wealth collects somewhere, therefore income inequality. Just glancing at this list of states ranked by median household income, it strikes me that the three states with the highest incomes are also much less unequal than average. In fact, there are three states that are both in the top 10 for median household income and bottom 5 for inequality (which makes them sound unequal, but these are actually the most equal states).

     There is also the Cost of Living factor. US News and World Report published a ranking of states in affordability. California ranks third to last in cost of living and second to last in housing affordability. Hawaii is worst in both metrics, but it is also excellent on median household income and inequality. I don't have firsthand knowledge of what Hawaii is like, but I can say from having grown up poor in San Francisco that the Bay Area is a very unforgiving place to be poor, and has been for many years. I'm sure it's not the only such place, but there is a real problem here that politicians aren't addressing for a few different reasons (and we have gone over some of that in this thread already). Regardless of the reasons, this goes back to my original point: Democrats are not making a good case for why working-class voters should support them.
Logged
The News
Full Member
***
Posts: 114
View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 03:10:35 am »

I have to have a good laugh at this whole rant about "Yankee values".  Now, I do agree that there is a lot wrong with the state of "Identity Politics" but coming up with a whole new term to describe what to most people should be objectively good things and then labeling it "Yankee values" and arguing that just one brave group of people are responsible for the success of it all?

How is that not Identity Politics, man?
Logged
Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
North Carolina Yankee
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 41,320
United States


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 08:10:26 pm »

I have to have a good laugh at this whole rant about "Yankee values".  Now, I do agree that there is a lot wrong with the state of "Identity Politics" but coming up with a whole new term to describe what to most people should be objectively good things and then labeling it "Yankee values" and arguing that just one brave group of people are responsible for the success of it all?

How is that not Identity Politics, man?

This thread lacks completely in the self-awareness.

There is a desire on the part of the left/progressives to identify a "pure" historical group who has throughout its history sought only good and then latched onto them as being their philosophical antecedents. After a whole lot of white washing of the appropriated group and the assignment of many faults in American history to the "THOSE PEOPLE" and you have this thread.

Logged
Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
North Carolina Yankee
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 41,320
United States


View Profile Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 09:21:11 pm »

History is made by flawed people, because people as a whole are by nature flawed. That means you have good people who sometimes do horrendous things. At the same time you have bad people do on occasion something great.

Andrew Jackson is a horrible person, but he is credited with the expansion of government for better or for worse beyond just a select group of elites.

Now here is the kicker that undermines a lot of what this thread was saying. If Yankees are the anti-authority/rebellious/egalitarian ones, than why was the whole of the 19th century defined by a largely New England centered party that almost always sided with the elites, versus a party based in the South and west that was almost universally defined at its core of opposing the elites?

The OP got one thing right, Yankee values were in fact defined by religion and the reason why these values and this group are losing ground to Southernization is because said religion has waned substantially in its influence to almost nothing. These regions of the country vote Democratic, because they are secularized not because they are "Yankee", and we live in a political era that is polarized based on religious fervor.

Now lets look at the dirty laundry. 

Part I: Immigrants and Religion:

These supposed egalitarian Yankees, were aghast by Catholicism, their opposition to the Church of England was because it was "too Catholic" in its trappings as much as anger at hierarchical control and they disdained such influences. So what happens when a bunch of Irish Catholics start arriving by the boatload in Boston. 1) You discriminate like crap against them and 2) you move to Michigan/Illinois/Oregon.

 For the ones that remain, you try to use compulsory public education to teach them the King James Bible and then you try to keep them from voting (And you thought the South were the only ones who believed in restricted voting rights). Early Federalists and Whigs (which yes included Plantation Owners in the South as well) were very much against expanded voting favoring land and wealth requirements, because it would mean ceding power and control to those low class and later largely Catholic immigrants. Once the immigrants started to be exclusively Catholic, then the class divide among Yankees evaporated and both joined forces in a political alignment defined by religious identity. Later on they would use rivalries for jobs and political influence among more recent immigrant groups as a wedge against the Irish political machines.

This dynamic lasted for over 100 years until the Great Depression and the Greatest Generation swamped out the WASP-Yankee led political machines in the cities of the North and even whole states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Anti-Ethnic politics also helped to galvanize support for Prohibition as well, which united Calvinists both North and South in support in the 1920's. Just as the same two groups (Northern Yankees and Southern Plantation Society) locked arms to pass the Immigration laws in the 1920's, as well.

Part II: Native Americans. While it is easy to think this is something that was exclusive to Southern originated folks, you must never forget that there is a reason why Native American Groups hate Thanksgiving (Yankee originated) as a holiday and often protest on that day. From the time of the landings on Plymouth Rock all the way until end of the 19th century, guess who was just as zealous if not more so in persecuting the indigenous peoples of America? You guessed it! This also was motivated in part by religion and it also a joint project carried out by people both North and South just like prohibition. 


Abolitionism: Yankee culture has one redeeming quality that sustains it about most everything else and it is the reason why modern day Progressives will engage in any amount of historical revisionism to latch onto the group while shirking off any traces of their other antecedents (Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson say hello). Groups that supported abolitionism did so for many different reasons over the course of the period leading up to the Civil War, but it should be noted that it was not because of widespread egalitarianism, it was for most of them, again because of theology. Some believed that slavery ran contrary to God's will, for others it was simply more practical, slavery was an impediment to spreading the gospel to the enslaved peoples. Contained within this was extreme levels of 19th century cultural Imperialism and white supremacy that would make most on the left sick. But history is full of good things being done by a mixed group of people, some of whom are doing so for the wrong reasons.

There is a reason why Republicans have for most of its history been a party hostile to immigration, whether it was based in New England and fighting for abolition or based in the South and fighting for the end of abortion. Over the course of that same period Republicans have generally been the party most favorable to business interests as well.

Yes when you shift your base from one group to another, some other aspects of the political culture will change as well as a result and that leads to others shifting subsequently in reaction to that. However, the reason why the North is Democratic and Republicans began the migration to the South with the Southern Strategy to begin with is because Yankee culture was on the decline in the 20th century.

1. Massive Immigration and low rates of birth meant that percentage of the population that was Yankee was declining.
2. Further complicating things is the Germanification of the North over the course of the early to mid 20th century through a combination of displacement and inter-marriage. That is why those census maps show so little English and so much German in the Northern States, when accounting of course for reporting bias in those surveys.
3. The loss of political clout and the dethroning of pre-New Deal era political machines meant that the Republicans could no longer sustain themselves in the region while being shut out from the South and Southwest.

The effects of this process meant that the Republicans no longer had a firm base that could dominate their base region of the country anymore and not only that but internally were no longer majority Yankee by the strictest definition of the term, as a lot of German, and even and other non-Yankee whites had joined the party by the 1950's.

Over the same period of time, secularization had a substantial impact on the same group of voters and so you had a now secular group of people on the one hand and a Republican Party that is becoming more and more Catholic over the course of the mid 20th century. Tribalistic rivalry based on religion had been what had kept Yankees Republican for so long.

The Republican's Southern Strategy and the shift towards a more Catholic base in the North were reactions to the decline in power of the Yankee demographic, and then by shifting served to intensify that political realignment over the coming decades.

I have long been of the opinion, that our present political ideologies and also the parties themselves share interwoven antecedents and origins and to try and latch onto one and say this is where all good things came from whereas all bad things came from everything else, is in my opinion a dangerous example of historical revisionism.
Logged
Fuzzy Bear
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 10,536
United States


View Profile WWW Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 07:23:05 pm »

I have to have a good laugh at this whole rant about "Yankee values".  Now, I do agree that there is a lot wrong with the state of "Identity Politics" but coming up with a whole new term to describe what to most people should be objectively good things and then labeling it "Yankee values" and arguing that just one brave group of people are responsible for the success of it all?

How is that not Identity Politics, man?

This thread lacks completely in the self-awareness.

There is a desire on the part of the left/progressives to identify a "pure" historical group who has throughout its history sought only good and then latched onto them as being their philosophical antecedents. After a whole lot of white washing of the appropriated group and the assignment of many faults in American history to the "THOSE PEOPLE" and you have this thread.



This.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length
Logout

Terms of Service

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines