2008 April 20 Sunday
Dennis Dale On Condescending Elite Flattery And Code Speak

Dennis Dale has written an excellent essay on the occasional slips of the masks our elites wear as they look down on us.

Too bad we the public cannot conspire, away from the calculating gaze of the political/media class, to pay no heed at all to "gaffes." To starve them once and for all of the raw material of manufactured controversy, a random bludgeon of opportunity that only serves to introduce an element of caprice into politics and further chill our already tepid national discourse. No, occasional disciplinary lapses into honesty should be encouraged and welcome for what they often are: the brief lifting of the veil of rhetorical obscurity between the people and the governing elite.

After explaining that Obama's candidacy is built upon a circle of flattery (go read it) Dennis then gets down to how Obama's gaffe was basically to slip out of code-speak and say more bluntly something he's said many times in code.

Senator Obama said nothing he hasn't said a thousand coded times before, assuring one group its resentment of another is proof of its righteousness. There are two distinct groups he must appease with demagogy, blacks and self-styled liberals; the same bogeyman template works well for both: gun-toting, God-fearing, white. The Wonder Brother could give the Clinton in this race a lesson in triangulation.

Yes, Obama's "gaffe" is evidence of elitist disdain, but it distinguishes him in no way from his peers. Exacting a political price for it is a sort of censorship, nothing more, and only serves to sink us further into obscurity. Barack Obama said nothing he and the political class doesn't take so much for granted that occasionally they will let it slip: the conservative white middle class is another nation with conflicting interests. They are to be humored and isolated politically, wherever possible, but, rest assured, they will not upset the order and progress of things. Their concerns are the delusional product of their ignorance and mean state, born of inferiority. But we can still congratulate ourselves for the enlightened pity we feel for them.

This, in a nutshell, is the main reason why I do not want an Obama presidency. My problem is that I have very compelling reasons to not want a Hillary Clinton presidency or a John McCain presidency either. They look upon me with disdain to varying degrees as well. But Obama takes it further. He much more profoundly does not believe he's part of the same group as I am. From his rough (snicker) upbringing in Hawaii he's built up a model of victimized black guy and I, as a white guy, am in the club that victimizes him. Well, I think blacks in America ought to look at African countries which have few white people on the ground and ask themselves if they really are getting a bad deal by co-occupying a country with a majority white population. I think we deliver huge benefits and take a lot of costs in response (e.g. more real victimization of whites by black criminals and racial preferences which discriminate against whites).

Now we are expected (by condescending white liberals and assorted other fools) to accept the prospect of President Obama with excitement. We'll be ruled by a better. Gimme a break. American politics is built on large stacks of lies. Gotta agree with Dennis. It would be far easier if gaffe-speak was the norm. The truth of what our elites really believe would be easier to take if they were more honest about it.

To my readers who are Democrats: Read Dennis' next paragraph that I do not quote here. How can you get excited about your party as a source of greater economic justice for the working class? The elites who run the Democratic Party are just as much enemies of the white working class as are corporate lobbies working for cheap labor. You delude yourselves if you think the Democratic Party still resembles to any appreciable extent what it was in the era of Harry Truman. That party of our imaginations is dead.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 April 20 09:12 AM  Cultural Wars Western

HellKaiserRyo said at April 20, 2008 10:16 AM:

Randall, you despise elitism, right? So do you support populism too? Do you think that most people have the ability to have their positions on political issues derived from extensive cerebration?

I still support Obama: I think he is the lesser of the three evils. Unlike many, I am not enthusiastic about him, but I do like him enough that I hope he wins against McCain.

"To my readers who are Democrats: Read Dennis' next paragraph that I do not quote here. How can you get excited about your party as a source of greater economic justice for the working class? The elites who run the Democratic Party are just as much enemies of the white working class as are corporate lobbies working for cheap labor. You delude yourselves if you think the Democratic Party still resembles to any appreciable extent what it was in the era of Harry Truman. That party of our imaginations is dead."

I am a liberal, and I will be embarrassed to call myself a "Democrat." I do not think liberals are capable for oppose the tide of cheap labor because liberal moral reasoning usually does not invoke in-group bias. (http://cbdr.cmu.edu/seminar/Haidt.pdf) I do think an anti-immigration position will need to invoke that and I only think conservatives are CAPABLE of opposing immigration. I do think the liberal elites do have contempt for Middle America, but I do not see them influenced by avarice. I loathe the Republican "country club" elite and its Religious Right base even more. (The former are the antithesis of the ideas of Rawls, while the latter reject Hume. Surely, there are principles one should stand up for without selling out for a “tax cut.”) Do me a favor, support anti-immigration political positions within the Republican Party to make their elites irascible; make the Republican Party commit apoptosis.

So do you want to play games Randall? Do you want to point out the hypocrisy evident in both parties? It is probably something fun to do instead of thinking about a potential Malthusian catastrophe in the 2010s.

daveg said at April 20, 2008 12:38 PM:

I agree that Obama is the best option for now. McCain would be a disaster and would be another approval of the insane Bush economic and foreign policies.

I know it doesn't feel right, but Obama will not make any major changes other than to get us out of Iraq as the US corporate lobby machine will ensure nothing too damaging can be done.

Dragon Horse said at April 20, 2008 3:50 PM:


Obama never said he grew up "in da hood" or he was "oppressed" by "whites". If you bothered to read his book, "Dream's of My Father" (which I know you have not, but I have) he actually points out that in his Junior High class a black kid who grew up with him in Hawaii was complaining about "the white man" being down on him and he quickly told the kid he doesn't know what "oppression is" living in Hawaii. Unlike Obama's other opponents (solidly Middle Class suburban Hillary and Son of an Admiral McCain who went to a private military academy) Obama's grew up most of his life without a father (step father or otherwise), saw his real father only 2 times in his childhood and his mother was on welfare at times after her second marriage while trying to take care of her two kids and finish college. Without Obama's grandparents they would have been really pathetic. His grandparents got him in a private school on SCHOLARSHIP!

I’m from small town Midwest, as is most of my close family and I can say pretty confidently he is not far off. The truth is that good paying jobs started to leave in the 1980’s and never came back, that is why my hometown is half the size it used to be and a lot of the remainder are old people. Those jobs did not come back during the Bush (the elder) years, they didn’t come back during the Clinton years, and they didn’t come back during George W. Those jobs were mostly manufacturing and were shipped overseas or the plants closed due to being uncompetitive in the global market. It is also true that any place in the world where the economy is bad (and especially where people come from fairly homogeneous communities, which tends to be in rural areas) people become more traditional, xenophobic (especially toward those who they feel are trying to take their jobs), and yes “bitter”. In some of these towns driving a Japanese car in the 1980’s could get your car “keyed” or get you publicly criticized for driving a “rice burner” but that has nothing to do with xenophobia right? Duh…who doesn’t know that? To say that is not politically correct…well…maybe it is though. It just depends on your melanin content.

I also find the narrative interesting, it is so common in the media that rural uneducated whites (especially in the Rust Belt) are poor because the government failed, them big business betrayed them. Some of these towns have very high population of meth users and alcohol abuse as well. These folks were “failed”…black people are poor however because something is “wrong with them”. I saw one pundit say something like that on MSNBC…it got dead silence. No one asks why these rural white people can’t go to college, have families they can afford, relocate, stop reproducing so early, stop drinking, stop meth abuse, stop going to jail, stop bar fighting, get your kids to study and finish high school, etc. I never here that in the media in regard to why these folks are poor. Nope, they are poor because the government failed them. I seemed to remember seeing data showing jobs moving out of the inner-cities in the 1960’s….oh wait maybe that was my imagination…I seem to remember labor unions having some problems with admitting certain workers…I seem to remember houses in areas closer to jobs that have moved being refused to be sold to people…naw…definitely my imagination.

To reinforce this let me add these quotes below, that are very telling where Clinton and Webb said pretty much what Obama said years ago in more aggressive language and no one thought it was offensive. Why? Hmmm…like I said “he ain’t on their team”…oh and so did the new Democratic Senator from VA, who also seemed to have no problem winning Appalachian areas of the state although he made even stronger comments than Obama and Clinton (that is at the bottom).

In a lot of ways that might be good for the country. This election, in a lot of ways is airing the countries dirty laundry. I see this as a good thing.

Read what Clinton said in 1992

Read what VA Senator Webb said a couple of years ago

"The reason (George H. W. Bush's tactic) works so well now is that you have all these economically insecure white people who are scared to death," Clinton was quoted saying by the Los Angeles Times in September 1991.

A couple months later, Joe Klein, writing for the Sunday Times, reported that Clinton made the following remarks:

"You know, he [Bush] wants to divide us over race. I'm from the South. I understand this. This quota deal they're gonna pull in the next election is the same old scam they've been pulling on us for decade after decade after decade. When their economic policies fail, when the country's coming apart rather than coming together, what do they do? They find the most economically insecure white men and scare the living daylights out of them. They know if they can keep us looking at each other across a racial divide, if I can look at Bobby Rush and think, Bobby wants my job, my promotion, then neither of us can look at George Bush and say, 'What happened to everybody's job? What happened to everybody's income? What ... have ... you ... done ... to ... our ... country?'"

"The politics of the Karl Rove era were designed to distract and divide the very people who would ordinarily be rebelling against the deterioration of their way of life. Working Americans have been repeatedly seduced at the polls by emotional issues such as the predictable mantra of "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag" while their way of life shifted ineluctably beneath their feet. But this election cycle showed an electorate that intends to hold government leaders accountable for allowing every American a fair opportunity to succeed."

Was it -- NEVER? I bet that's the answer. And who said these - Senator Jim Webb of VA - http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/ feature.html?id=110009246

I think if Randall was being intellectually honest and consistent he would say the same thing he says to blacks and Hispanics, to these "rust belt whites"...they are cognitively deficient and/or lazy and do not have enough self control to deal with their reproduction issues and go to college to get better paying jobs so they sit in these towns on their @$$ and we should do everything we can to genetically engineer them out of their laziness and ignorance...until that time we should just do everything we can to stop them from breeding and filling up trailer parks.

Isn't that right Randall?

This is where old Randy's racism comes out. Its okay Randall, own it. You would get more respect from me than hiding behind "race realism" and "IQ elitism". Reality is a lot of these folks in Appalachia are dumb as bricks and their SAT scores prove it...along with other factors I mentioned above that you constantly use to prove non-white and non-Asian inferiority.

Dragon Horse said at April 20, 2008 4:01 PM:

I should also add, before Randall does, that Obama going to the church he does, does not prove he feels "victimized by the man". He even said that he does not think blacks who are well off (like his children) should get affirmative action. Have you ever heard a black leftist say something like that? He said it a few times (even before he was running for president). His joining the church in Chicago is simple. It is the largest church and it is full of wealthy connected black people in the Chicago-area. There are other churches, but Oprah used to go to this church. I doubt Obama went very often. It is important if you are black and want to run for political office in the city to make connections there and that is why he joined. He can't say that now, obviously, but it is a commonsense to someone of the meanest intelligence who knows anything about Chicago politics. Him growing up in Hawaii and sounding just like a white man did not hurt him with the whites in his district but it did with the blacks, hence him losing to a former black panther once...this is all politics.

Randall sees it as evidence of conspiracy though I'm sure. LOL He doesn't see any conspiracy when McCain seeks the endorsement of ministers of the religious right who call the Catholic church "the great whore"...says that Hitler was good because he gave us Israel" or says that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment...or God let 911 happen because America is controlled by the God-less and feminists..."

That's okay with Randall, that is not anti-American at all...I know that because not once did he post on this and it is very easy to find this information.

Bob Badour said at April 20, 2008 6:13 PM:

Dragon Horse,

More point and fewer words, and I might even read what you write. Reference material would help too.

dennis said at April 20, 2008 6:23 PM:

Randall, thanks for the recent mentions.

scottynx said at April 20, 2008 7:34 PM:

Dragonhorse: "I think if Randall was being intellectually honest and consistent he would say the same thing he says to blacks and Hispanics, to these "rust belt whites"...they are cognitively deficient and/or lazy and do not have enough self control to deal with their reproduction issues"

Dragonhorse, you just assume without evidence that rust-belt whites have high birthrates just like poor hispanics and to poor blacks (to a lesser extent) do. Seeing where you come from (a liberal perspective) I understand why you would assume that, but you should check the evidence to see if reality matches up with your assumptions.

We know that matching whites and blacks for income does not make black rates of violent crime fall to white levels.
For instance West Virginia's murder rate is only 4.1 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2006, compared to a national rate of 5.7, despite WV having the second lowest per capita gdp of any state in the nation:

That is baffling, until you consider that West Virginia is 96% non-hispanic vs. the US as a whole being 66% non-hispanic white.

Matching white and black income does not close the black-white test score gap in schools either, not even by a long shot:

Test Scores Show Racial Achievement Gaps
"State officials said the achievement gap cannot be solely attributed to poverty level, which has often been associated with low performance.

On average, black and Latino students who are not poor are achieving at lower levels in math than their white counterparts who are poor, according to the state data."

The general pattern is clear: Less white social pathologies than black and hispanic pathologies even when matching for income. Thus, my default assumption would be that rust-belt whites in poor towns don't pro-create at anything near the irresponsible rates that poor hispanics and (to a lesser extent) poor blacks do.

Randall Parker said at April 20, 2008 9:44 PM:

Dragon Horse,

First off, try being more succinct and less long winded. You'll be more effective. Though as long as you insist on stating incorrect positions you won't be persuasive among people who are smart, well-informed, and not blinded by ideological faith.

Second, I do not see how I hide my views. Specifically which views do you imagine I hide?

Regarding dumb whites in places like West Virginia: the dumber whites have kids who are smarter than the kids of higher income blacks.

The narrowing of the gap between Black-White social conditions has not led to any change in the magnitude of the Black-White IQ difference in over 100 years.

How do critics explain the fact that the Black-White difference is greater on backward than on forward digit span memory, or on the more complex rather than simple reaction time measures—exactly as predicted by Spearman’s (1927) hypothesis?

How do they explain the fact that Black students from families with incomes of $80,000 to $100,000 score considerably lower on the SAT than White students from families with $20,000 to $30,000 incomes?

How do they explain why social class factors, all taken together, only cut the Black-White achievement gap by a third?

Culture-only theory cannot predict these facts; often its predictions are opposite to the empirical results.

How do you explain the SAT results? I explain them by a combination of racial preferences to boost incomes of a select subset of blacks and regression to the mean for the children of smarter blacks.

Posting on McCain: I do not post on the vast majority what that Hillary, Obama, and McCain say. You are delusional if you think I'm covering for McCain. I think he'd make a bad president. I would prefer Hillary to McCain. And I do not like Hillary or think she'll make a good president.


The most interesting thing is if you control for IQ blacks commit much more crime than whites. Controlling for IQ is even stronger than controlling for income since income is influenced by racial preferences and black successes in athletics and music.

Similarly, if you control for IQ the Chinese and Japanese commit far less crime than whites. What I would be interested to know: If you control for IQ what is the relative level of criminality of Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese? My guess is that the Japanese are the least criminal population on the planet. But I'm not sure.

JSBolton said at April 21, 2008 2:26 AM:

Elite condescension might be a polite, yet populistic, way of referring to a smear offensive of several decades duration.
What if, for 40+ years, the left has had no rational arguments for why they should have more power,
and this is the reason why they have to use smears: yahoos, racist fascist xenophobic obstacles in the way of progressive enlightenment and power, embittered by the decline of small-town life.
These things are done because someone gains thereby, and the currency is power, not so much the money,
which is hugely more easily gained by promoting capitalism, deregulation, freedom of dis-association and the like.
Recall that it is the liberal, sorry progressive, cities which are burned over when the wildest minorities are 'liberated'

averros said at April 22, 2008 1:35 PM:

Heh, the ruling elite has all the reasons to feel contempt towards the rest of the people, who sheepishly allow themselves to be robbed in broad daylight, without even offering a token resistance.

Quoting a song by Vladimir Vysotsky: "No need to show a knife to the fool; just tell him some tall lies; and he is yours".

Big Bill said at April 23, 2008 2:26 PM:

Dragon Horse, Obama did not say that "he does not think blacks who are well off (like his children) should get affirmative action."

First, Obama said nothing about affirmative action and rich black folks. It would be political suicide if he did.

Second, he did not say his children should not get affirmative action. He said his "girls "should PROBABLY be treated by any admissions officer as folks who are PRETTY advantaged" (emphasis added). He used weasel words to avoid being categorical even regarding his own children.

Third, he then watered that down even further by noting that "IF we have done [we haven't, of course] what needs to be done to ensure that kids who are qualified to go to college can afford it" THEN "affirmative action becomes a diminishing tool for us to achieve racial equality in this society".

Fourth, to further gut the idea he said "there are a lot of African American kids who are still struggling, that even those who are in the middle class may be first-generation as opposed to fifth- or sixth-generation college attendees, and that we all have an interest in bringing as many people together to help build this country."

Let me translate into Whiter speak and Black speak:

FOR BLACK FOLKS: "I am not going to cut off AA even to upper middle class blacks such as myself, although MAYBE my own daughters shouldn't get AA (after all, I AM a candidate for the President of the USA and sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty)."

"Of course for regular black folks with less than 5 or 6 generations of college (i.e. 99.99999% of blacks) it is clearly a different case. They ought to get AA."

"However, don't think that money is the only factor. I favor AA not just for economic reasons, but for reasons of diversity and equality of racial percentages. Clearly everyone, black AND white, wants to pay AA to get more black folks into good jobs where they can "help build America"."

"Until the percentages are equal and black kids have as much money as they need for school then we will not stop affirmative action. Of course blacks and whites are identically qualified for everything, and therefore any difference in performance means a Legacy of Slavery exists and we have to keep paying AA until that is eliminated by the numbers."

FOR WHITER FOLKS (like Dragon Horse): "Rich black folks should not get affirmative action."

Don't believe me? Google black blogs. Then read Eugene Robinson, an upper middle class black for his take:


Eugene understand the subtextual message to black folks even if whiter people don't.

Randall Parker said at April 23, 2008 7:20 PM:

Big Bill,

Dragon Horse is black.

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