Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quote of the Day

In the New York Times, Dwight Garner with a rumination on Paul Fussell's 1983 book, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System --

For the tyro reader, Fussell dispatches early the notion that class has much to do with how much money you have. Those who’ve paid any attention “perceive that taste, values, ideas, style and behavior are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation.” Donald J. Trump is an instructive specimen in this regard.

The biggest failure of American liberal political punditry over the last 18 months is the failure to engage with the class aspects of the Trump phenomenon. Trump's supporters are seen as closet racists, ridiculed for "economic anxiety," and/ or a benighted proletariat voting against interest. Yet the connection between these voters and Trump's inner circle love-hate relationship with Manhattan is precisely where class comes into play. Proof that the pundit class has still not reconciled with this issue is the mockery of David Brooks for an admittedly belabored example of class signifiers operating through restaurant menus -- yet his point was just exactly one that Fussell made above. 

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