The Poor Right Winger

Originally published on Straw Dogs in the summer of 2012…

What do working poor right wingers hope to get out of slavishly supporting the ultra wealthy?

The move is well under way here in Ontario to dismantle unionized skilled labour.Teachers have had bargaining rights stripped and contracts made irrelevant by a cynical government willing to do anything to chase votes. It’s the votes that they’re chasing that have me baffled. What do working poor conservatives hope to gain out of supporting right wing positions that seem intent on wiping out the middle class?

I’ve been trying to understand the thinking of the working poor conservative in this. They think that supporting the rich will pay off? It never has historically.  The middle class has a much better history of opening its ranks to up and comers than does the aristocracy. If you’re smart and hard working and able to see things through, you’re almost guaranteed a place in the professional classes.

I don’t mean to sound elitist when I say professional classes. These are skilled laborers, everyone from surgeons and teachers, to nurses and mechanics. Yet these accessible, skilled groups are the very people under attack by right wing interests who seem intent on racing to the bottom in a global market in order to make Ontario competitive. Competitive? With what, China?

Nothing short of a miracle will get you into the 1% who are intent on taking everything for themselves, yet poor conservatives seem unhappy with anything but the complete dissolution of the middle class. I don’t get the thinking. There is a reason why the ultra-rich who are too big to fail are only 1% of the population.

Wouldn’t you want to keep the working, skilled, professional levels of society as healthy as possible in order to eventually join them? Holding out for a place in the 1% feels like desperation, the kind of thing an idiot would do. It seems like the story of a house slave who has been up to the big house and now puts on airs, acting like the plantation owners, thinking that there is empathy there. The rich-poor gap is wider now than it was then. Just because you like their big houses and how they act doesn’t mean you’ll ever see one, or be considered one of them. You’re a tool they use for their own ends, but you’re content to be a tool.

The working poor often battle one sided upbringings that make it difficult to effectively access the educational opportunities they are given (GIVEN!) by public education. I suspect this failure grates on them as they get older, and rather than accept their own failure to grasp opportunities, they would rather dream of ‘being rich’, and nurture an ongoing hatred for the teachers and education workers who they feel put them in their place. It makes for a handy target for a cynical government looking to raise right wing antipathy of public workers.  You have to wonder how far that cynicism can go.

The ‘I identify with Donald Trump more than a paid professional’ thinking speaks to an idealized vision the poor conservative has of themselves. One day they’ll be rich and at their ease through no effort of their own, just like all those rich people they so admire.  They’d rather dream of being like the aristocracy than roll up their sleeves and make something of themselves.  It’s a lot easier to fantasize about being rich than it is to realize you don’t rate as a capable skilled labourer.

Those skilled workers contribute to society, paying taxes, producing educated citizens, protecting people and property, and maintaining its infrastructure.  Only the rich selfishly leech from it, hiding their wealth and avoiding paying taxes at all costs. The idiot sub-class of right winger worships them for this and thinks it’s an ideal they should aspire to.

The professional classes are the engine of the economy. Shop clerks, manual laborers and other script followers don’t depend on their own competence, or care for standards, or invent new technologies, or work to improve their profession and society as a whole. The incompetent working poor grumble, complain, whine, and then vote for the right wing government that looks like it supports their own myopic self hatred. They swing democracies by the tail, bringing back a rule by idiot mob that any Roman would recognize. These asinine people support the ultra-rich, who consist mainly of people whose money works for them so they don’t have to be capable of doing anything at all.

I guess I can see why an uneducated, lazy jackass would sympathize with greed, self-interested and short shortsightedness.  These are traits that the working poor conservative share with the one-percenter.  How could the poor, unskilled right winger have anything in common with a firefighter, doctor, teacher or engineer who performs skilled labour that demands continual effort, improvement and expertise?

A new article today: Ontario the worst place for widening gap between rich and poor