This is all the more reason to stop turning every Trump Voter into a caricature, and someone who cannot be "reached" by an alternative message. As someone who grew up working class and white, and has been around plenty of "those people" I can honestly say that I believe many of them are much smarter than your average liberal gives them credit for. Right now there is simply no message that even acknowledges their existence, let alone speaks to them - other than Trump's. That is a toxic situation, and the only real solution is a movement on the left with different priorities, and a break with the neoliberal, identitarian approach of the past. It doesn't even need to be a radical movement at all, just an anti-neo liberal movement with focus on bread and butter economics and the material conditions of working people would be a start. Right now we don't have that at all on the left, so speculating about the tough media situation really doesn't matter...there is no real alternative message out there anyway, not hard for "post truth" messaging to win against nothing.I want to agree with Fraser, but her article doesn’t factor in the current trend of personalized facts, where people believe anything they think (or are told by people-like-us) is true.
That has always been the case, that is why it is important to change the paradigm of the everyday discussion on the left, rather than simply expecting political leaders who lead some "movement" to do the work for us.I also don’t see her considering the very real, entrenched, extra-political power of capital; Reagan, Bill, and Obama, like congress, were merely acting under orders. It’s one thing to find a charismatic leader, but quite another for that leader to actually change the economic social order.
Let me give a current example of the kind of shift that I think this article hints at:
I have had a number of conversations recently with women I know about the all the sexual abuse scandals in the news. I notice that a central concern of most of the women I've talked about it is simply their lack of agency in the workplace to deal with situations (altogether common) where someone in power is harassing or abusing them. They feel (rightly so I imagine) that they would not be listened to, and might even lose their jobs or face other retaliation when they attempt to get redress for their grievances.
I note that most of the middle to upper class women I have talked to only perceived the personal dimension of the problem - that men "view" them a certain way, that they need more "male allies", and that there is so much "implicit bias" that many men do not notice the overall environment of sexism they work in. This is all well and good, it is good to know these things, to make more men aware of these things, they are real, serious concerns. However, a large part of the problem functionally is simply that they do not have the power at work to stop someone from harassing them..that is not simply a problem of the attitudes of individual men.
That said, as they say, shit rolls downhill. If middle and upper class women face this kind of restriction on their autonomy at work, we can only assume it is even worse for women further down the economic totem pole. In fact, funnily enough we rarely even hear from these women at all, presumably because they are less listened to, less visible, have even less room to speak out, and their stories rarely if ever even make the news.
I am not sure that awareness building, public call-outs and shaming, "ally conversion", or focus on men's individual attitudes is going to help that much outside of the liberal bubble. People have to get together, work as a group, and demand change in workplaces (you know, where most of this stuff is happening. ), and ultimately demand that women (well, hopefully not just women, but here that is the focus) have more autonomy and redress for their grievances within them. That actually involves unionization, or something similar - some sort of collective effort at bottom-up solidarity to support women having equal say in the workplace - beyond the lip service, tokenism and "diversity", and reliance on symbolic legislation that exists today.
I have hardly seen anyone talk about this though, even though these issues have largely occurred in the power dynamic of the modern workplace, the discussion goes always to how we change the thinking of individuals..while that might be a laudable goal, it is instructive to me that people on the left are now conditioned to literally turn away from the elephant in the room when it is time to get something done.