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Noblesse Effete

I think one of the worst things about the Trump misadministration is that it’s pursuing policies that serve to elevate the richest among us, and blaming the poor and unfortunate for America’s ills. The worst part is that the middle that World War II created is rotten and decaying, so there’s an untouchable money clan and an increasingly desperate hoi polloi left. And the rich are acting so put upon by having to take care of its labor and consumer force. This has been an intractable problem since the inception of the republic, and none of us can afford to take off work these days to demand that they elevate us a little for all the mind numbing, back-busting work we do for them. It’s easy to ignore us, for they feel that things like high-speed internet are luxuries we can afford and therefore the working poor experience is not so poor after all. Never mind that we are all one catastrophe, even one car repair from maxing out our credit cards that charge 25% interest. A rising tide can indeed lift all boats, but that’s not how the rich play it. The dividends belong to them.

Nobody in recent memory has exemplified this devil-may-care attitude towards the working class like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his gold-digging trophy wife, Louise Linton. I am sure you have seen this, but here’s a really gauche example of how out of touch with 95% of the country really is:

mnuchin-linton.jpeg

That was a big moment for them, letting everyone know the heights they have been to. They literally have the money supply in their hands.

Now, this photo did not sit well with a lot of people, nor did they appreciate her bragging about the expensive things she was wearing at a political stop with the hubs. And like the spoiled little bitch she is, she reminded us how much they give to the country’s welfare, comparing it to how little we as individual workers do and how much they sacrifice-a spiteful, ill-mannered, highfalutin display of how not to do noblesse oblige. The Trump misadministration encourages people like the Mnuchins, and in fact is larding the government with swamp monsters like them. If you look at “President” Trump’s absurd budget, you will perceive that the rabble are on notice.

These rich motherfuckers haven’t the faintest clue how the rest of us live. To hear them tell it, we are living high on the hog in this country. And we have the nerve to be mad about it, to demand that our government be more responsive to our needs. Why, they’ve already paid your Costco membership, what are you bitching about now, greedy peasant?

Not being well off, or even simply working for a living has its share of anguish, but we little people band together-it’s the only thing we can do-and try to make this mortal coil a bit more bearable. It’s how democracy gets done. It’s how love is exchanged and created.

But today, Fuckface Jr. went to India and marveled at the destitute:

“You go through a town…. you can see the poorest of the poor and there’s still a smile on their face. It’s a different spirit that you don’t see in other parts of the world, where people walk around so solemn,” said Trump Jr.

He claimed the “spirit” of India’s poor “really shines through” and speaks “to the future potential of what this country can do.

He’s obliquely talking about our poor, of course.

See, Don’s a New York City jive turkey. Generally, New Yorkers, at least the Manhattanites I remember, didn’t have much time for pleasantry or a pointless smile. They were going from point A to Point B and you are in their way. And there are people in rags everywhere, competing for dwindling change. It’s hotter than Hades in the summer and freezing like a polar bear’s balls in the winter. Ain’t hardly a thing to smile about sometimes.

Then there’s the bums. Of course, not every bum was, um, solemn. In fact, some of them were quite lively-as a juvenile delinquent who made Manhattan his playground during the Koch/Dinkins years (read:before Guiliani ruined the place), we were often accosted by people willing to do goofy shit for a buck. One dude played television theme shows on a comb. Another one was a superhero. Buskers did what they loved. But for every one of those there were ten for which the streets of NYC were their open air asylum. I had a good time there in spite of this unfortunate tableau. But I had pocket money and a suburban New Jersey home to return to.

In a word, I was as clueless as Donald Trump Jr. about the nature of things around me. That’s what privilege will do to you. I was, to some degree, oblivious to other people’s pain.

And those are the eyes that Don Jr. sees through. Small wonder that he goes to the other side of the globe taken aback when he sees the impoverished smiling somewhere. Chances are they are grinning at him because he looks like he might give them money anyway. But people who suffer greatly often grin and bear it. It’s not peculiar to India, that I can tell you. Fifteen years ago, we broke Iraq. And I too was amazed at the ebullience of the people who were living amongst the wreckage that used to be their neighborhood.  Of course, there were also massive demonstrations full of angry people who lost their way of living because of the invasion, so a few people smiling doesn’t tell the whole tale.

In the end, it’s simply obnoxious to suggest that the lowest classes in America should smile as they wake up another day on a heating vent living on cigarettes and papaya dogs, or be spiritual about their hardships as their corrupt leaders let tax money flow upwards to people like Fuckface Jr. That’s not going to happen. Go back to India, declare yourself a raja and don’t return.

 

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