Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Realisation is growing amongst greens that the left has lost touch with the working class, particularly the white working class – but how do greens reach out to people whom they openly describe as “deplorable”?
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, a strong supporter of Al Gore and climate action, in my opinion pretty much sums up the cultural position of greens towards working class people, particularly white working class people.
Green Day blame rise of Trump on stupid white people
The pop-punk band released their twelfth studio album ‘Revolution Radio’ in October, their first record since 2012. Speaking to NME in this week’s magazine, available nationwide now, Armstrong compared billionaire TV personality-turned-Republican candidate Trump to Hitler and bemoaned the current state of US politics.
Describing those backing Trump as “uneducated white working-class people”, Armstrong added: “That’s the problem right there. There’s this white nationalism that’s been brewing under the radar for a long time. But now [Trump’s] been able to cause people to lash out and blame minorities and it’s really confusing. I mean, blatant misogyny going on at the same time.”
The singer also admitted that some members of his family are going to vote for Trump in the upcoming US election. He said: “I’ve got family members from Oklahoma that are big Trump supporters. And there’s no clear answer on why they’re supporting him because he doesn’t even have any policies.”
At least some Democrat green supporters realise that the only way they’ll ever regain the White House is to reach out to these “stupid” working class people.
During an interview on CBS News’ This Morning, former presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders weighs-in on “what went wrong” in the 2016 presidential election. “This is what I think what went wrong- is what Trump did, very effectively, is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and the pain that millions of working class people are feeling,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the democratic party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class. I am deeply humiliated that the democratic party cannot talk to the people from where I came from,”
How do you pack activists who think working class people are uneducated deplorables, into the same tent as people who see the working class as the grassroots of a Democrat renaissance?
The answer apparently is lots of government handouts for green energy.
May Boeve, the director of international climate group 350.org, which during the Obama presidency fought and won against the Keystone oil pipeline that is now back on the agenda, said building alliances with Trump’s heartland would be key.
“The best way to unite a progressive coalition with working class voters is to push for a 100% renewable energy economy that works for all,” she said. “Clean energy remains the greatest potential job creator in the 21st century, while climate change is still our greatest threat.”
Its a bit difficult to arrange government handouts when most of your political allies have been booted out of office. But who knows, maybe business now embraces blowing profits and executive bonus cash on green boondoggles, even without government financial support.
… “Ten years ago, US business wasn’t on board about tackling climate change,” said Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth in the UK. “This time round you have a situation where US businesses and businesses more globally [support action], so this time around the environmental movement does not feel like it is on its own. We’re much better placed to fight this.” …
Read more: Same link as above
Lets not underestimate the ability of Democrats and the Green Movement to pack people with incompatible views into the same tent – but this particular outreach and reconciliation excercise should be very entertaining to watch. Who knows, maybe Billie Joe could kickstart the process, by staging a “stupid white people” live music tour of America’s mining towns.