Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter With Kansas?, is now changing his pitch, and blaming the modern left itself for losing white working class voters and creating the underserved market that Trump is now serving. Ironically, Ted Cruz won the Kansas Republican caucuses with a majority.
There is some enticing evidence for Frank’s claim that Democrats deliberately shunned American workers. He points to a 1971 manifesto by Democratic strategist Frederick Dutton, who wrote that workers had become the enemy because they were “the principal group arrayed against the forces of change.”
The Colorado Democrat Gary Hart, one of the many elected to Congress in 1974 as a reaction to Watergate, called his standard stump speech “The End of the New Deal” and President Jimmy Carter’s adviser Alfred Kahn wrote, “I’d love the Teamsters to be worse off. I’d love the automobile workers to be worse off. . . . I want to eliminate a situation in which certain protected workers in industries insulated from competition can increase their wages much more rapidly than the average.”
This should sound familiar to a lot of you. This is just about the same dialectic of WWI-era communists who felt betrayed when the working men of Europe sided with their states and went off to fight instead of opting for a universal workers’ revolution against nationalism.