Understanding America’s Political Divide And Existential Crisis

This a must view video, folks, if you really want to understand what ails and divides America politically, and why Trump’s base sticks with him.

I had a great discussion today with Carol K., GMM’s crack stock picker about what is it that really divides America.   Not only is she financially astute but a pretty damn good political scientist.

Much what she said sounded exactly like the Harvard professor I heard early in the day in an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish.

Harvard professor Michael Sandel discusses his theory that credentialism is the last acceptable form of prejudice in today’s society, and how that relates to President Trump’s political rise. CNN

Working-Class Resentment And Meritocratic Hubris

In a nutshell, it is resentment by many of America’s working-class that the “elites” are looking down on them, and that elites have a “meritocratic hubris” that their success is their own doing, and by implication, those who have fallen behind must deserve their fate as well. Carol also nailed why many of the elites, who believe they deserve and have earned what they have, resent, say minorities or women, who are encroaching on their space or their income through taxation, for example.

We have talked a lot about the “Lucky Sperm Club”(LSC)  at GMM over the years.


If not for our membership in the Lucky Sperm Club (LSC),  that could be you or I out on the street.  The LSC does not mean just belonging to a billionaire family,  but being born into a decent family with decent parents with the means of providing us with a decent education.  We could just as easy been born a crack baby in Harlem,  folks.  Being born in America makes you part of the LSC.

Thank goodness we are the right side of randomness.   Fat tails, indeed. – GMM, Nov ’18

If you are reading this post, you are part of the LSC, by the way.

Only until we understand a life of Grace – unmerited favor  –can we really begin to heal this great country, which is in the midst of a slow-motion catastrophic train wreck, threatening its very existence.

Listen to the whole interview before firing off the snarky emails about hard work and making your own destiny…yada yada yada.

Money Quotes From The Interview 

  • Part of the President’s political success to due to his ability to tap into resentment against elites, and grievances that are economic, moral, cultural, and also based on self-esteem (Michael S.)
  • The divide between winners and losers has deepened, but it isn’t only economic inequality that’s the problem It’s changing attitudes toward success. It’s the tendency of those on top to believe that their success is their own doing, the measure of their own merit, and by implication, those who have fallen behind must deserve their fate as well.  That’s the heart of the problem (Professor S,) 
  • One of the most potent sources of populist backlashes against elites that we’ve seen most dramatically in 2016 is the sense by many working people that elites are looking down on them (Professor S)
  • We need to focus squarely on the dignity of work (Professor S)
  • The one authentic thing about him [Trump] is his sense of grievance and resentment, this he feels palpably, and he managed to tap into the sense of resentment and grievance that decades of deepening inequality and meritocratic hubris has created.
  • So my hope is that we shift toward the dignity of work, put it right at the center of our politics, and ask what would it mean to reconfigure our economy to respect people for the contributions to they make to the economy, to the common good, to their families and communities, whether or not they be well creditialized (Professor S)
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1 Response to Understanding America’s Political Divide And Existential Crisis

  1. Pingback: Living Like A Climate Refugee | Global Macro Monitor

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