Friday, December 23, 2016

Sneering Here, Sneering There

In my last post, I wrote about Kevin Drum and liberal sneering.  In the meantime, I've still been hearing  a lot about white-working class ("WWC") resentment of liberal sneering.  But I still don't seem to get it.  I did a google search and came across this post on the Blaze which was critical of Kevin Drum, and the title characterized the general framing of the piece:

"Liberal blogger admits how ‘city folks’ really feel about rural working class"

Reading through many of the comments, the basic response was that this was completely obvious.  However, it also seemed an excuse for many commenters not just to express outrage, but to reveal just how much they sneered at "city folk".  A typical example of this sneer:

Put me down as someone who sneers at city folks. Damn few of them could find their way out of the woods or survive if left alone there. By and large I dislike them. I especially dislike the ones who live in California, Oregon, Washington, and over on the northeast coast. New York? A hellhole. New Yorkers? Jerks.

I left the following comment:
I came to this post because, as a liberal, I've been trying to understand the how and why rural/less-educated voters feel sneered at by liberals.  I've always felt there was at least as much sneering going in the other direction.

Unfortunately, this thread seems to prove me right.  I actually like Kevin Drum, but disagreed with the premise of his post.  There is a difference between having different tastes or skill-sets and sneering, or looking down at someone.  If I prefer fancy beer or coffee, and dislike cheap or watered-down stuff, I guess I sneer at it, but I don't sneer at people who like it!

Likewise something like literature or the arts.  Sure, I have developed a good appreciation for the arts, and I guess I sneer at stuff I think is poor quality.  But not at the people who enjoy it.  What do I care.  They have other interests and can appreciate plenty of things that I can't.

I came here hoping for a better understanding but I guess I just found a lot of silly tribalism.  Can't we try to learn from one another?

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