Lawrence Wright is worried about what Americans have lost since 9/11.
Listen to the Story.
Wright, a New Yorker staff writer and the author of a seminal work on the rise of al-Qaeda, “The Looming Tower,” is concerned that an entire generation has grown up in a US that’s very unlike the country he remembers.
“You could walk into office buildings without having your picture taken. You could go visit the Liberty Bell without taking off your shoes and your belt,” Wright says. “Those were liberties and we’ve given them up. But I just hope that they’re not forgotten.”
Wright spoke with us about 9/11 and how the last 15 years of fighting terrorism have changed the US. You can listen to the extended interview here and read highlights below.
Trump is the first candidate who “speaks to the struggles” of poor white people “in a long time,” claims J.D. Vance author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis.
On the left, Thomas Frank—author of the classic take on right’s appeal to the white middle class What’s the Matter with Kansas?—notes Trump’s obsession with trade shows he has a grasp of grinding angst of the working class that mainstream Republicans and Democrats lack. In Trump, millions of Americans see a respite from, “Ill-considered trade deals and generous bank bailouts and guaranteed profits for insurance companies but no recovery for average people, ever—these policies have taken their toll.”
These things may all be true — but the bind many aging white Americans find themselves has either been created or nurtured almost entirely by conservative policies.
I call it the “Trump Trap.”
Americans who don’t have college degrees are finding that their career options and the options of their kids are severely limited in this economy are looking for someone to blame. For decades conservatives have offered someone — “them.”
“Them” benefit from government spending. “Them” are taking what you deserve. You can pay “them” back by cutting spending and lowering taxes.
This video from Demos explains the strategy succinctly, using the frame of public education: http://www.eclectablog.com/2016/09/some-trump-supporters-deserve-our-empathy-as-do-all-of-trumps-victims.html
“EVERY FALL THE internet and its resident tech mumblers congregate for The Apple Event, a quasi-pagan streaming-video rite in which Tim Cook boasts of just how much money his company is making (a lot) and just how much good it’s introducing to the world (this typically involves a new iPhone). This is merely annoying most years; but in 2016, when Apple is loudly, publicly denying its tax obligations around the world, it’s just gross.”
Read more here: https://theintercept.com/2016/09/07/paying-taxes-is-a-lot-better-than-phony-corporate-courage-apple/