Honestly, Greg. I am beyond sick of this Election.
I won’t go into the particulars, but it’s something you can’t get away from.
I drive around town a lot. I see the homeless people sleeping downtown. I see the homeless people walking from East to West Broadway. I also drive up Rattlesnake to the nice areas. I see TONS of Democrat signs. One lady even made a 8’ x 12’ sign to explain to her neighbors why Senate voting is more important in Montana than California. That house did not have MT plates on their cars.
I wonder why you engage with Don Pogreba or anyone in the blogosphere. What’s the point?
This is what we are to them:
We are not people. We are not human beings with thought out positions or unique perspectives or experiences. We are dum dums to be controlled. We are idiots to be guided away from our idiocy into their all-knowing arms. And when we reject it, we’re every name in the book.
I ended a lifelong friendship last week. The older I get the more I am just starting to stand on principle rather than what seems good in the moment. A personal friend just started texting me out of the blue. He’d found a small note in Thomas’ dissent about the gay wedding cake case and KNEW for sure gay marriage and gay adoption would be overturned and his entire family would be ruined. And I was the problem of it. I was just too uninformed to know what to properly worry about. Why would I take it anymore? To this friend who I’ve helped through vacations, writing letters so he could adopt a child, aspects of his life going back to high school, I’m the bad guy. I’m the reason he must be scared.
One of the more popular books in Sociology is a book called “The Culture of Fear,” by Barry Glassner. The main thesis of the book is that human beings NEED to be worried. And when more and more things in their life are taken care of beyond reasonable worry, people FIND and even INVENT things to be worried about. I bring this up because this former friend lives in a reality 100% created by himself in which he KNOWS FOR CERTAIN if Trump wins his life will end.
Well, again I mean. He was also ONE HUNDRED percent certain if Trump won the same thing would happen in 2016. And… it didn’t. But why let something as minor as reality get in the way of a rich, white person with almost no problems going so crazy by constantly checking his phone and being “informed” being an asshole to a lifelong friend because of fear.
In Missoula, this is on full display. It’s how Gwen Florio thinks the pinnacle moment of her journalism career is not her failure to cover local government or education when it rapes and mistreats women, but resigning to let Missoula know she doesn’t like Republicans. As if anyone with more than 2 brains cells or more than 10 minutes READING THE MISSOULIAN didn’t already get the message.
See, Gwen moved her a long time ago. If you don’t know how long ago, let’s just say she got a nice house up the Rattlesnake for UNDER $80,000. It’s worth about a half million now. It’s why almost every single of the rich white transplants IMMEDIATELY buys a Subaru Outback. Because if you spend $50,000 on a car it’s justified cause they give $200 to an animal shelter.
Rich white liberals can AFFORD to be rich white liberals because at some point when you satisfy all of your basic material needs you start to need something to fill the void. And what better to fill the void than smugly prance around telling people about how good you are.
Although technically I’m now a millionaire, most of my life I’ve been dirt poor. I’m the first generation on my mom’s side not to shit in a hole in the backyard for the first 10 years of their life. My dad never graduated high school. We hunted and fish and cut down trees not because it was fun but because when you try to raise a family of 4 on $6/hr at the saw mill in Seeley you can’t afford to not kill animals to eat and cut down trees to heat your home when there’s 4 feet of snow outside your house for half the year.
I’ve been homeless twice. The second time was after I got my college degree and had to stop putting it on my resume here in Missoula because it got me LESS callbacks on jobs. I learned how to work on cars because the only cars I could afford for the first 20 years I had my license I could only afford piece of shit cars that constantly break down and we still live in a society that necessitates driving. I never learned how to manage money. I never went to a dentist growing up. So many small things that people take for granted, but are very clear indicators of class in our society.
Gwen Florio, Sherry Devlin, Keila Spalzer could all march down to city council and start shining light on the corruption if they wanted to. But they don’t want to. Why would they?
This is part of their identity. It’s how they see themselves in the world. They grew up in a society that has completely rejected traditional faith systems in favor of one that defines righteousness, charity and caring for others exclusively through public works and social media. How could they ever ask Engen about arresting so many blacks, that would be mean! How could they ever print even one kind word about ANY Republican, what would their friends say? Their identity is precisely formed around the lifestyle and benefits of being a rich white person.
Why the fuck would Gwen Florio care about affordable housing? She’s watched her house appreciate so much in value and personal wealth, why the fuck would she want housing prices to GO DOWN? Why the fuck would Gwen Florio even think anything bad is going on at City Hall or UM? Education was how she became so amazing and got everyone to listen to her. Education is how women are empowered! Why would she ever think to cut ONE DIME from UM when it is the beacon of social justice and fighting ignorance? Why the fuck would Gwen Florio care about a living wage? She moved her from Delaware like so many other rich white women and hasn’t really experienced a world with the same difficulties you and I know.
This is a class struggle, Greg. Why the fuck would my friend, or Gwen Florio, or Don Pogreba or anyone else who ties their entire identity around their political beliefs EVEN THINK anything else? They have an unending buffet of “news” telling them they’re right about everything. Telling them they’re so informed.
When I tried to write in Bozeman for the MSU newspaper the girl to shut me down was a transplant from Maryland. Nobody read the paper, but it’s mandatory students pay for it so they went through the motions. At the end of the year her parents took out a full page ad congratulating her on graduating with her Women’s Studies degree. “We just knew when she was little and gave a bag of chips to a homeless man, she was such a good person.”
This is their experience. Handouts are helping. And we already pay taxes, so why not wrap our charity into what we’re already gonna do anyway? We’re such good people!
They literally give up nothing and get all the reward. And when you’re insecure and white and have no real problems so you need to invent then, just putting another label like “poor” on people you already feel better than is a great way to both feel superior and appear virtuous.
My friend really wanted to lecture me about my white privilege. This guy grew up with both parents graduating college and getting good jobs. He also went to college (rich grandpa paid for everything, did I mention Steven and I paid $135,000 to get student loans off our backs?) and makes over $100,000 a year. His spouse doesn’t work. His adopted white kid does at least 3 extracurricular activities.
My dad was basically abandoned by his family and moved around homes from 13 onwards. My mom worked nights at the mill in Bonner while in high school, paid rent to her own parents for most of high school and got the fuck out as soon as she could. I had a job as soon as I was legally able and have basically worked 1-4 jobs and went to school for almost 20 years straight.
What privilege do I have? Is my poor white ass really more privileged than EVERY black person? Oprah? Barack Obama? This is where the theory fails in practice. Go tell middle America that the blacks burning down buildings and looting and shooting are doing it because of white Americans being so racist.
To be clear, I don’t even disagree with most of the gripes of social justice. I ALSO believe Blacks are treated poorly. I ALSO believe health care should be accessible. Blah blah blah. The difference I would actually like to solve the problem, and Democrats would prefer the problem exist forever so they can constantly feel superior.
Let’s just call it what it is. Racism. All ‘white privilege’ is in practice is white people admitting they are bad to look good to other white people. It inherently does nothing good for minorities and just continues to elevate rich WASPs above others. It’s why white women driving Subarus can literally bring a whole family from Africa here, get them jobs, get them in schools and build them a house. But my dad’s best friend who served 3 tours in Vietnam has to live in a camper in Seeley for the rest of his life on oxygen without his wife because she also couldn’t get medical treatment since their income married was too much. It’s why his son dies at 38 from alcoholism. It’s how my coworker at Town Pump gets divorced without his knowledge and just comes home to his wife and daughters gone.
It’s why both my nephews 16 and 19 are dropouts and now work for a living. It’s why my sister can abandon all her kids to go to meth on the reservation with another guy who abandoned his 6 kids and they can live without a care on government assistance and no worries about food, internet, housing or anything while my parents are kicked off public assistance for “lying” about raising their 3 grandchildren. It’s how many shitty fake parking tickets I’ve spent dealing with and how many times I’ve been “accidentally” signed up for Medicaid (FOUR TIMES) and had to deal with collections bills.
My point is they don’t give a shit how the government actually operates or what the tax rate is or who is affected by regulation or anything. It’s not their fucking problem.
LITERALLY THE ONLY THING THEY CARE ABOUT IS LOOKING LIKE THEY CARE. Because it’s the only thing they HAVE to deal with.
Affordable housing isn’t an urgent issue to them if they aren’t sleeping outside. Why solve the problem that makes them rich and all the extra income from new transplants constantly solves their budget gaps?
A living wage isn’t an urgent issue to them if they are trust fundies or government employees or already make $60,000 or more a year. Why pay low wagies more or give them healthcare if it’d make their latte cost even a dollar more?
I have many personal friends that are liberal. For some of them, I think it’s completely ruined their lives. My middle school best friend got a Theatre Degree from UM and is now 40 living with her parents with no job prospects. Another lifelong friend got a Psychology degree UM and is a secretary for a living. Another former friend I stopped talking to because of the constant lectures literally lives in a house with no running water, electricity or heat. He runs an extension cord from a neighbor so he can text me about the plight of minorities. (A white guy who moved here from California) A former friend got her English degree here and is also single and childless in her 40s and is a secretary at a veterinarian.
Someone is literally sitting in a cold, dark trailer in Arlee smelling like cat piss and the first thing you think to do is text someone about how they’re being not sensitive to the Muslim immigrant experience? A woman who’s NEVER had a relationship with a man, lives with her mom and dad while her siblings lead normal married lives with kids can still think to lecture me about climate change and feminism?
If I can't convince a grown man who smells like a litter box sitting in dark cold squalor he might be wrong about something, you think you're gonna convince a government babysitter who gets every night, weekend and summer off with full benefits of another point of view? Nah, bro...
THIS IS THEIR LIVES. They will never for a moment have enough self-awareness or use their supposed critical thinking skills about how their ideology has actually affected their lives. They have established such rigid, close-minded thought habits that every piece of information about the world is only filtered through the ideology. THEY GET TOO MUCH OUT OF IT. It's an integral part of validation of their self-worth. It's intimately personal.
I had to let go man. This was me in 2008. The ideology was “right wing.” And it had a profoundly disturbing effect on my mental health. When the only thing you believe is the ideology, you lose touch with reality. Whether it’s religion, faith, health crazes/diets, whatever. Once you lose the will to judge things objectively and only filter them through the belief system, how can you ever objectively judge reality again?
Why the fuck even think the words “Don Pogreba?” Why take the abuse? You aren’t going to change their minds. They’re minds are so locked up tight through layers of insecurity, self-negativity, self-righteousness and dopamine addiction. There is no world in which liberals who’ve drank the Kool-aid will ever treat you as anything more than a thing instead of a person. You are only what the ideology tells them, and the ideology tells them you are an ignorant, uninformed, misguided, racist, sexist blah blah blah. You think Christians run to the Church of Satan to consider their thoughts?
We’re playing a different game man. There is no common ground. They don’t really care if Black people are helped or if police get held accountable or if climate change is happening or anything. The only thing they care about is THEY ARE RIGHT and WE ARE WRONG.
So if you’re ALWAYS going to be wrong and ALWAYS be the bad person while they are the good, why talk to them at all? Why volunteer for the abuse? I don’t keep people who don’t treat me with dignity and respect in my life, so why keep a mentally ill addict around who just berates me? We gotta love ourselves more than that.
I think this pandemic really made some things clear. I’m rich but I’m still working Door Dash and Instacart because there’s just something inside me that can’t just be idle. But driving around, it’s also clear who can AFFORD to just take 2020 as a vacation and spend hours browsing news and give their OPINIONS on racism and government. It’s also clear who has to bust their ass for rent and food and gas and doesn’t have even the space mentally to deep dive on the nuances of Monica Tranel and Jennifer Fielder or threaten to cancel their newspaper subscription if they don’t like something in it.
That’s white privilege. That’s liberal privilege. Running our fucking country exclusively on the opinions of white women who are above the consequences of any of their feelings put in action and policy. Missoula Police aren’t arresting Karens driving Outbacks for weed. Who cares about the Griz players? No white ladies in Subarus in the Rattlesnake died under a bridge or disappeared. Why not vote for corrupt shitty white guys again?
Just more class warfare. They vote for things they are immune from giving a shit about and we all get to try to live in that world. Fun. Fun. Fun.
My name is Tim. I'm no longer invited to any parties. This blog is for Greg Strandberg and no one else.