Discover more from Compass Star Wordsmith
News Flash: Heavy Metal blamed for Obama-Trump Voter Syndrome
I’m lying in bed. It’s 4 am. I’m wandering around my garden of thoughts. Deep thoughts sleep deep. Shallow thoughts keep me troubled. And now, thanks to Substack, you entertained.
Ever since riding down the gold escalator, wait, wrong false memory. Ever since I pulled out The Prison Box from under the bed, this project almost wrote itself. Mind you, the bed I pulled it out from under was in the third house I lived in post-release.
Like a pirate hoarding treasure, I dragged that box around, comparing which fear of mine was greater: me reading them or others reading them. My Substack has a few fathers, The Prison Box is one.
Another one is the asshole from Facebook that spent his time and effort tracking down my wife at the time and publicly berating her and privately harassing her. I was disgusted, disturbed, and done with The FB. Welcome to Substack!
What made me the focal point of his demented rage could be described as thought leadership. Ever since I swallowed the Hope n’ Change bait hook, line, and sinker (ripping my heart out while setting the hook), I been nursing that wound. Finally, the Bad Orange came down and put some salve on it.
Ever since then, I knew I was in a select group of thoughtful thinkers. And for delineating that distinction, I was defriended, delisted, and detested. And it turns out, that was a pretty good thing that happened to me. What a time suck The FB turned out to be. Just to set off a psycho to stalk you. Eff that!
I think about race and racial things quite a bit. My first post here was about race. Specifically, Multi-Racial people that straddle a line few of us have done. Or would be able to do. I believe 100% in my heart that bi- and multi-racial human beings bear a burden of love to bring peace to warring tribes.
The most famous American Family Feud instantly popped into my head. I dove headfirst into the fabbit-hole, as always. I started thinking about healing our divisions and how typical it is for families, especially siblings, to fight tooth and nail with each other.
Often over nothing more than the bigger half or the last piece. But if an outsider even looked at the last piece, it was all for one and one for all. And now, after so much chaos and turmoil in our lives, my siblings and I are patching those potholes.
I classify this healing process in families as the element of History. Read about the five elements of life that create culture here. Looking at both sides of a situation or circumstance is ingrained in my process. The Art of Food demands that a Chef always please his patron’s palette while protecting his principles.
The story of the Hatfield-McCoy Feud is the story of America. More precisely, it’s the story of Americans. What they love and hate and what they will fight to the death for. Their internecine intolerance, instructive as it is to us as a warning of the dangers of inflamed passions, produced a more inspirational lesson a hundred-years on.
The lesson of healing. Of moving forward. Not forgetting or burying the past. But building upon it. Tearing something down just leaves us at ground level, ruling over rubble. Building upon a fallen foundation, however, allows us to study the failures of the past from the knoll of knowledge. Letting us learn about why and how it fell.
The mere fact that we are here, standing on the past, means at least two people out of billions came together to come together. Ultimately, the American way of life is to build anew upon the old. To discover new solutions to old problems. To break old molds and cast new forms. To live free from the past.
I’m one. From a 2016 piece in CNN titled Why these Obama voters are backing Donald Trump
a political consultant who has worked with many independent candidates, said the most defining characteristic of independent voters is that “they hate the status quo and believe huge change is needed.”
The thoughtful-thinkers I mentioned earlier number in the millions. The Center for Politics study linked above puts the range at 6.7 million to 9.2 million. Lots of takes on what that means and who those voters are. I’ve linked below to a Vox piece that argues that yup, racists. Slate leans that way, but not as hard.
Scrolling thru the apocalyptic analysis of the 2016 election - one that we are discovering more and more about thanks to the Twitter Files - the reasons are myriad and varied and all valid.
Was it race? Yeah, probably. I wrote about a dude from Oklahoma that straight-up dropped the N-Bomb in social conversation. It reads really well a year-and-a-half later. I’m proud of this passage especially
The fact that I have white skin is not a free-pass to be a dumb-ass racist saying dumbass hurtful things without thought. SO FUCKING KNOCK IT OFF.
Is he a racist? Of course he is. Is he a white supremacist? I don’t know. His racism is apparent. His supremacism isn’t. Seems to me if you are going to call someone supreme, they should AT LEAST clear the lowest bar of the actual meaning of the word.
This dude works a decent job, travels the country, and meets all kinds of people. After our ears stopped bleeding from his vicious verbal assault, and after our emphatic rejection repelled his ignorance, he admitted that nobody had ever replied to him in that manner.
How is it he could float through 50-some years of life spouting his crap without correction? Acceptance by white people. He admitted to us that he had never used that word in front of black people. I asked him why. His reply was pretty sensitive: he didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
But it was ok to hurt ours?? I asked. His answer took a minute to meander through mind and morality, and again, his answer was somewhat surprising coming from him. He said he assumed that since we were white, we all held the same opinions.
We are always going to have racism. Until we don’t. Which may be when 100 million or a 150 million Americans are mixed-raced. How the hell can we sort by skin color when we’re drinking coffee and cream and eating Korean Tacos? Grab a handful of sand and tell me the grain count.
Heavy Metal. Starts and ends right there.
I searched and searched and read and read about why I voted like I did. I had to know. Am I a racist? A misogynist? A sexist? What’s the ist for hating on trans people? Am I that too?
And then salvation. Absolved by no less a prestigious publication than The Economist, self-described as
Published in London as a weekly newspaper since 1843, The Economist carries authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science and technology, and the arts.
So there. I’m so vindicated. Blame it on all that head-banging. Spotify was overloaded or blocking this Heavy Metal playlist. So click on the mice that killed each other to listen.
Spoiler: The Economist called those bands Heavy Metal. I’m using the term loosely. I’m trusting my readers metal skills.
The musical style that best predicts liberalism is hip-hop; for conservatism, it is country. In 2016 Donald Trump’s vote share in places where country out-sold hip-hop was 22 percentage points higher than in those where hip-hop was more popular. When combined into a statistical model, race, age, education and urbanization account for only an 18-point gap. The remaining four points consist of factors reflected in music but not by demography.
It stands to reason that rural whites who like rap, a genre in which artists have railed against police brutality, are unusually left-wing. The politics of hard-rock acts like Metallica, ac/dc and Guns’n’Roses—who are particularly popular in places that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 but Mr. Trump in 2016—are less clear. Politically active rockers tend to lean left. However, the best-selling rock groups are older than most pop stars or rappers, suiting many Trump voters’ nostalgia. And among Mr. Trump’s often rowdy fans, their belligerent, anti-establishment music may strike a chord.
I’ve linked to a cross-section of opinions on what kind of person votes for the first black man for US President and then votes for the The Bad Orange. I voted for Barrack Obama because I was hoping that a biracial man - White-American Mom and Black-African Dad - was capable of changing the world.
Hope and Change, as it was sold. After eight long years of more hoping than changing, I made a bet on change with no hope. And now it’s six years later. Lots of changes. Not a lot of hope. Weird how full circle comes back full circle.
I remain overly optimistic and naively nascent to this New-Now-Normal, standing ready for the Broken Free World.
Compass Star Wordsmith is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.