lament for The Common Man



“We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. … Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

— Hillary Clinton, speech delivered on September 9, 2016 in Tampa, FL at an LGBT fundraiser



Feelings, concern, sympathy for the “great unwashed,” aka “deplorables”? For the Common Man? Fuhgeddaboudit.

The Common Man has not been venerated since the Great Depression induced writers such as John Steinbeck and composers such as Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson to pen and compose songs of praise.

The Common Man (and his labor unions) is not in fashion any more. In fact, he has become an embarrassment to those who consider themselves enlightened and superior in views and taste, except among Trump supporters.


— Roger W. Smith

   September 2017

3 thoughts on “lament for The Common Man

  1. Pete Smith

    Roger, I’m confused. Are you supporting Trump’s support of common men who marched in Charlottesville? Or the common men, like one I met this week, who told me that Obama and his type had been giving this country over to non-white — hispanics, blacks, even muslims, who he reports always have too many children and live on nothing but welfare and who are destined to take the world away from us whites with the unbridled growth of their populations. For him, Make American Great Again means Make America White Again.

    There is a lot of bullshit on the left, and Hillary ran a lousy campaign and never should have used the term “deplorables” — thus throwing in coal miners and mechanics and other good poor people in with the racist Trump supporters deserving of the term. The alt-right is very clever in positioning their detractors as elites who are “superior in views and taste,” but a careful reading of history will show you that their tactics are exactly what Hitler used to kill 6 million Jews.

  2. Roger W. Smith

    You make some valid points, but you missed the point of my post.

    It was fashionable 75 years ago for
    intellectuals and people who felt they had enlightened views to advocate for and, indeed, celebrate the average working man and poor, downtrodden people. That is not the case anymore.

  3. Pete Smith

    Thanks, Rog. This helps. But I’m not sure that advocacy for the working man and for the poor has died. We don’t have Steinbeck or Thomson or Copland now, but people like Jimmy Carter — or closer to home Michael Bloomberg — have donated considerable amounts of their time and resources to help the disadvantaged. And there are many artists doing this too — not as well known perhaps as Copland is today, but still producing wonderful art. A great example is Blandon Stanton, who through his Humans of New York postings on FB, and now with his touching Humans of New York: the Series, is showing with sensitivity and compassion, and with great skill, people in all walks of life, from all ethnicities, and in all income levels. You should watch this if you aren’t already.

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