Oh, hello there! Welcome to “Into the Midwest.” I’m your host, liberal anthropologist and Electoral College denier Left Corwin. We’re deep in the woods of Wisconsin on the hunt for that rarest of finds, the elusive Homo Operans Albus, or White Working Class Male. (They really hate the Latin.)
Speak of the devil! There’s one now, down by the lake with some sort of fiberglass pole in his paws, clenching his jaw and radiating misguided oppression. Ah, I believe he’s “fishing,” which is like ordering Seamless from the water with a hook and worm. Adorable.
If you live in an urban area or on an Ivy League campus, as I do, you’ve probably never encountered one of these fellas. They used to be everywhere, but immigration and globalization have absolutely decimated their population. There are now only 75 million of them left in the continental United States.
Yes, it’s been quite the fall from grace for the white man.
But, while many people think of the White Working Class Male as an endangered species, its conservation status is actually Least Concern, especially considering the state of third world countries. And he remains an apex predator—which makes an approach from Left that much more perilous.
As you can see, I’ve covered myself head to toe in safety pins so the WWCM knows that this is a safe space.
Hello there, gent! Quick word?
He shook his head. No surprise there: I’m from Massachusetts, and he can smell it on me.
I’m not a pollster—I just want to understand how 11/9 happened!
Ooh, ooh, did you see that? He built a little ivory tower out of those white rocks, pointed at it, and then pointed at me. There’s that Rust Belt ingenuity we’ve heard so much about. A machine couldn’t do that! No sir. Better toss a bit of affirmation his way; these fellas need constant reinforcement.
I know the world is changing, but you still have value and potency!
Now he’s pointing up at the sky—ah, I see. Different finger.
Let’s see if we can get closer without spooking him. None of our camerapersons are Muslim or gay, right? I know, I know, we’re all Muslim now. We’ll each be first in line if there’s a registry. But nobody actually prays, right? All humanists? OK, let’s keep that to ourselves too.
We’ve managed to get a little closer. He didn’t take the affirmation, but maybe he’d like a little middle class tax break…
You want a tax break, fella? Ooh, he’s taking it. Theeere you goooo. That’s a nice—wait—no. No, don’t do that.
Argh! He just gave the tax break to that rich guy docking his boat! What is the matter with these people? How can they be so self-destructive?
(Sigh.) OK. It’s OK. Progress doesn’t move in a straight line; it’s more of a zigzag, like argyle.
Ah, I know what the working class man wants: we’ll raise the minimum wage. We’ll jack it right up to twelve bucks an hour; there’s no way he can resist that.
We’re going to raise the minimum wage now, OK? We’re raising—ah!
Sonuva bitch threw a beer can at my head! These are Warby Parkers, you ape! What kind of beer is that? “America”?
That’s how you’re going to make this country great again, eh? By litteri—AH!
He threw another one. You know, for a species that claims to hate political correctness, these creatures are awfully thin-skinned.
I’ve only got one more trick up my sleeve…
You look hungry, big fella! How about a nice leafy green job? Mmm, doesn’t that look tasty? Nice leafy green job, since the coal’s not coming ba—GUN. He’s got a gun.
Back up, back up, back up! Let’s get the hell out of here.
We’ll come back in a few years, if there are any woods left to come back to.