I recently described how conservatives are off their game when it comes to identifying shibboleths. Rather than sticking with their time-honored–and utterly reprehensible–tactic of demonizing minorities, they’re going after lower-income whites. The Southern Strategy was built around the idea of splitting off lower-middle class and poor whites from African Americans through racial appeals.
But one thing I neglected to mention is that these new attacks, at least the one launched by Franson, are also attacking another source of privilege: being male. At least, that’s the effect it’s having, since her claims appear to trigger stereotypes of ‘beer’ and ‘pickup trucks.’ Obviously, women drink beer and drive pickup trucks, but I don’t think that’s the stereotypical image: that’s a white male image (just as for many people, ‘welfare’ would immediately conjure up a black or brown face, even though whites are the most likely to receive assistance*).
I guess if you have to continually dial up the outrage, the usual suspects begin to lose their appeal?
Lee Atwater must be rolling over in his grave. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
*Although disproportionately less so.