So it's been a while since I've posted. I've been busy trading and making moola... but I digress...
I read an article today in the WSJ by Peggy Noonan, who evidently has no idea what blue collar workers think.
Here is the link
to the article.
Here is the passage which I think highlights some amazing ignorance, and to a great degree arrogance:
The country I was born into was a country that had existed steadily, for almost two centuries, as a nation in which everyone thought—wherever they
were from, whatever their circumstances—that their children would have better lives than they did. That was what kept people pulling their boots on
in the morning after the first weary pause: My kids will have it better. They'll be richer or more educated, they'll have a better job or a better
house, they'll take a step up in terms of rank, class or status. America always claimed to be, and meant to be, a nation that made little of class.
But America is human. "The richest family in town," they said, admiringly. Read Booth Tarkington on turn-of-the-last-century Indiana. It's all
about trying to rise.
What family did this woman grow up in? It wasn't representative of my upbringing for sure. Indeed, it isn't even representative of my father or
mothers upbringing. The only thing that my father thought of when pulling up those boots, was getting home to a good meal and a nice case (yes case)
You see, my father, born in 33, came from a family of railroaders. He had a full sports scholarship but didn't take it because that was not a
respected path in my family. Instead, the day after he graduated highschool, he was sleeping in a train car working on the railroad, just like his
father. My cousin, who was the only one to become educated in our family, was looked down upon because she had left the tradition and actually went
to college and then on to a career working with the Girl Scouts.
You see, for my father, the narrative was not about getting educated and making more money, it was a narrative of the honor and life that comes with
hard labor. It never really made sense to me, but it is what it is. Once again, I'm not sure where Peggy Noonan gets her generalizations from.
As for my mother, (16 years my fathers junior), her Mother was the same way, though she cleaned houses. For my grandmother, there was no thought of
her children going to college... and if they did, well fine, they would be paying for it themselves.
No for her, the most valuable thing was continued hard work without much reward other than a meal and a nice place to sleep. This narrative was so
strong, that my mother made it clear to me that if I ever decided to go to college, it would be me paying for it, not anyone else. My mother
eventually did become an RN (Registered Nurse) after joining school when I was 10.
Now my wifes family is much different. Her family, being african american, put a lot of stock in "america will be a better place for my children"
mantra. But then again, you could only go up from the segregated jim crow south.
My point here is, that Peggy Noonan seems to be vastly out of touch with the midwest philosophy that shaped and continues to shape my family and the
families of those I grew up with. Are there some folks who feel this way... sure. But none in the midwest that I grew up in. We are a working class
people who don't put much stock at all in education, but in occupation. We are a very conservative lot, which don't accept change too easily...
It's nice that Peggy likes to fantasize that America feels the way she has depicted, but its pretty obvious that if she believes this blather, that
she is incredibly out of touch with the America that my family has known for several generations.