This post is in response to a Facebook post re-posted on GolocalProv, by John Goodwin, Cranston Rhode Island native and D.C. consultant insider.
Mr. Goodwin, I read your post with acute interest. So let me thank you for your condescension and arrogance by you in pointing out that you refrained from posting on the election because you do this for a living, and because you were showing deference to the feelings of family and friends. I’m sure I’m out of my league in posting response but I’ll do my best to keep up.
To begin, you presented your bona fides for what would follow as having grown up in the Edgewood section of Cranston, that you didn’t grow up “with money,” but ended up going to college and grad school. You worked hard and achieved some success. Of course you point this out after you derided the liberal “elites” by chiding that not “everyone” could attend and matriculate from “elite” colleges.
Now let’s be honest about this. First, I did some community organizing in the Edgewood section of Cranston some decades ago and these are hardly the mean streets of S.E. Washington. To the contrary, Edgewood is a nice community, but I digress. From there you evidently went to Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia where you graduated in 2000 with a degree in political science. From there you evidently journeyed all the way to Capitol Hill where worked for a variety of Congressmen and congressional committees. Your CV published by GolocalProv indicates that you worked for CT. Congressman Rob Simmons and R.I.’s John Chafee. Overlooked was your service for Peter Roskam of Illinois, a man Breitbart once touted as a future Speaker of the House. Within that arc, you also lobbied for the National Rifle Association (Opensecrets.org still lists you as an NRA lobbyist for 2016), before joining the staff of Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho as Chief of Staff.
And currently you serve as a Vice-President of The Herald Group, an M Street consulting firm that proudly states that the Group knows communications, knows policy and knows politics. Congratulations on your success. I’m sure you earned it. But as an aside, you mention in your post that you went to grad school, but your brief biography on Herald’s website lists only that you graduated from Marymount with a B.A. in 2000. You probably should refresh that.
I took some time which your resume to get to one simple question: where do you get the colossal gall to lecture anyone about the hardworking men and women of the Midwest? From what I’ve seen as listed above, you’ve barely left Washington during the past 16 years, yet by the tone of your words, you are intimately acquainted with the daily struggles of people scared for their and their kids’ futures.
Let me toss out my bona fides. Like you (after migrating all the way from Warwick) I have made Cranston my home for the past 45 years. Like you I went to college and (I guess like you) grad school. I have spent my adult life working for causes I believe in, and serving those same people that you think guys like me deride. I know you don’t know me so I’ll let any possible insult slide, but you painted your liberal “elite” targets with an extremely broad brush.
Oh, and the delicious irony of a Conservative beltway elitist calling out his liberal counterparts.
Let’s get to the nub of the matter. You wouldn’t have posted anything had Trump lost because you wouldn’t have been able to chortle about how ignored the working folks of this country have been. To set the current record straight, as of this writing Clinton leads in the popular vote by around 400,000 votes. It’s only due to our quirky electoral system that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office next January. So as a factual matter these voting results do not support the stridency of your argument or the conclusions drawn therefrom. I’m sure you’re aware that over 88,000 Michigan voters under-voted from President. If that’s not a pox on both houses I don’t know what is.
You mention that Clinton killed her Presidential chances with her remarks about coal mining. Putting aside that those remarks were blown all out of proportion, I have friends in western Pennsylvania who, like their fathers before them, worked in the coal mines. But as the mines shut down, they found other jobs, many in the growing financial services industry where they earn a decent living in much safer conditions.
Technological progress historically has been a job killer. So is cheap labor. Our steel jobs, auto industry and other manufacturing jobs, and now our IT and financial services back-office jobs didn’t move off-shore because of NAFTA, CAFTA or the promise of TPP. They left because companies could exploit cheaper labor, thus earning more profit. Technology allowed them to do that. Add to that sad occurrence the fact that for the manufacturing jobs that remained, technology became a domestic job killer, permitting more production (and yes, profit) using fewer human assets.
So I put the question to you: which is the greater political disservice; telling folks that the mines will reopen and their jobs are coming back, or telling people that those jobs are gone and we’ll need to retrain and retool for the future?
Finally, the name calling. You assert that we liberals call those hardworking folks that you champion, “rubes and rednecks and morons. Call them uneducated and backwards.” I don’t know at which Georgetown party, Wisconsin Avenue bistro, or downtown D.C. soiree you think we use this language, but as a rule (and I’ll need to give up my secret liberal decoder ring) we don’t. I am not suggesting that nobody uses that language, but to again use of the broad brush that you used throughout your post is demeaning and insulting. And in this instance, I am insulted.
To your credit, you used all of two sentences calling out the, “racists, sexists and bigots who reared their ugly heads this year. They are disgusting.” I agree. But where is your outrage to the physical harm caused by these folks? Since the inception of Trump’s campaign, violence has been on the rise, both at his rallies (with no small amount of encouragement from Trump himself) and out in the street. Over the last few days, we have seen buildings defaced by swastikas, pamphlets at Texas State University announcing vigilante squads ready to punish University staff promoting this “diversity garbage,” along with racist graffiti in schools. People have been assaulted because of the color of their skin. Where is your outrage to these acts, or is your outrage reserved to a few folks’ poor choice of words?
I acknowledge that there are those on our side who behave deplorably. I condemn those acts of violence directed toward Trump supporters. I urge you to do likewise condemn Trump inspired acts against those persons of color, those of different religions, and those who merely have different opinions. And while you’re at it, please condemn the Klan’s endorsement of Trump. That alone was despicable.
Finally, I have traveled throughout this country and lived for a while in the South. I have seen first-hand the struggles that folks, less fortunate than either of us, have to overcome on a daily basis. I have seen the poor regard each day as a struggle for survival. I have seen kids who worked hard for good grades only to be told that their parents couldn’t afford to send them to the top university that accepted them.
For the past decade I have provided pro bono legal services to individuals, families, and small businesses who could not afford legal services. I did this because there were people in need, there was a job to be done, and I was able to do it.
Therefore, to use these good hardworking folks who you purport to defend as a bludgeon to score cheap political points against those of your ilk on the other “side of the aisle” is an insult to them and you owe them a profound apology.