“Your angst, your confusion, your darkness is somebody’s tool,” said Joe Bageant in 2008. In the aftermath of Nov 8, 2016, Joe Bageant has seemed more prophetic than ever, as once again the working class, goaded on by amoral and immoral corporate and political manipulators of the uneducated and uninformed, voted against their own interests with delusional ferocity. And the custodians of the Gospel message in too many of our churches, and most conspicuously the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, chose not to bear witness to Christian values. Time to re-read Deerhunting with Jesus.
This post is dedicated, with thanks, to Pat Gozemba who introduced me to Joe Bageant—one of her heroes.
It’s a tiny tavern at the corner of Kent and Fairfax in historic Winchester, Virginia. Despite its name, there is nothing royal about the Royal Lunch. Except its patrons. Especially its perhaps most famous patron, Joe Bageant, who treated all of his hurting, blue-collar rural people as if they were indeed royal. He devoted countless hours to listening to their stories. And then he became their scribe, laying out with savage, biting humor why his people—and others like them— vote against their own interests.
His books explain with a clarity that should make every liberal wince, why poor people so often would rather identify with the rich, who don’t give a rat’s ass for them, than with educated progressive do-gooders…
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