Paired with this is an aggressive right-wing attempt to mobilize blue-collar fear, resentment and a sense of being lost — and attach it to the fear of American vulnerability, American loss.
(10) In the last thirty years, white men have taken a drubbing, he notes, especially the three quarters of them who lack college degrees. Between l979 and l999, for example, real wages for male high-school graduates dropped 24%. In addition, Mailer notes, white working class men have lost white champs in football, basketball and boxing. (A lot of white men cheer black athletes, of course, whomever they vote for.)
As the article noted,”President Nixon has before him a confidential blueprint designed to help him capture the hearts and votes of the nation’s white working men — the traditionally Democratic ‘forgotten Americans’ that the Administration believes are ripe for political plucking.” (11)
Since the l970s, the blue-collar man has taken a lot of economic hits. The buying power of his paycheck, the size of his benefits, the security of his job — all these have diminished
For anyone who stakes his pride on earning an honest day’s pay, this economic fall is, unsurprisingly enough, hard to bear.
We should think about this. The blue-collar vote is huge. Skilled and semi-skilled manual jobs are on the decline, of course, but if we count as blue-collar those workers without a college degree, as Ruy Teixeira and Joel Rogers do in their book