A friend told me a riddle that goes like this:
Q: What’s the difference between a conservative and a zombie?
A: The media won’t deplatform the zombie.
An old cliché tells us that 50-million Frenchmen can’t be wrong, but evidently 74-million Trump supporters can’t be right. They don’t know anything, we’re told, and they make Hitler look like Ghandi. I find these put-downs to be troubling. As a veteran I was grateful to serve with Rock People beside me. I made my living in construction. Rock People make construction happen.
So what exactly is a Rock Person, and what is the Rock Narrative? Why is the population of Rock People still relatively stable? Why would someone vote for Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden? Let’s stop to revisit some history.
Rock people traditionally were raised outside our cities. And there’s a narrative that goes along with living on frontiers or in the country. Fathers are strong. They need to be authoritarian but need help to keep their families afloat during hard times. When Rock People hit adversity they lean on their own families. Kids are expected to pitch in and may be punished for refusing. Some go to college, but many don’t. When your family comes first, you do your share. Poverty’s real. Most Rock People have gone hungry, and they never want to miss a meal again. They work hard at draining jobs. They know no one has their back. If they have bosses, they will put in extra hours at no charge. They hope to earn the boss’s favor so the boss will pay them fairly. Rock People value loyalty above most other virtues.
Rock People tend to respect parents, cutting them both a lot of slack. Many grew up on country music, or, in suburbs, on classic rock. They respect veterans, police, firemen, and first responders. Some go to churches where their leaders make no effort to understand them because Rock People will never be “professionals” like clergy. Many said the Sinner’s Prayer. They were baptized. They hope Jesus will forgive them as they try to live the best lives that they can. Still, they fall short and learn their neighbors and their families won’t forgive them because Rock People don’t make a lot of money. Money talks.
Rock People are sick and tired of liars. And desertion and abortion are unspeakable when family is their most important value. Years ago they were the bedrock of the Democratic Party, but it seems they’ve been abandoned. Their real wages haven’t grown in fifty years. Most think the Democratic Party doesn’t care.
Rock People have their rites of passage. Some are honorably discharged. Some earn a union card. For some, it’s saving enough to buy a truck and marry a girl. Their biggest heartbreak comes from trying to earn their way and being told no matter what they do it’s never quite enough.
This is how the stage was set for Donald Trump.
I’m often asked by liberal friends why Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. It seems obvious to me, but no one wants to hear the answer. Hillary turned against the Rock People, the Democratic base.
A very cunning Donald Trump was paying attention.
He wasn’t book smart the way Paper People were, but he was street smart. He noticed Rock People weren’t respected, and they were tired of being insulted. They were sick of being the butt of jokes on every late-night talk show. They wanted jobs. “Enlightened” Democrats were offshoring those jobs, closing their factories due to “climate change” and importing more immigrants. Barack Obama in a gaffe referred to Rock People as “bitter clingers” but he was rescued from Mitt Romney by Bruce Springsteen in 2012. Plus, Romney didn’t respect Rock People. They formed his 47% who were dependent on the government.
All they wanted was a job.
Rock People know a middle finger when they see one.
Instead of jobs, they were rewarded by the Democratic Party with … gay marriage, transgender bathrooms, plus lots of fingerwagging lectures. This didn’t play well in the “square states” or at ground level in “Flyover Country” with hardworking independent thinkers ridiculed as being “Bible thumpers.” Sure, they liked family, faith, and freedom and blue-collar common sense. But nobody enjoys being insulted by their “betters.”
By 2016, Romney couldn’t pile on like four years earlier. Blue-collar Rock People took notice Donald Trump could speak their language.
Then Hillary Clinton pushed the Democratic narrative too far.
She called the Rock People “Deplorables.” While many hadn’t gone to college, Rock People know a middle finger when they see one. And it was coming from the party that was supposed to be their friend. Rock People were smart enough to know they had been thrown beneath the bus and felt as welcome as a straight turd in the punch bowl in a Safe Space.
Donald Trump wasn’t a diplomat, but Hillary was siding with the Scissors People, cutting out the jobs Rock People needed. And Donald Trump was offering jobs instead of academic platitudes. And so Trump won in Pennsylvania, in Michigan, in Wisconsin, in Ohio, reminding . Hillary these states hadn’t disappeared despite the fact she had forgotten they existed.
An angry Democratic Party went to war against the Rock People.
They self-identified as “The Resistance,” people loathing Donald Trump AND his supporters. Despite their pseudo-academic boasts of “tolerance,” they doubled down against the Rock People. Stereotypes bordered on cruelty. Gold and silver hoarding gun nuts, outdated Appalachian hicks, Bible thumpers, Ayn Rand acolytes of rugged self-reliance, Hillbilly Elegy on steroids, opioids, and methamphetamines. Biker chicks, rednecks and cowboys driving planet-killing pickup trucks and listening to Rush Limbaugh in tornado-infested trailer parks.
An endless exercise in self-congratulation consumed the left.
And so the Rock People withdrew, which is what they’ve always done since the frontier days. Keeping opinions to themselves they go to work. They’re very good at what they do. They are construction workers, miners, cowboys, steelworkers, dairymen, truckers, soldiers, ranchers, plumbers, air conditioning repairpeople, electricians, butchers, bakers, masons, welders. They make money with their muscles. They make other people rich. They have yet to be rewarded.
And they know it.
So what will happen to our Rock People? Do they even have a future? Clearly the left’s become convinced we would be better off without them. But Scissors never did like Rock People. The reasons should be obvious. And Scissors People get to cut and paste our stories.
Rock People aren’t going away. We cannot afford to lose them. They work their tails off. They make our infrastructure work. And they are loyal — if they’re treated well, which happens not as often as it used to. Something tells me this will need to change.
Scissors and Paper People in the Democratic Party have joined forces to push Rock People to turn against each other.
In one scenario our Rock People might rise against the Scissors People and smash them like kids used to in Rock-Paper-Scissors. But there’s another possibility. The Rocks could band together.
The only reason Rock People need Paper People is to protect Rocks from each other. What if Rocks become wise to the Scissors People?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most of our immigrants are Rock People. I would wager the majority of Rock People aren’t white. They left the countries they grew up in to create a better world for all to live in, the same way pioneers did in America.
But the Scissors and Paper People in the Democratic Party have joined forces to push Rock People to turn against each other. It’s convenient for the Paper People to underpay the Rock People if Scissors People help them keep the Rock People divided. There is a reason why Identity Politics became a thing.
Which is a good reason the Rock People need to look out for each other.
But they have not been taught to do so. Universities, corporate media, K Street, Wall Street and even Walmart make their money by dividing us. They pit the Rocks against each other, pit the white rocks against Black rocks against Brown rocks against Yellow rocks to help their bottom lines. They spit on soldiers, defund police departments, ridicule the hardhats, make the white man in every television show the butt of jokes like Archie Bunker. It’s intentional. They do it to divide up all the Rock People, assisted with funds shipped in by the Communist Chinese and their Islamofascist allies.
I’m not a Rock Person. I have never been a fan of Donald Trump, but there are times the man was brilliant. He was brilliant about Rock People. He brought Rock People together, something needed in America. Consider it the first down payment on the debt we owe our Rock People of all colors, the unpaid bills of the Democratic Party.
Because Rock People are very much aware they’re being stiffed.
DJ Phinney is novelist who writes what he calls Red Car Noir, suspense novels steeped in history we would often rather forget. Phinney is also a civil and mechanical engineer, a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran, a Catholic by faith, and an historian in his free time. Politically he is a centrist who subscribes to neither party, although he likes Ike, and he really-really likes Harry Truman. www.dennisphinney.com