Every once in a while, I hear or read something that makes me pause and realize I’m not as damned smart as I think I am.
If Wikipedia is correct that that idiomatic phrase comes from the medieval usage of ‘umble pie,’ a dish of offals suitable only for the lower classes, I’m even more deserving of a large serving.
This has to do with my disdainful regard for those who flock to Trump rallies. Instead of taking seriously the reasons for so many feeling that The Donald is ‘one of us,’ I’ve lumped the whole crowd into a category I can easily dismiss. They are all Duck-Dynasty Bubbas, the unwashed, possum-eatin’, gun-crazies. OK, evidently Senator Cruz is of the same opinion, since he’s been seen, shot-gun raised in a duck blind, dressed in his camo outfit.
I was somewhat jarred out of my liberal dismissal of those idiots when I read this
It is not that I hadn’t supposed that there is some raging undercurrent to which political demagoguery appeals, rather, in my retired, comfortable, almost-affluence, I’ve failed to see the plight of those so enraged. There are tens of thousands of working-class people in our towns and cities who would be thrilled to have a job that paid a steady income equivalent to my modest pension and Social Security check.
Yes, they wear Mossy Oak vests and caps instead of Dockers and Ralph Lauren, but they are nonetheless worthy of regard and respect. They may shop at Wal*Mart and ALDI but that does not make them some kind of Neanderthal subspecies, not fully homo sapiens. They may simply want their families to enjoy the comforts you and I take for granted.
We may well have come to a tipping point. When the molten cauldron of their resentment and rage erupts into a revolution, we may wish we had not been so dismissive of their culture and their plight.
If ALDI has humble pie in the frozen food section, I’ll get one on my next shopping trip.
14 responses to “A Serving of Humble Pie”
I am reminded of the song “O Lord it’s Hard to Be Humble!” Thanks for the reminder that we all could use a dose of “umble pie.” In the word’s of the Apostle Paul “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
With all due respect, I do not agree with Paul’s assertion that we should regard others better than ourselves. Also, we all have some form of selfish ambition and conceit, otherwise, wouldn’t survive for very long.
While I see your intent is honorable, I think this kind of thinking breeds inequality, and leads to the very oppression and dehumanization we are seeing in America and in other highly stratified cultures/countries. If you see yourself as not being better than others, then others will justify seeing themselves better than you, thus more deserving of human rights and resources.
If you say that you see others as better than you, then you either have false humility, or you don’t believe you deserve to be treated as an equal among your fellow human beings. Even the bible emphasis the golden rule which existed long before Judeo-Christianity.
Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.
Do appreciate responses to my thoughts, but do need to say that the Humble Pie was not a ‘potluck’ offering, i.e., it wasn’t a ‘dish to share.’ I wasn’t suggesting that anyone else have a bite, only that I decided my lack of empathy needed a re-examination.
Ron, I didn’t take your humble pie comment to mean we should all partake. My comment was directed at you, solely, because I thought you were being too hard on yourself, if you were going by this article alone. I’m not sure where you live, but I live in the deep south. People here (predominantly Trump supporters) thrive on authoritarianism, want to tell you how to live your life (their way or the highway) and are very tribal. If you challenge the status quo they can make your life miserable.
Like I mentioned, Trump knows his audience.
Thanks, I do appreciate your thinking I was being too hard on myself. It is a bit unusual to be taken that seriously here in Cyberville.
I live in central Ohio, in a County in which we could have our Progressive Caucus in the bed of a Ford Ranger (that’s a damned small pick-up for those of you who don’t shop at Tractor Supply). Tribal, parochial, mean-spirited, and authoritarian are all adjectives that describe some, maybe even most, of my neighbors and adverbs that qualify much of their behaviors/actions. When I go to the Post Office to retrieve our mail (no delivery in a town of 600), there are no bumper stickers to indicate that my Subaru is in friendly territory. Yep, you are right-on regarding The Donald’s being fully aware of his exquisite exploitation. He is typical in his political strategy.
I’m really sorry that your life is made miserable by your neighbors. Mine too, sometimes by some neighbors. For me though, my developing Buddhist practice keeps insisting that I not see people as one-dimensional enemies. That’s my story and I’ll stick to it. That doesn’t mean that I’m not voting for Bernie.
Fair enough, Ron. I doubt anyone whose involved in human rights issues, and are working towards alleviating the root causes of America’s social ills see these people as one-dimensional enemies. I don’t know you well enough to assume you were one who did. But the fact that you are voting for Bernie, tells me you’re not. 🙂
So in other words, no humble pie on the menu OK?
Whatever the reason for Trump supporters’ dissatisfaction, there is something wrong with the psychological makeup of anyone who supports this man. He’s a mean-spirited bully who cares little for the facts or fairness. Anyone who eats his shit up is missing something important in his/her humanity. And that can mean dire consequences for the rest of us if their immature bully-worship prevails at the polls.
Poignant. Hope you get feedback a’plenty.
An interesting analysis, and well written, but I wouldn’t serve yourself a full slice of humble pie just yet. Trump knows his audience, indeed, and his political strategy is not unique. I was reminded of this quote by Lillian Smith:
Thanks, Neuro, you always have something significant to add. I won’t chow-down just yet.
Thanks Ron and Robert. Based on several studies I’ve read about brain signatures/personality types, including the study you (Robert) cited not long ago on your blog regarding the conservative brain, the main reason (I think) Trump is so popular among certain voters is because Trump and his supporters have one common denominator. Authoritarian personalities. So when he tells them that he’s just like his supporters, he’s not BSing. In fact, one of the studies cited in the study you posted, Robert, is noted in this article.
Trump has been upfront about keeping the status quo (high poverty rate) which, to me, negates the supposed “resentment riding” noted in the article Ron posted. Trump specifically told MSNBC that he wants to make the U.S. more competitive in the Global market. In other words, entice corporations back into the U.S. by paying employees lower wages, and lowering corporate taxes. He further states that “having a low minimum wage is not bad for this country.”
So, that tells me his supporters are more interested in authoritarianism than US citizens making a living wage.
Ron, I would suggest tossing that humble pie in the trash.
>>> “… Trump and his supporters have one common denominator. Authoritarian personalities.”
Bingo, Victoria. Although I would add one distinction. The authoritarianism of the GOP establishment manifests itself differently than the authoritarianism of the conservative populist base. The former is primarily driven by aristocratic sentiments (capitalism, and social hierarchy), whereas the latter is impelled by cultural allegiances and tribalism (race, religion, ethnicity, and heritage).