Both parties allowed the good jobs to be shipped overseas or automated leaving behind a plague of addiction, out of wedlock births, and racial tension in their wake. There’s no class solidarity to be had when the white working class is competing with the black and brown working class for the crumbs that were left behind.
What angers me most is that the people in charge knew this was going on and plowed ahead anyway. We see the same story play out in the parts of the UK voting for Brexit and BoJo, the Eastern European countries that rapidly deindustrialized after communism ended, East Germany which never caught up to the West and now supports the AfD. The only thing left for some of these people to hold onto is their religion, nationalism, or their white privilege. Some other force that gives them meaning or dignity that cannot come from a good paycheck that doesn’t exist anymore.
Terrorism doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Whether it’s an alienated young man in Saudi Arabia becoming a hijacker or an alienated young man in Antioch IL with fantasies of being a vigilante for blue lives, it’s the same old story. Take away the jobs and dignity and the violence will happen as people fight over what’s left.
So I hope we can fix this soon. I think educators have an obligation to be blunt and get real about preparing our students for the actual jobs of the future as well as preparing them for the full time job of being a citizen who thinks about their community and not just their own self interest. It’s hard, but essential work.