The election of 2016 between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump will go down as one of the most important political decisions of the century. No election previous has ever brought so many racial divisions, allegations of the illegitimacy of democracy, platforms of reform to legislative branch, or galvanized so many working class people to go out and vote. Further, the results of the election have never so surprised or undercut the consensus of the media in the modern era and as such has made American citizens question the way they look at their fellow neighbors and the demographics of the country. Latoya Ruby Frazier is a woman working with in this system through her work with the working class, art, and revolution in the art world and as such she brought an interesting perspective to the way that we as Colby Students should look at the election.
Class in America is one of the most understudied and undervalued subjects across social debates since the inception of the republic. The reason we as a people took independence in July 4th, 1776 is because the upper middle class white males of this country began to be frustrated with and question having to answer to an authoritarian ruler that made them pay an exorbitant amount of taxes. As such, the founding fathers conceived of our republic as one that was fair to its citizens in terms of infringments on wealth. Whether that be guidelines on the ownership of land, taxes, etc. With that said, class and the influence of the government on socio-economic status has been at the forefront of social debates across issues of race, sex, and nationality. Why is it then that the Democratic Party has become so out of touch with recognizing class disparities and the ways that class has effected political discourse, legislation, and support?
Latoya laid out this issue and frankly the hypocrisy of the democratic part in the ways it has handled issues of class and intersections of policy or discourse that have marginalized the working class in particular. The reason why the reality of a Donald Trump Presidency came into fruition is because he worked on the largest weak spot of the party of the change and hope, the people that have been begging for and not receiving change or hope for the past fifty years. The industrial towns, the mill towns, the factories, and the ghost towns of production have become hubs of dissatisfaction, poverty, anger, and death. The working class are not just a rhetorical device for politicians to portray themselves as “of the people”, they are actual people that have been neglected and are in need of help. Through documentation and discussion Latoya was able to capture the mistrust of people like those in Bradock as that which would not be subsided by the lack of charisma and authenticity in Hilary, but the firebrand and assertive promises of a political outsider. Now with his victory it will be interesting how this documentation will move forward.