Based on what I read in in places like The New York Times newspaper and see on television such as on CNN, Donald John Trump is white trash. Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is white trash. What is "white trash"? White trash are people who are ignorant (some of whom have college degrees) and have bad taste and -- and this is the sine quo non: they cause trouble for persons who are better than they are. If they stayed in their place and if not respect their betters, at least not get in their way, they would be worthy of respect as human beings who happen to have limited mental capacity which is not their fault.
Persons who are uncouth or just conformists, but who do not think so highly of themselves that they cause trouble for their betters (or anybody else, for that matter) are not white trash. Their skin may be light pink or ashen, and their lives are trashy, but they are victims of a social trash society (e.g.: The United States of America after World War II) that does not provide each citizen with a good life situation. As for myself, I have generally preferred blue collar workers I have had to deal with to most [not all] of my managers and coworkers in publicly traded multinational corporations. Some men will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen. (ref. lost)
No surprise endings. For every institution with social power -- nation state, tribe or whatever --, if one of your disposable human resources (aka: normal citizens) gives birth to a gifted child, the institution should do one of two things: (1) remove the child from his (her, other ) social surround of origin and place the child with better parents where he can get a childrearing which will richly nurture and reward his specialness(es) so that he will be a happy camper, or (2) murder him in cold blood at once so that there will be no chance of the working class having brought forth a person who is not happy and has brains to try to do something about it.
Aside: Maybe the traditional version of the story of Oedipus was in a way right after all: Oedipus's stupid brutish father needed to kill a son who as more intelligent than he was to be able to confident of continuing to bask in unalloyed glory as a middle aging beer belly former college athletic star honored by everybody for, at the peak level of his body's testosterone saturation, having led Harvard to beat Princeton in lacrosse for the first time in 43 years. Deliver his viagra in a box marked: "Omaha Steaks". Go team!
OhNo!f I did no have to put up with such people, I, in my turn, would not likely pay much attention to them. Time is precious and I find it more interesting and potentially rewarding to try to understand my cat's inner life than to try to imagine if they have any and if yes, what kind. As the classical Greeks believes, per Hannah Arendt: the line separating the human from the less than human runs through a species, not along the boundary separating it from other species. Go team!
My parents were catastrophes for me. My mother should have given birth to a baby doll and my father should have had a B-student jock for a son. My father came from white trash in the colloquial sense and my mother from hard working blue collar people but she may have been mentally defective so she did not benefit so much from most of her siblings' working hard to get ahead in their lives. However and whatever, these two people had been sold a "bill of goods": a version of "the American dream". I paid the price. My mother paid the price, too, but in a different way -- a way that led her to an early death by Wonderbread sandwich in the middle of a night but she paid in a way that caused her to be a harpie to me. My father was an unusual person: a salesman who acted with high ethical principles. Both of them were clueless about everything and especially about the creature as if from another species to which their presumptive copulatory acts had given birth: me.
For elementary school, I had sort of lucked out. It was 6 wasted years of my life, but the public school I attended in Richmond Virginia was mostly privileged children: middle and upper middle class parents in Richmond's "West End" did not send their children to private schools; they sent them to Mary Mumford public elementary school. The principal had a Ph.D. in biology, or so I seem to have heard. There was a problem: my class was on a January grade change schedule and they wanted to standardize to everybody graduating in June. What did they do? They had a plan to pack the 6 years of Junior and Senior High School into 5 and 1/2 years. Not exactly difficult, but it required some structuring to work.
My parents screwed it up for me. Part of the bill of goods they had been sold was that I should take music lessons ("Anchors away my boys..." and "Thompson's method" dreck, not Bach or Scarlatti or anything of educated value...), and worse, that I should play in the school band or was it orchestra or whatever grup musical operation it was. This could have been just more waste of my precious life. But that was not to be: All the students in the "accelerated" program had to take their classes in lock step. This was not bad but it was a requirement. For me to "play" (no fun received) in the band meant my class schedule in my first semester in Junior High school had some classes with other children: children from lower SES families. The Junior High School: Albert P. Hill (named after a Confederate general) had both the children form Mary Mumford and also: other children who some other place that was apparently not privileged.
So there was segregation in the school. Of course there was the racial kind of segregation: all the children in the school were some sort of white skin. But there was was aldo: social status segregation: The Mary Mumford children were in all separate classes from the other children in the school. And here is how I came to encounter white trash for the first time in my life. Even in Mary Mumford, there had been the jewish boys who wanted to learn and attended Hebrew school after their regular school day ended, and there were Christian boys who had no interest in learning anything but were eager for recess so they could pummel each other in the yard with there still developing fists. They had not caused me very much trouble at Mary Mumford.
I have no recollection what the subject matter of the course was, but one fine morning I found myself entering a classroom that was already almost filled with lower SES 7th grade males. It was in the Southeast corner of the school building on the 2nd floor. That much I remember. I entered the room. I saw an empty seat and went to sit in it. Apparently somewhere in the room a female student I had not noticed was standing on her two healthy feet, not sitting on a chair. SOME OF THE 7TH GRADE LOW SES PACKAGES OF Y CHROMOSONES WERE ENRAGED AT MY HAVING BEEN DISRESPECTFUL OF A PERSON OF THE WEAKER GENDER! THEIR GENTLEMANLY HONOR HAD BEEN INTOLERABLY INSULTED BY ME! THEY MADE VERY CLEAR TO THEIR DAMSEL IN DISTRESS THAT THEY WERE PRESERVING HER VIRTUE! How can I express it? I had disrespected.... Shouldn't it be obvious how this mindset could be converted to killing their country's enemies on a battlefield to protect more damsels in distress? I have no recollection what happened after than but fortunately I was not physicalkly attacked by these disgusting pieces of, yes, you got it: white trash: A room full of Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyys to be, just sans his wealth and political power. Oink! Oink!
I had not noticed there was a girl standing somewhere in the back of the room (nor probably would I have cared if I had) but these Knights in Snickers bars armor, white equivalents of "boyz in the hood", had their courtly code of gentleman's honor to defend to the death: Ladies first. I should not have taken that chair, but, as a gentleman, have given it to the young lady. If necessary, have given my life for her comfort. I have no idea what transpired in that classroom for the rest of he semester or if I even stayed in the class, but I got the point that there were low lifes in this world who could cause me trouble: gentlemen: White trash. I do not even recall anything more of that class period. All I remember is having been berated by people far beneath me. And all due to my clueless parents ideating I needed to "play" a musical instrument in the school banana.
Fortunately at the end of that semester we moved back to Baltimore and the split level in Wakefield (that was the name of the upscale "development wher that house was). I had to repeat the first half of seventh grade because Mr. S. Atherton Middleton decided it would be good for my social adjustment, and my life was always being wasted one way or another, so wasting another semester of it was No big deal because I was just a lump of flesh that was adept at coloriing in little circles on standardized test answer sheets for them to jerk around ad libitum. Just think: In the Capital of hte Confederacy I attended schools where the adults had not yet come to terms with having lost the Civil War; back in Baltimore Maryland, a state which sided with the Union, and even being a white person, I had masters even though it was after 1863 in the USA. Why not say it: I was just a nigger with white skin, no civil rights, a slave to a bunch of masters in a nominally Christian school where they worshipped graven images (shiny plated body-contact athletic team victory trophies). As always: Go team! Go to hell, team! But how can you go to hell when you already are there but ideate you are in Heaven.
But there was an advantage to that benighted place: There were no free range juvenile delinquests there. the place was very bad for me, but I did not each school day fear being assaulted by uncouth pubescent male thugs. Misbehavior is one thing that was not tolerated in that "prep school". So I could become a heretic instead of an ER candidate. To end with AP Hill. I was beset after school by a little clot of three of the little thugs. They were always threatening me. By very good fotrune, they left me alone after I stabbed one of them -- probably their leader -- as hard as I could in the upper arm with my ball point pen. I was a puny weakling, but even a puny weakling can use a weapon to leverage his lack of physical strength. I stabbed that goddamned [fill in the blank] as hard as I could and it was apparently enough for the lot them.
To finish with this. Why the big deal about "theses people"? Because they impacted me. Had they been some place else they would not have mattered to me. I could not have been disgusted by them had them never entered into my life. It's as simple as that. It's like if I had never encountered the idea of a Supreme Deity I could never have become an atheist then, later agnostic and today an anti-theist who hopes God does not exist and that, if He does, that He will not hurt me. Q.E.D.
A credible threat
The only otherpiece of white trash I have been subjected to was a petty clerk in Maryand National Bank who, when I was about to leave to go to IBM, I made the mistake of saying to somebody that he should not get my old job. He got in my face and explained that he knew how to damage my body in ways that would not leave marks and I have no doubt he did know how. I had made the very serious mistake of crossing an ignorant, stupid person who thought very highly of himself, and indeed he should have: I had by accident found out he was being paid almost as much as me. That should have cued me in on what I was dealing with in that FDIC insured institution. And they did indeed threaten to fire me for complaining about him having threatened me.
People who are ignorant, stupid, uncouth and have other such negative attributes are not always trouble. The problem comes when they ideate that that makes them better than persons who have spent their whole lives cultivating "higher values". "I am stupid and you are smart, and that's why I am better than you! And I've got the power to destroy you, so I will do just that to make the world a better place for me to enjoy my stupidity without people like you being around to remind me to feel bad about myself for being stupid."
How about George W.Bush? He seemed proud of being ignorant and stupid, didn't he? Or Ronald Reagan? But in Mr. Reagan's case we may be seeing something rather different: a man pretending to be ignorant and stupid to gain points with people who really are those things, and to encourage more people to become so. Then we have the Simpsn family inthe comics, or Kim Kardashian West in reality. But she does not seem to be into hurting people, does she, just making the front end of her alimentary canal look like the back end of it and people liking this. People like her would probalby be OK if they earned the minimum wage doing menial labor or perhaps as streetwalkers. Finally, there is even genuine fake white trash: Dolly Parton, who has said that it costs a lot of money to look cheap. Americans' idea of Venus de Milo. Boys, like Mr. Zelensky, will be boys.
I have neer met Donald Trump of Mr Zenensky and I hope I never will. But not all white trash peole are ignorant. I think Dr. Edward Teller who not ony had an earned doctorate in Physics bue also apparently was an accomplished player of classical music was white trash: He destroyed J. Robert Oppenheimer's career because "Oppy" did not kowtow to his lust to build "The Super" (the hydrogen bomb), and as he put it to the McCarthy anti- communist witch hunters, Dr. Oppenheimer's thoughts weems a bit too omplicted for his taste. This is like Mr. elem=nsky saying he liked some British comedian or other because this person was easier to understand than N=Monty Python. And his smiling face beamed in the glory of not understanding something. People who can't understand much but are proud of it can demand "Ladies and chidren first" even if they may be minotaurs in bed and beat their kids, and they can bicker in wars. What turns them on most? Public same gender locker room nudity probably bitching with each othe about hos disgusting "faggots" are, to keep themselves form doing the obvious in such a situation: buggering each other. Well, who were into doing that ad also buggering boys? The elite males of classical Greece.
So college kids are taught to write term papers on which they will be graded like USDA about how Mr. Socrates died for truth trying to enlighten the philistines of Athens. instead they could be being taught in a lab course to follow the example of Mr. Plato's dialogues: To enjoy leisured discussion with peers and going off sometimes into a private room to continue the discussion by other means. Q: How big does an elephant in the middle of a small room have to be to become invisible?
"Don't tell me what I know." (U.S. President Donald J. Trump responding to a reporter's question in a White House Press Conference)
"It is what it is." (
Martin Heidegger U.S. President Donald J. Trump, presumably anent Covid-19 casualty count, ref. lost)
"It is probably easier for dead people to vote by mail than to vote in person." (U.S. President Donald J. Trump)
"If you really want to drive 'em crazy: Twelve more years!" (U.S. President Donald J. Trump)
"We won and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want [to replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the U.S. Supreme Court].... we're here now, right now, we're here, and we have an obligation to the voters, all of the people, the millions of people who put us here." (U.S. President Donald J. Trump, The New York Times, 20Sep20, p.21)
Never in my lifetime have I seen an American President reviled, excoriated, vituperated and more, like Donald J. Trump. An OpEd piece in The New York Times has referred to him as "the Nosferatu of American politics". Another NYT OpEd piece (12Jun20) observes: "Somehow, even at this late date, there are professional commentators who have not grasped the full malignancy of this president." Crescit eundo [aka: He keeps building upon his preceding malefactions to make himself become an even worse malefactor.]. 21Sep20: He and his subordinates are getting more and more emboldened.
The current head of the United States military Joint Chiefs of Staff has publicly apologized for allowing himself to be seen with him in a now famous "photo op". When the newspaper repeatedly writes of him hiding in his White House bunker, I think of another man who hid in a bunker but who did not consider the leader of the then Soviet Union to be his friend.
Please also see an inadvertent Donald J. Trump artwork: here.
Sophocles, quoting from memory from Martin Heidegger's translation of "Ode to Man":
O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure!
O fate of man, working both good and evil!
When the laws are kept how proudly the city stands,
When the laws are broken, what of the city then?
He who, venturing high above his place,
Mistakes what is not for what is,
Loses his place in the end.
Never may the anarchic man frequent my hearth!
Never be it said that his thoughts are my thoughts!