You just might accomplish the goal of alienating the one class you haven't yet alienated--white men.
This article is almost a work of art. It's traditional paleoconservatism trying to tell off Trump supporters for lacking moral responsibility, but the sweet irony is that these conservatives still don't understand that their expectation of "moral responsibility" in the face of misery and poverty is what created Trump supporters in the first place. I guess it just shows that the traditional republicans can never understand why Trump is popular, because that would require them to admit that all of their policies have failed.
Conservatives always talk about "moral responsibility" as if it was something that everyone was supposed to have left high school with. Truth is, cultivating moral responsibility requires a tremendous effort in self-improvement. And self-improvement is hard on a good day. It's shit-impossible when you lost your job at a manufacturing plant, there won't be another job like that ever, and the most interesting things left in your town are alcohol, heroin, and Islamophobia. Joe the Trump supporter isn't going to hop in a U-Haul and carry all of his stuff to the big city, because there aren't any companies there that want to hire him, and because he doesn't have the resources, skills, or initiative to learn those skills here in East Bumfuck anyway. So fuck him, right?
Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America
Sure, let's write off the fact that you can't make a living wage if you live in most rural towns in America, and pretend that it's just a moral failure. Those trade deals that eliminated the american manufacturing base surely can't have been bad, the working class all just woke up one day and decided to beat their wives and kids and start snorting Oxy. Oh wait, my mistake, it was the "welfare state" that did that. Let's blame the Democrats, forget if it makes sense or not, it can't possibly be the Republicans' fault.
Economic incentives only work if there's a functioning economy left where these people to work. If we take them off welfare, they won't magically start applying to jobs that don't exist, they'll just riot or starve. It's easy to have motivation and a drive for self-improvement when there's a destination to reach, but otherwise, saying fuck it and drinking all day is the best that some people can do. If the author can't comprehend how this creates malice, I don't know what he could comprehend.
Whenever you find yourself blaming a large percentage of the population for "moral failure" something else has gone terribly wrong. It's in the same vein as telling depressed people that the need to feel better, telling anxious people to calm down, or requesting that an amputee grow his leg back.