Holly Wood in the Village Voice -- best millennial writing on Bernie:
There seems to be no shortage of bizarrely sexist assumptions as to why I, a Millennial feminist, am not voting for Hillary Clinton. But speaking as a Millennial feminist, let me assure you: None of them is accurate. Granted, the span of my political biography is only as long as it took Howard Dean to go from human rights crusader to insurance lobbyist. But the reason for my political disaffection is plain: I've spent my entire Millennial life watching the Democratic Party claw its way up the ass of corporate America. There's no persuading me that the Democratic establishment — from where it sits now — has the capacity to represent me, or my values.
And I'm not alone. According to a 2013 poll by Harvard's Kennedy School, three out of five of my peers now believe politicians prioritize private gain over the public good. When young people open opensecrets.org to gauge just how cheaply our futures trade these days, are we being cynical, or just realistic?
If Millennials are coming out in droves to support Bernie Sanders, it's not because we are tripping balls on Geritol. No, Sanders's clever strategy of shouting the exact same thing for 40 years simply strikes a chord among the growing number of us who now agree: Washington is bought. And every time Goldman Sachs buys another million-dollar slice of the next American presidency, we can't help but drop the needle onto Bernie's broken record:
The economy is rigged.
Democracy is corrupted.
The billionaires are on the warpath.
Sanders has split the party with hits like these, a catchy stream of pessimistic populism. Behind this arthritic Pied Piper, the youth rally, brandishing red-lettered signs reading "MONEYLENDERS OUT." If you ask them, they'll tell you there's a special place in Hell for war criminals who launch hedge funds.
f anything concerns me at this pivotal moment, it's not the revolutionary tremors of the youth. Given the Great American Trash Fire we have inherited, this rebellion strikes me as exceedingly reasonable. Pick a crisis, America: Child poverty? Inexcusable. Medical debt? Immoral. For-profit prison? Medieval. Climate change? Apocalyptic. The Middle East is our Vietnam. Flint, the canary in our coal mine. Tamir Rice, our martyred saint. This place is a mess. We're due for a hard rain.
If I am alarmed, it is by the profound languor of the comfortable. What fresh hell must we find ourselves in before those who've appointed themselves to lead our thoughts admit that we are in flames? As I see it, to counsel realism when the reality is fucked is to counsel an adherence to fuckery. Under conditions as distressing as these, acquiescence is absurd. When your nation gets classified as a Class D structure fire, I believe the only wise course is to lose your shit.
The reason Wall Street is dropping zillions of quarters into Hillary's Super PAC-Man machine isn't because it wants change — it's because Wall Street sees revenue in her promises of keeping things much the same. Under Hillary, our prisons will continue to punish for profit. Our schools will continue to be sold off to private contractors. And despite 87 percent of Democrats standing behind universal health care, Hillary insists it will "never, ever come to pass." Not from her, I guess, since she's taken over $13 million from the health care industry.
We really can't, America, says Hillary. Nope. Not ever. We are a powerful nation, kids, but one run by the Great Market God. Leave your moral gag reflex at the door. Close that pesky Overton window, won't you? And be a doll and bolt those tables to the floor. You'll love the moneylenders, dear. I do. Hell, my daughter married one!
"A new, data-filled study by the Harvard scholars Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez reports that the Kochs have established centralized command of a “nationally-federated, full-service, ideologically focused” machine that “operates on the scale of a national U.S. political party.” The Koch network, they conclude, acts like a “force field,” pulling Republican candidates and office-holders further to the right. Last week, the Times reported that funds from the Koch network are fuelling both ongoing rebellions against government control of Western land and the legal challenge to labor unions that is before the Supreme Court."
Excerpts from an important article in the Atlantic. Read the whole thing here.
For the last several months, social scientists have been debating the striking findings of a study by the economists Susan Case and Angus Deaton. Between 1998 and 2013, Case and Deaton argue, white Americans across multiple age groups experienced large spikes in suicide and fatalities related to alcohol and drug abuse—spikes that were so large that, for whites aged 45 to 54, they overwhelmed the dependable modern trend of steadily improving life expectancy. While critics have challenged the magnitude and timing of the rise in middle-age deaths (particularly for men), they and the study’s authors alike seem to agree on some basic points: Problems of mental health and addiction have taken a terrible toll on whites in America—though seemingly not in other wealthy nations—and the least educated among them have fared the worst.
Meanwhile, other recent research has piled on the bad news for those without college degrees. A Pew study released last month found that the size of the middle class—defined by a consistent income range across generations—has shrunk over the last several decades. In part, this is because high-paying jobs for the less educated are vanishing. The study builds on other recent research that finds that almost all the good jobs created since the recession have gone to college graduates.
As organized labor in this country has withered, an extreme individualism has stepped in as the alternative—a go-it-alone perspective narrowly focused on getting an education and becoming successful on one’s own merit. This works well for some, but for others—especially the two-thirds of Americans over the age of 25 who don’t have a bachelor’s degree—it often means getting mired in an economy of contract work, low pay, and few, if any, benefits. These prospects suggest that this is an age of diminished expectations for the working class.
Yet there is clearly more to the despair of the working class than empty wallets and purses. Patches of the social fabric that once supported them, in good times and bad, have frayed. When asked in national surveys about the people with whom they discussed “important matters” in the past six months, those with just a high-school education or less are likelier to say no one (this percentage has risen over the years for college graduates, too). This trend is troubling, given that social isolation is linked to depression and, in turn, suicide and substance abuse.
The religiously unaffiliated are not necessarily secular in their outlook. Many of them are spiritually inclined but skeptical of organized religion—especially its intrusion into politics. However, in the absence of any other source of social support and collective meaning (say, unions), there’s less in the way of psychological protection from the slings and arrows of American society.
This sort of isolation was common among the people I talked to. Many said their faith was helping them get through their ongoing troubles, yet they rarely or never went to church. Some felt ashamed to be around people because they were out of work. For others, their religious belief was somewhat a source of self-help, rather than a source of community. For example, one of the workers I interviewed said that being out of work for so long had filled him with a constant rage. To calm his mind, every night he would pick up his Bible and read a dozen verses. He had given up on the church and what he described as its superficial ways. “I want to go to hear the Word—I don’t want to go to see what you’re wearing,” says the man, 53 and from Flint, Michigan. The other way he copes is going outside for a smoke.
For this man and many like him, there is no one to talk to, no one to rely on. “Nowadays, you got people you really can’t trust, man,” he says. “You can’t call everybody your friend.” As the ties that bind them to others have unraveled, the working class has become an ever lonelier crowd.
The larger context of this isolation and alienation is America’s culture of individualism. It, too, can worsen the despair. Taken to an extreme, self-reliance becomes a cudgel: Those who falter and fail have only themselves to blame. They should have gotten more education. They should have been more prepared. On this score, too, the U.S. deviates from other wealthy nations. America’s frontier spirit of rugged individualism is strong, and it manifests itself differently by race and education level, too. White Americans, for instance, are more likely to see success as the result of individual effort than African Americans are (though not Hispanics). The less educated, particularly less-educated whites, also share this view to a disproportionate degree.
In Stayin’ Alive, his powerful history of the “last days” of the working class, the historian Jefferson Cowie describes how the proud blue-collar identity of previous generations disintegrated during the ’70s. “Liberty has largely been reduced to an ideology that promises economic and cultural refuge from the long arm of the state,” he writes, “while seemingly lost to history is the logic that culminated under the New Deal: that genuine freedom could only happen within a context of economic security.” As working-class solidarity receded, an identity built on racial tribalism often swept in.
from Democracy Now:
The World Trade Organization recently issued a final ruling saying, unless we ixnay that law, we were going to face billions in trade sanctions. And the history of this is, the U.S. meatpacking industry, plus their Canadian and Mexican counterparts, didn’t want this law. And they tried in federal court. They tried to fight us in Congress. It only took 50 years, we finally won. The law becomes the law of the land. And the polling shows 90 percent of Americans love that law. Well, when they couldn’t win in the democratic process of our courts, of our Congress, these interests went to a trade tribunal. Mexico and Canada challenged the law at the WTO in one of the trade tribunals, saying this violates the U.S. obligations at the WTO. And the tribunal, one tribunal after another after an appellate one, they said yes. The U.S. government even changed the law to address the technical errors that the WTO tribunal pointed out. And again, we lost the appeal. So, basically, Canada and Mexico, at the end, were in a position, because this is how it works, to say to the U.S., "Either kill the law or pay $2 billion in trade sanctions every year"—every year—for the right of knowing where our meat comes from. And the Congress said, "Oh, oh, my god, trade war. Let’s avoid the sanctions." And they gutted the law. So, if you go to the grocery store now, you’re going to notice that’s gone.
That is a real, live example of our day-to-day lives—not about jobs, but our day-to-day food, the environment—being undermined by these agreements. And if TPP is allowed to go through, imagine that on steroids. We have the ability to stop TPP by getting our representatives now, in this election year coming up, when they’re most sensitive, to commit to voting no. But it’s on us, because in our country is where it can be stopped. And we can do this. It’s already—there are a lot of members of Congress who don’t like the agreement. But using this TransCanada case, using the meat example, those are real ways we can help educate our neighbors, our friends, about what the risk is. Everyone knows TPP means more job offshoring and lower wages, but it’s more than that. That’s terrible, and it’s all these other things, too. And if we educate people and aim them at our members of the House of Representatives to get commitments to vote no, we can avoid doubling down on this disaster.
Liza Featherstone in the Nation (an excerpt -- read the whole thing here):
Socialist feminism assumes that redistribution is the best way to begin improving life for the vast majority of women, both materially and socially. To take a none-too-radical example, in countries like Denmark and Sweden—which offer a broad range of social benefits provided through the state rather than acquired in desperation, as they so often are here, through marriage or a job—women can live more comfortably; raise healthier, more secure children; and sleep with whomever they please. Throughout her long career, Clinton has demonstrated contempt for turning this project into policy.
As first lady of Arkansas, she led the efforts by her husband’s administration to weaken teachers’ unions and scapegoat teachers—most of them women, large numbers of them black—for problems in the education system, implementing performance measures and firings that set a punitive tone for education reform nationwide. Rather than trying to walk this back, Clinton recently said that as president, she would close any public school “that wasn’t doing a better than average job.” Fuzzy math aside, this suggests a regime of pressure on America’s mostly female teaching force—81 percent of elementary- and middle-school teachers are women—that would make her predecessors look like presidents of a giant homeschooling hippie collective. Hillary’s socialist-feminist boosters might want to ask themselves: What kind of socialist feminism supports undermining black women on the job while imposing austerity on the public sector? And lest you think Clinton’s financial hawkishness is reserved for K–12, she also opposes free college tuition, though the United States is the only country where students—57 percent of them women—are saddled with decades of debt as the price of attaining higher education. Defending this position, Clinton recently said that it was important for people seeking a college degree to have “skin in this game.”
In a normal election season, all of this would be reason to agitate, but not necessarily to work or vote against the candidate—after all, what’s the alternative? This year, however, there is an inspiring reason to vote against Hillary: an actually existing socialist-feminist candidate in the Democratic primary. I’m talking, of course, about Bernie Sanders. He’s no Marxist revolutionary—if you’re waiting for someone who will expropriate the expropriators, you’ll have to wait a little longer—but he has spent his life fighting, consistently and without apology, for social-democratic policies that would improve the lives of a majority of American women. In contrast to Clinton’s devotion to imposing shame and austerity on poor women and their kids, Sanders helped lead the Senate opposition to Republican efforts to cut the WIC program, which provides nutrition assistance for mothers, babies, and pregnant women—and he has said that, as president, he would expand it. Other prominent planks in his platform that should be of interest to feminists include free college tuition, single-payer healthcare, high-quality childcare for all Americans, and a $15 minimum wage. In contrast to Clinton’s waffling on Planned Parenthood, Sanders has said that he would increase federal funding to the organization; and as part of his single-payer plan, he would expand support for women’s reproductive-health services.
Comrades standing up against Elsevier and Taylor and Francis and insisting on the knowledge commons. Here is their letter. Please read and share.
In solidarity with Library Genesis and Sci-Hub
In Antoine de Saint Exupéry's tale the Little Prince meets a businessman who accumulates stars with the sole purpose of being able to buy more stars. The Little Prince is perplexed. He owns only a flower, which he waters every day. Three volcanoes, which he cleans every week. "It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them," he says, "but you are of no use to the stars that you own".
There are many businessmen who own knowledge today. Consider Elsevier, the largest scholarly publisher, whose 37% profit margin1 stands in sharp contrast to the rising fees, expanding student loan debt and poverty-level wages for adjunct faculty. Elsevier owns some of the largest databases of academic material, which are licensed at prices so scandalously high that even Harvard, the richest university of the global north, has complained that it cannot afford them any longer. Robert Darnton, the past director of Harvard Library, says "We faculty do the research, write the papers, referee papers by other researchers, serve on editorial boards, all of it for free … and then we buy back the results of our labour at outrageous prices."2 For all the work supported by public money benefiting scholarly publishers, particularly the peer review that grounds their legitimacy, journal articles are priced such that they prohibit access to science to many academics - and all non-academics - across the world, and render it a token of privilege.3
Elsevier has recently filed a copyright infringement suit in New York against Science Hub and Library Genesis claiming millions of dollars in damages.4 This has come as a big blow, not just to the administrators of the websites but also to thousands of researchers around the world for whom these sites are the only viable source of academic materials. The social media, mailing lists and IRC channels have been filled with their distress messages, desperately seeking articles and publications.
Even as the New York District Court was delivering its injunction, news came of the entire editorial board of highly-esteemed journal Lingua handing in their collective resignation, citing as their reason the refusal by Elsevier to go open access and give up on the high fees it charges to authors and their academic institutions. As we write these lines, a petition is doing the rounds demanding that Taylor & Francis doesn't shut down Ashgate5, a formerly independent humanities publisher that it acquired earlier in 2015. It is threatened to go the way of other small publishers that are being rolled over by the growing monopoly and concentration in the publishing market. These are just some of the signs that the system is broken. It devalues us, authors, editors and readers alike. It parasites on our labor, it thwarts our service to the public, it denies us access6.
We have the means and methods to make knowledge accessible to everyone, with no economic barrier to access and at a much lower cost to society. But closed access’s monopoly over academic publishing, its spectacular profits and its central role in the allocation of academic prestige trump the public interest. Commercial publishers effectively impede open access, criminalize us, prosecute our heroes and heroines, and destroy our libraries, again and again. Before Science Hub and Library Genesis there was Library.nu or Gigapedia; before Gigapedia there was textz.org; before textz.org there was little; and before there was little there was nothing. That's what they want: to reduce most of us back to nothing. And they have the full support of the courts and law to do exactly that.7
In Elsevier's case against Sci-Hub and Library Genesis, the judge said: "simply making copyrighted content available for free via a foreign website, disserves the public interest"8. Alexandra Elbakyan's original plea put the stakes much higher: "If Elsevier manages to shut down our projects or force them into the darknet, that will demonstrate an important idea: that the public does not have the right to knowledge."
We demonstrate daily, and on a massive scale, that the system is broken. We share our writing secretly behind the backs of our publishers, circumvent paywalls to access articles and publications, digitize and upload books to libraries. This is the other side of 37% profit margins: our knowledge commons grows in the fault lines of a broken system. We are all custodians of knowledge, custodians of the same infrastructures that we depend on for producing knowledge, custodians of our fertile but fragile commons. To be a custodian is, de facto, to download, to share, to read, to write, to review, to edit, to digitize, to archive, to maintain libraries, to make them accessible. It is to be of use to, not to make property of, our knowledge commons.
More than seven years ago Aaron Swartz, who spared no risk in standing up for what we here urge you to stand up for too, wrote: "We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access. With enough of us, around the world, we'll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we'll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?"9
We find ourselves at a decisive moment. This is the time to recognize that the very existence of our massive knowledge commons is an act of collective civil disobedience. It is the time to emerge from hiding and put our names behind this act of resistance. You may feel isolated, but there are many of us. The anger, desperation and fear of losing our library infrastructures, voiced across the internet, tell us that. This is the time for us custodians, being dogs, humans or cyborgs, with our names, nicknames and pseudonyms, to raise our voices.
Share this letter - read it in public - leave it in the printer. Share your writing - digitize a book - upload your files. Don't let our knowledge be crushed. Care for the libraries - care for the metadata - care for the backup. Water the flowers - clean the volcanoes.
Dušan Barok, Josephine Berry, Bodó Balázs, Sean Dockray, Kenneth Goldsmith, Anthony Iles, Lawrence Liang, Sebastian Lütgert, Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Marcell Mars, spideralex, Tomislav Medak, Dubravka Sekulić, Femke Snelting...
This post is a result of frustration with Todd Gitlin's editorial in today's NYT. I can't stand his self-serving invocation of '68. No student protests or radical political efforts since '68 ever measure up to his rosy-tinted glory days and he is always happy to tell us why. This time it is because the protesters are complaining about vulnerability and movements don't win unless people are strong. Gitlin's basic move is bizarre: the students at Missouri won. Their football team put their economic power in the university to work as political power. Students all over the country this week put their universities on notice, occupied spaces, opening up another round of discussions of racism in colleges and universities . This doesn't seem like a story well-described with a headline about protesters' fear.
That said, the rhetoric of safe spaces, vulnerability, and civility does seem part of the current moment. Why? Gitlin too quickly dismisses political economic considerations -- the enormity of student debt, diminished economic prospects, loss of rewarding work, and intensified financial insecurity facing this generation of students. He notes, only to discard, the surveillance part of contemporary life. I think these political economic factors are more important than Gitlin allows. They establish the terms through which the students are voicing their critique. Students frame their opposition in a language of safety and vulnerability because that is the language available to them after forty years of neoliberalism and in the second decade of the war on terror.
The new left stood on the shoulders of the old left they sought to defeat. Available to them was a rhetoric of class struggle, equality, strategy, and solidarity. Contemporary students come into a different university, one focused, first, on profits, individual success, efficiency, and the victory of the strongest and, second, on safety, security, and comfort. They are taught that what matters is their individual psychic, physical, and emotional health. They have to defend themselves, take care of themselves, listen to themselves. If they don't no one else will. So they are pushing back against a university system that they experience as hostile, damaging, unhealthy.
Some universities present themselves as caring, as providing mental health services and a personalized environment that will help students meet their individual needs and goals. For the most part, this is advertising -- as everybody knows. The reality is stress, debt, the reproduction of privilege, and, for some, a few years of extreme partying.
The university concentrates the tensions of the larger society: competition v. security, profits v. comfort. When every space is a site of struggle -- to get that job, that A, that recommendation, that attractive mate, that sports victory -- no space is safe (that students in Texas can carry guns is an extreme illustration of this point). The university tries to promise to its customers a safety it cannot provide because it's impossible, particularly under capitalist conditions. Capitalism requires losers, victims, an exploited underclass, a reserve army of the unemployed, and, more pointedly, those who ruthless enough to cut, fire, and coerce.
When every course or offering requires an economic justification (the proliferation of "leadership" as a buzzword is one odious example), cultivating reflection, respect, understanding, and the languages of critique seems an expense few can afford. The university either cuts them entirely or the students in these courses realize the fundamental tension between the course and the university itself: will getting a good grade in theories of social justice make a difference in the job market?
Students are using a vocabulary of safety and vulnerability because that is the one that registers in contemporary culture. Since 9/11 they've seen that it works. Need resources? Highlight a security threat. There's always money for weapons and police.
The critical language of too much of the academic left amplifies the appeal of a critical language of vulnerability: grievable lives, mourning, melancholia, exclusion, failure, the rejection of power, the potential of any term, act, norm, or demand to harm and exclude.
What's innovative in the last round of protests is the weaponization of safety and vulnerability. Think cultural revolution rather than therapy, hundreds and thousands of students on campus after campus rejecting the status quo and demanding change. The attack on privilege is an attack on hierarchies of race and class, waged in the language available to those told they live in a post-racial society offering no alternative to capitalism.
That said, there is a risk in the current struggles-- and it has nothing to do with a threat to free speech as the liberals would have it. The risk of invoking vulnerability and appealing to safety comes in the reinforcing of an authority who would promise security, who would recognize the vulnerable as vulnerable and guarantee that he would protect them from harm.
I don't think the current wave of protests will end up in this position for two reasons. First, such protection is impossible -- it exceeds the boundaries of the university. From the changing climate to the barbarous economy, the university can't shore itself up against the society it includes and reproduces. The more it tries, the more caught up it gets in the contradictions of struggle and safety. Second, and consequently, efforts to meet students' demands by strengthening administrative authority reveal the impossibility as the incompatibility between capitalism and the promise of a decent, humane life on which the university relies. Decent, humane life, equal life, solidary life, responsive life, requires remaking the university, using it as a base camp in a struggle for society against capitalism -- in other words, cultural revolution.
In both of these tech-dystopian works, the future is an anxious bird, flying in circles over a hot, flat, crowded landscape, biding its time until an ISIS-operated drone sprays weaponized bird flu in its face. What else can it do? The clock is ticking down and nothing is sustainable. The seas are boiling, filthy with plastic bags and drowning polar bears; the smoggy air will soon be swarming with (more) U.S. military drones, rogue-state nuclear drones, homemade bioweaponry, and Amazon’s fleet of robotic delivery devices.
Even now, as we guiltily crouch in our resource-gobbling suburban fortresses, reassuring ourselves that no carbon-based life form is perfect, criminals are creating vast, organized, untraceable economies on the so-called Dark Web while Big Data rips our lives apart right before our eyes without any repercussions. All of our personal data—Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, nude photos, names of children, pets, and second cousins—is bundled by Google and Facebook and Amazon and then sold to data brokers; they then peddle it to Vietnamese identity-theft crime rings, pedophiles, terrorists who make AK-47s on 3-D printers, and freelance assassins with termite-sized drone armies.
Knowledge is not power—or at least not power designed to be exercised by the pipsqueak likes of you or me—and information doesn’t want to be free, as it turns out. That may have been its stated goal back in 1999, but these days, information wants to embarrass you, get you fired, cut you off from the power grid, bankrupt you, drive your children to suicide, kill you, and then take over the world—which is about to be too hot, flat, and crowded to inhabit anyway.
SocraticGadfly takes up questions of the possible role of antisemitism in opposition to Bernie Sanders. With the exception of nutcases, he doesn't think that antisemitism is playing a role. He may be right. It might be the case that antisemitism is no longer part of US politics or US society. I hope so.
But sexism, racism, homophobia, and antisemitism work in interlocking and complex ways. Often these ways go against what we consciously believe and espouse. One example here is the way that sexism, homophobia, racism, and antisemitism can be expressed in profanity, jokes, and anger. Critical work on the pernicious nature of stereotypes draws this out. Some groups end up as despisable objects, those whom it is permitted to hate. Contra SocraticGadfly, to note concerns about the possibility of ongoing patterns of bias isn't to suggest a conspiracy theory (in contrast, antisemitism itself has circulated in heinous conspiracy theories).
Patterns of structural and institutionalized sexism, racism, homophobia, and antisemitism track groups into expected paths. Some roles and places are permitted (they seem, somehow, natural). Other places may not be fully off-limits (particularly after there have been civil rights victories). But they may be more difficult to reach, in part because of the persistence of legacies of oppression into the present. In the US, the Presidency is such a place, barred to Catholics until JFK, to African Americans until Obama, and still to women, Jews, and people who are openly gay.
One of the ways that access to the Presidency is policed is through expectations of "electability" or whether a candidate "seems presidential." These are conservative expectations. They take as their baseline those who have been elected in the past, those who have already occupied the office. Because those who have occupied the office have been primarily privileged, Protestant, white men, that's the standard for seeming presidential. CNN did a body language analysis that criticized Sanders for gesticulating too much in a way that made him seem too emotional and not presidential. People would be up in arms if that analysis had been applied to Clinton because it would seem so obviously sexist. But other groups, typically any non-dominant group, have also historically been criticized or dismissed as too emotional, thereby buttressing the hold on power of those who ground their power in their own objectivity, cool heads, lacks of emotion.
The ideological function of criteria like "electability" and "presidential" is even clearer when we consider it in the context of class war. These criteria work to preserve two illusions: the fantasy of a perfect union such that the president serves all the people; the fantasy that the one who serves all the people is the one who embodies the country's legacy of power and privilege. Underlying these is the reality of class inequality, a state anchored not just in the protection of property but the protection of profit. The reality, in other words, is that that presidency is a political office, which means a partisan position in the context of antagonism. The one who embodies the country's legacy of power and privilege isn't representing all the people at all; the markers of privilege aren't accidental. The association of privilege with universality makes campaigning for an office on behalf of poor and working people all the more difficult. A campaign for the many somehow appears as a campaign for the few even as the campaign for the few appears as the campaign for all.