From a review by Gordon Coale
Deer Hunting with Jesus looks at the now and trembles for the future. I first ran across Joe Bageant on the internet. Aside from being a hell of a writer, a veritable silver tongued devil, what he was writing about struck a chord. Joe writes about the working class poor, the redneck class. He does it not as an outsider. These are his people. He grew up with them, escaped, went to college, and became a pinko atheist. Then he went back home to Winchester, Virginia. He has a liberal perspective but his heart is with these people. And they are getting screwed. If they only realized it.
The media would like us to think it’s Red State vs. Blue State. It’s a magic trick, folks. An illusion. It’s a false dichotomy. The class war, and don’t delude yourself that it isn’t a war, is not between liberal white collar workers and conservative blue collar workers. It’s not between those that drink Red Hook ESB and those that drink Bud Light. We are both in the same leaky boat that is sinking fast while the wealthy and powerful steam off in the luxury yacht having cast us adrift. The sooner we realize we are in the same boat the better off we will be.
The Left and liberals need to understand that a mobilized redneck class would be a huge and powerful political force and that many rednecks (Hello Steve Earle) already do tilt sharply leftward. Many more might do so, were the Left not at times dismissive, or worse, insulting to them. Or pontificating about gun control.
Like the title of the book says, it’s a class thing. Poor whites get shafted plenty hard too. Only to sometimes then be called “trash” by those who wouldn’t think of referring to a person of color that way.
In class war, one needs to join together with their class allies.