« A Brief List | Main | Who’s Got Your Back? »

Case Closed

Look, I’m really telling you this for the last time.

It is a myth that Trump was elected by poor white people, who had been cruelly left behind by a rapidly changing world.

While it is true that, for a bevy of bizarre reasons, the president is wildly popular with lower-income rural white people, there are three issues with this bit of conventional nonsense. 

First, coal miners and farmers have been no more “left behind” than travel agents and typewriter salesman have. So knock it off with the strained excuses for their poor judgment and refusal to adapt to an evolving society. 

Second, there are simply not enough unemployed factory workers to account for Trump’s sickening 40 percent approval rating. Hell, every Trump voter I have personally encountered has been doing just fine, economically, and myriad studies have shown that poor people were actually more likely to vote for Hilary Clinton. 

And third, and most important, people didn’t vote for Trump because of economic reasons. They voted for him because he’s a fucking bigot.

Yes, I know many people who voted for the lunatic did so out of party loyalty or a misguided urge to stick it to the establishment or some other really, really bad reason.

But a great many people who pulled the lever for an inexperienced megalomaniac with a history of bankruptcies were not just overlooking the man’s blatant racism. They were endorsing it.

You see, yet another study has come out showing that“Trump voters weren’t driven by anger over the past, but rather fearof what may come.” In particular, “white, Christian and male voters… turned to Mr. Trump because they felt their status was at risk.”

As an aside, has any profile of the average Trump voter not included at least one of the following words: “fear,” “anger,” “anxiety”? Hey, when your chief defining characteristics are all negative, it’s not surprising that your choices aren’t the most uplifting.

But I digress.

The point is that, according to this study, “losing a job or income between 2012 and 2016 did not make a person any more likelyto support Mr. Trump.” In addition, “the mere perception that one’s financial situation had worsened” didn’t matter, nor did that person’s view on trade, the unemployment rate in his or her area, or the density of manufacturing jobs nearby. None of that economic shit mattered at all. 

So what did have an impact? Well, would it surprise you to learn that “economic anxiety did not explain Mr. Trump’s appeal,” but “a growing sense of racial or globalthreat” did? Yes, “Trump support was linked to a belief that high-status groups, such as whites, Christians or men, faced more discrimination than low-status groups, like minorities, Muslims or women.” As we know, such thinking is not just paranoid, but factually wrong. However, that was of no consequence. Just the feeling, irrational as it was, that Latinos and blacks were taking over was enough to motivate many white people to support a misogynist, delusional bigot. 

The researchers point out that whites “who exhibited a growing belief in group dominance,” in the idea that “hierarchy is necessary and inherent to a society,” jumped on the Trump train, which reflected “their hope that the status quo be protected.”

Hey, that sounds suspiciously like plain, old-fashioned racism to me.

But that would be insulting to all those salt-of-the-earth types who don’t have a bigoted bone in their body and are just looking for good, honest work and blah, blah, blah.

The researchers conclude that “the prevailing economic theory lends unfounded virtueto Trump’s victory, crediting it to the disaffected masses” when in fact, it is more accurate to say cultural anxiety was the chief factor. And while the researchers are too polite to state it outright, clearly the root of that cultural anxiety was white supramacy.

So can we stop it with the image of the downtrodden Trump voter in his depressed little town who has no issue (none!) with Hispanics or gays or immigrants, and who just really wants to get back his assembly line job? Can we just fucking drop it already?

Because I really am telling you all this for the last time. 


Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>