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On Trump and his support among voters with heightened white identity

On Trump and his support among voters with heightened white identity
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Supporters wave flags during the visit of President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Saturday.

In a late August New York Times column (that I read belatedly over the weekend) the brilliant Thomas Edsall pulled together the growing tools by which surveys measure the centrality of whiteness to the identity of white Americans, and related that factor to the likelihood that white voters voted for Donald Trump last year.

Past efforts to measure this have suggested that white Americans do not view their whiteness as that big an element of their identity, but a group of political scientists wondered whether the shrinking share of whites in the population and the recent experience of having the first nonwhite president might have changed that. Apparently so.

Perhaps the findings won’t surprise you, but the degree of the correlation between a heightened white identity and support for Donald Trump struck me as impressive (bordering on jaw-dropping).

Edsall also shows, with quotes from Trump’s frightening speech at that Phoenix rally of weeks ago, how Trump’s dog whistles may activate the white identity of his supporters and their enthusiasm for him and encourage them to believe that while others are out to de-white-ify the country, he is not.

I fear that first paragraph got a little complicated, so please allow me to take it one step at a time.

Three respected political scientists developed a battery of four questions designed to measure how much a white American’s whiteness is central to his or her sense of identity. The questions were about  how much the respondents feel whites are being discriminated against, the likelihood that whites are losing jobs to nonwhites, the importance of white identity, and the importance of whites working together to change laws unfair to whites.

The questions were designed to measure and correlate the answers with support for Trump. The degree of the correlation they found is pretty staggering.

Of those white Republicans whose answers suggested that their identity, in their own minds, has little to do with their race, only 2 percent were Trump supporters. But among those whose answers indicated that their race was highly central to their view of themselves, 81 percent favored Trump for the Republican nomination (and, presumably, for president).

In addition to those two extremes, looking at those whose answers suggested that their identity focused more or less on being white, there is an almost perfect slope from 2 percent to 81 percent. If I’m reading this correctly, this whiteness quotient captured, almost perfectly, the likelihood that a white Republican favored Trump.

If you would like to see the correlation, click through to the Edsall column here. It’s about a third of the way down, it’s the only bar chart in there, and, personally, I was stunned by the power of the correlation. The more your answers to the four questions suggested you view politics through the prism of your whiteness, the more likely you were to be a Trump supporter, even back when there were many other Republicans in the contest.

Edsall argues that those with a heightened sense of white identity correlate with those who feel the benefits of whiteness in America are shrinking, or even that being white has become a disadvantage. One of the authors of the research, UCLA Political Scientist Lynn Vavreck, told Edsall that Trump broke new ground in directing his campaign at whites who feel aggrieved by what they perceive as the declining status of whites in America.

Edsall believes that Trump also broke new ground in portraying whiteness as under attack, that this was an important element of his success, and that Trump is still working on ways to emit this dog whistle and to conjoin it with both his war against the news media and, in one recent case, his effort to defend his highly criticized handling of the riot in Charlottesville last month.

Bringing all of those together, in Trump’s outrageous Phoenix rally, he wove together (and Edsall describes this more detail) his attack on the media with his pushback against the widespread criticism of his comments in the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests.

In Phoenix, before a crowd of Trump enthusiasts, he used selective quotations from his various efforts to express himself post-Charlottesville, to the media’s alleged lies, omissions and unfair treatment of his comments, and, in one dog whistle, his complaint that among its crimes, the dishonest news media “are trying to take away our history and our heritage.”

To repeat, Trump told the audience that the media, whom he regularly calls dishonest and biased, “are trying to take away our history and our heritage.”

Creepy.

That particular allegation, that journalists “are trying to take away our history and our heritage,” which the Phoenix crowd loved, made little sense to me until I read the Edsall column. Now I sorta get it.

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Comments (52)

Also extremely creepy ...

... are the people in the photo at the top of Eric's piece waving a blended American/Confederate battle banner flag.

Creepy, indeed.

No Doubt

And to them I say America: Love it or Leave it.

I don't care for sedition, or symbols of it.

To mangle a metaphor

…it depends upon whose ethnicity is being gored, I think.

I don't doubt the likely veracity of Edsall's conclusions, which I read as "White racists support Trump," but, speaking as an elderly white guy/retiree of modest means (i.e., someone who ought to be a firm supporter of Trump, but is instead appalled by him) those conclusions aren't especially surprising, though it's nice to see some research to support my own suppositions. Those who paid attention (and apparently whose identity is not focused almost exclusively on their "whiteness") surely knew what sort of person Trump was before the election (greedy, racist, insecure, compulsive liar, misogynist, etc., ad nauseum), and I've not seen anything since then to alter that public persona except that he's toned down his few public comments on women.

That he was elected, and continues to enjoy substantial public support despite a level of ineptitude in office that would have had the public at large marching in the streets protesting virtually any prior president over the past generation, but especially his immediate predecessor, says some not-at-all-complimentary things about that segment of the American population that continues to support him.

Those who feel threatened by the increasing number of people in the population who don't look sufficiently northern European would benefit from at least a moment of self-reflection and thought. At the very least, they ought to now be able to identify rather strongly with the remaining population of native Americans, or indigenous peoples, or Indians (choose the term that seems most accurate and/or politically correct), who saw white European immigrants—hordes of them—first destroy, then sweep away as detritus, their own native culture, and absorb what was left of it in a society almost entirely alien in most respects.

No human society or culture is permanent. They all disappear eventually, and ours will, too. Some succumb to pestilence, others to warfare, others to natural disaster, others to their own internal conflicts. Given the various choices, an argument might be made that to have white, northern European culture in this country replaced over the next century or two by a culture that maintains its faith in essentially the same ideals and political values with which the United States was founded, but that looks more racially and ethnically mixed, might easily be the most beneficial and least disruptive outcome of the sort of internal conflict Trump's supporters represent.

The Trumpistas' angst is

precisely what you state in your last paragraph.
We are at the most now only marginally a white dominated culture, and the handwriting is on the wall (and read your Bible to see what that message was).

Just to mention white privilege...

...imagine if Obama had had Trump's many personal shortcomings. They would have impeached him long before he would have ever gotten the ACA enacted.

Why is it that when I see groups of whites waving confederate flags and protesting immigration and minorities that my impression of them is that they look like losers: uneducated, un- or underemployed, maybe high school educated. They have had little success in life and they blame the "others" for their failures. I would not want to be pictured in a group with the people in the picture above and have people confuse me for one of them.

I'm OK with where I am in life and I don't need all the other white people to help me attack the "others" to help me succeed. It's sort of like gang culture: when your circumstances are too much for you alone you search for others in the same boat to form your peer group.

When I am involved in a Facebook thread

that is getting hijacked by right-wing trolls, I always look at the trolls' personal pages.

What I see bears out what Mr. Schletzer has said.

Playing to the base. Or basest.

Trump plays to his base: the lowest common denominator(s) in the country.
The poorest, least educated, and most disenfranchised.
The 3 states that carried him over the line in the election have massive opioid addiction problems.
These are the least productive folks in the land. Also the angriest, who have little to work with.
They love his brash, crass buffoonery and bombastic screeching like some others enjoy watching professional wrestling with it's over the top physicality, little substance and everything choreographed.

Most disenfranchised?

I'm not sure disenfranchised is the right word here - these people got their guy elected president, despite having millions fewer votes than his opponent. The problem is that voting for Trump was voting against their self-interest. His tax cuts for the wealthy won't reach them, but his cuts to healthcare will - and will exacerbate the opioid addition problem. And the immigrant bashing and deportations won't bring the factory jobs back.

I don't doubt the conclusions

I don't doubt the conclusions of the survey, but I am at a loss to understand the thought process that condemns a "heightened sense of white identity" while simultaneously celebrating and encouraging a heightened sense of black, or brown, or muave identity.

I could cite dozens of examples right here at Minnpost...I wish I could do a word count of the number of times "white men" appears as a derogatory in Minnpost stories and comments.

I found this somewhat illuminating though: "...whites who feel aggrieved by what they perceive as the declining status of whites in America".

It is a central feature of most lefty agendas that progress cannot be attained for one group unless it comes at the expense of another. Leftist dogma doesn't recognize the concept of raising all boats; one boat must be raised by sinking another.

Incomes for the poor must be raised not by making opportunities available, but by taking treasure from the rich; opportunity cannot simply be made available to all, some must be earmarked out of reach unless a certian level of melanin is in evidence; equal access to public education isn't good enough, it must be crafted to accomodate the cultural and behavioral desires of soecial interest groups.

Could it be that Caucasians not steeped in leftist indoctrination have noticed the constant chanting from the left that blames them for all the worlds ills?

Could it be what they grew up knowing was American exceptionalism, the force that took us to space, feeds the world, invents the technology that allows us to instantaneously communicate everywhere on the planet...is now being rubbed into their noses as "white privilege", something they should be ashamed of and must atone for?

MLK Jr. hoped his kids would be judged by their character, not their skin color. I think he would recognize a commitment to that worthy goal among conservatives of all races, and I think he would recognize a committed war against it among the left.

"We all do better when we all

"We all do better when we all do better." Paul Wellstone

Nobel words without

Nobel words without conviction are called specious. That is an excellent example.

There is absolutely

No conviction for anything by your beloved president -a true excellent example!

That is as may be. But he

That is as may be. But he didn't get elected spouting empty platitudes. Indeed, his rejection of politically motivated, empty rhetoric *is* what got him elected.

"Empty Platitudes"

What do you call "Make America Great Again?"

Apart from mockery and insults, his whole campaign was built on empty platitudes. He got elected because of it.

Empty Rhetoric

I will repeal and replace Obamacare on Day One.

That's on the GOP congress.

That's on the GOP congress. And I foresee primary challenges in many futures.

Sorry Curtis

He didn't say Congress would do it, he said he'd do it. I see you're already ducking responsibility. So much for the Art of the Deal Outsider.

Hi Jackson,I voted for Trump

Hi Jackson,

I voted for Trump for 1 reason: SCOTUS.

That accomplished, as long as he keeps the leftist caucus on a short leash, anything else he gets done is gravy.

Obamacare is doomed. Like any lefty program, the only way it will stay afloat is with a constant and increasing flow of taxpayer cash being tossed in. The GOP majority in congress may not have managed to pull themselves together enough to scrap it, a huge failure the old guard should pay dearly for, IMO, but nixing funding increases is easier.

My next focus is keeping an eye on Trump's work to seat constitutional conservatives on the federal bench to even the lectward tilt. I see Franken squashed the candidate from MN..lol. Wait until he gets a load of the next guy, from a friendlier state.

Trump will get a conviction

before he gets a Nobel.

Speaking for Leftists, Are You?

"It is a central feature of most lefty agendas that progress cannot be attained for one group unless it comes at the expense of another. Leftist dogma doesn't recognize the concept of raising all boats; one boat must be raised by sinking another." No kidding! I've been a "lefty" for a long time, and I've never heard that. Perhaps I've missed too many meetings?

The idea of a zero-sum society--give someone else a right, and it takes away from me--is a central tenet of conservative rhetoric. Lift someone else's income, and it comes out of "my" pocket (so much for that rising tide lifting all boats, right?). Increase opportunities by, for example, working to improve public schools, and it's those consarned teachers' unions that are the only ones who will profit. If we pay attention to racial disparities, it is anti-whites talking. If gays are allowed to marry, heterosexual marriages are demeaned. There is no "we," it's all "us versus them."

"Could it be that Caucasians not steeped in leftist indoctrination have noticed the constant chanting from the left that blames them for all the worlds ills?" There is no white privilege, is there? Anyone who suggests that black lives matter is a terrorist, am I right?

"MLK Jr. hoped his kids . . ." Just stop right there. When he was alive, MLK Jr. was vilified as a traitor and communist. Conservative attempts to co-opt his message are the dictionary definition of rank hypocrisy.

"Lift someone else's income,

"Lift someone else's income, and it comes out of "my" pocket (so much for that rising tide lifting all boats, right?)."

Right. As applied by the left, that is how it works. How is that not clear?

"Increase opportunities by, for example, working to improve public schools, and it's those consarned teachers' unions that are the only ones who will profit."

Inflation accounted for, per pupil tuition is x3 today from where it was in 1972. If you can show me how minority students in the Twin Cities have profited from that generous investment, I'm all ears.

"If we pay attention to racial disparities, it is anti-whites talking."

Sometimes, that is true. More often, in my observatiin, it is calculated to maintain a division that can be exploited for political gain.

Lot of anger contained in your response; little of factual or logical consideration. That says something, I think.

"As applied by the left . . ."

Don't you really mean, "as people on the radio tell me the left applies this idea?" It's plainly apparent that you have never actually attempted to have a real discussion with a leftist, dismissing them all as "angry" and relying instead on your own pre-conceived ideas of what someone who disagrees with you must be thinking.

"Lot of anger contained in your response; little of factual or logical consideration. That says something, I think." Mr. Kettle, there's a Mr. Pot on line 1 for you.

I dont listen to the radio,

I dont listen to the radio, RB, at all. I'm a Pandora customer.

And I come to my views honestly, through years of reading books and now, websites written by leftists. Though you are correct that I don't have many constructive discussions with leftists its not for lack of trying...most end when my leftist counterpart, unable to address my argument says "Stop right there [fill in the excuse]". Its the same tactic we see being played out on college campuses across the country.

Not all leftists are angry, but in my experience, most are, and it is my belief they are angry because for all their good intentions, the destruction and failure leftist ideology leaves in it's wake is proportionate to the ferver of the lefty regime implimenting it.

"Not all leftists are angry, but in my experience, most are . .

And in my experience, most of the Trump supporters I see and read in various fora are full of bitterness and hatred. They see the country changing, and see that their race or status no longer guarantees them control over the process.

Note, incidentally, that I regard Trump supporters as a subset of conservatives. Most conservatives I know are decent, reasonable people. Put a MAGA hat on them, and that's all a memory.

Or maybe they're angry

because of your willful distortion of their positions.

Ah well, Paul, uncomfortable

Ah well, Paul, uncomfortable truths are easier to deal with when you dismiss them as distortions. I have found that to be true for myself, and strive to reject such logical safe spaces.

I've found, and it is my studied opinion, that if you cannot logically make an argument in favor of your position, or logically dispute against someone elses, there's a fundamental flaw in your worldwiew.

Cheers!

Solipsism

lives.

Well

"I've found, and it is my studied opinion, that if you cannot logically make an argument in favor of your position, or logically dispute against someone else's, there's a fundamental flaw in your world wiew.

And who is the supreme judge that your logic is solid? Reading through these comments, appears there are lots of complaints and gripes, typical right wing blather, but no logic, lots of baseless accusations, and predawn conclusions. "Comfortable truths" pray tell? .

Sigh

"Could it be that Caucasians not steeped in leftist indoctrination have noticed the constant chanting from the left that blames them for all the worlds ills?"

I wonder whether those who have settled into their coal-darkened laurels feel like they deserve to be victims, too? We live in a land of (limited) opportunity. Yet, those who are the first to point fingers at "welfare queens" as though every opportunity was available to them, are also the first to feel all helpless and angry when their white privilege runs out at the factory.

No one's blaming white males for all their problems, but it sure does suck when they find out that the protectionist policies that made their success (or at least subsistence) in life a given are no longer exclusive. Or, probably more accurately, it's truly painful to find that the ladder of complacency has been pulled up behind the "elites" (which is a term that is wrongly used to slander people who bothered to go beyond basic education), and even left the white people behind while the 1% were making your buck.

In other words, failure is color blind and agnostic when profit is to be had. It's just too convenient to be mad at someone else than admit you've been suckered. It's all well and good to be a globalist when you want to buy cheap stuff at Walmart, but it's a sin when no one wants to pay for coal in cash or blacklung. Here's the kicker--no one outsourced coal. It's still here, as are all the low wage jobs (thank you Right-to-Work!) that Trump supporters want to kick the brown people out for. You, too, can be fully employed (with a minimum of 3 jobs and your first born child)!

Maybe white males should be blaming white males? The laws were designed to keep poor people poor, but it used to be that you could pretty reliably make sure that only applied to people of color and women. It turns out that racism and sexism is wrong, though, and even the racists kept their mouths shut so they wouldn't be shamed, so even as imperfect as this new "equality" is, suddenly, the rules apply to white men, too.

Now, white men can be poor, too. Not because they were left behind, but mostly because they didn't keep up. And instead of people of color and women having to be 10 times better to get the same credit (if not pay!), they only have to be 5 times better, which is a much lower bar especially since the base line never moved.

Of course people should be ashamed of white privilege. It's not like it's earned. If only it was subject to a "death tax" like other unearned inheritances.

The right-wing propaganda machine

has spent 35 years telling white men that their very real problems are the fault of dark-skinned people, immigrants, teachers and college professors, women, Muslims, non-religious people, "government" (there is actually no such thing as "government," there are countless kinds of "governments"), and indeed, everyone else who ISN'T the source of their problems.

You meet men who have been used up and thrown away by their employers or who have been subjected to unsafe working conditions or wage theft, but thanks to AM radio, Fox News, the pseudo-Christian "prosperity Gospel" preached in the megachurches, right-wing websites, and Lord knows what else, whom and what do they hate?

Not an economic system that can treat people like used toilet paper, but "government."

Not employers who impose compulsory overtime and unsafe working conditions and deny them sick leave or other benefits, but an imaginary universe of black people and illegal Latino immigrants who are born, live, and die on "welfare." (Explaining the lifetime limits on welfare or the ineligibility of illegal immigrants for benefits does no good. I'm just a "soft-headed liberal.")

Not the fact that, unlike their grandparents, they cannot count on a living wage, health insurance with no deductibles, paid vacations, and defined-benefit pensions, but the workers who still have these benefits.

Having been told all their lives that "America is the greatest country in the world" and "Everyone wants to come here" (neither of which is true, by the way), they do not travel outside the country, even when they have the means and opportunity, perhaps knowing deep down that such travel would be fatal to their jingoism.

What can be done about people who have been pulled so far into Fantasyland?

"What can be done about

"What can be done about people who have been pulled so far into Fantasyland?"

Provide the facts.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/09/16/undocumented-la-county-parents...

So would you prefer that

So would you prefer that their children go hungry or hang around on the streets all day instead of going to school?

"Lefty agendas"

Interesting how conservatives interpret what they call "lefty" or "leftist" agendas." As a liberal--and proud of it--"lefty" always sounds like the name of some cowpuncher or wrestler--I don't remember any liberal of my acquaintance or in written or spoken word saying that to advance equality means taking away something from other people. Read Wellstone's comment again. How does equality for minorities (soon to be majorities, which may be part of the problem) detract from white men, for example? How does good education for blacks prevent you or your children from getting a good education? How does equal pay mean you get less? How does paying women as much as men or allowing them to advance as freely as men mean you or your brother cannot advance? It does not. How does, to go in another direction, love for one person take away one's love for another. It does not. It expands love to all.

There's a substantial literature

showing that people rate their affluence in relation to that of others, rather than in absolute terms. It's more important to do better than your neighbor than to do better than you used to do.

I would be very interested in

I would be very interested in reading that literature. Can you cite some examples?

Thanks.

You could start with

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/26/affluent.depression.prone/index.html

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176596009408

https://search.proquest.com/openview/121f7c4c776d26e9630246b78fd31024/1?...

Or just search on 'relative wealth'.
Note that the primary literature on this topic is several decades old, so it would take a deeper search than I have time or inclination for.

White privilege

"Could it be what they grew up knowing was American exceptionalism, the force that took us to space, feeds the world, invents the technology that allows us to instantaneously communicate everywhere on the planet...is now being rubbed into their noses as "white privilege", something they should be ashamed of and must atone for?"

This is the crux of the problem - the idea that everything good was accomplished solely by white people.

Go watch the movie Hidden Figures - it provides a good example of both why you are wrong about this, and why you have a false impression of history.

It's the nature of that identity

Trump's base is a subset of Caucasians who believe that the color of their skin entitles them to a position of dominance.
Very few people of color share that sort of identity.

Years of

Political correctness, identity politics, shaming whites for their so called privilege, they didn't build that, dems lack of an economic message except the government will take care of you.It is all coming back to haunt them. Pitting us against each other is not exclusive to Republicans, by a mile.

Isn't about time to start attracting people to your party instead of constantly ridiculing and shaming them?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/michael-barone-what-identity-politics-...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-democrats-working-class-problem_...

"Identity Politics"

Please explain why it is not "identity politics" to sneer at political correctness and pander to the supposed interests of white people.

"Pitting us against each other is not exclusive to Republicans, by a mile." Let's just say that if divisive politics were an Olympic event, Republicans would be the ones taking the gold, silver, and the bronze.

Apparently you missed the war on fill in the blank

your were not around for the Obama years and Clinton's campaign. Dividing us and pandering by race, gender, zip code and any other way they could.

Of Course!

I forgot that anything that addresses racism in a concrete way is automatically divisive.

What do you think Republicans were doing all those years? Their pleas for "unity" were the most cynical statements made in a long time. The people who popularized the idea of "us" versus "them"--a tactic going back to the Nixon era--were content to stoke the division of America any way they could. Unity? No, we have to take back America, apparently from our fellow citizens (who aren't really our fellows, because of things).

Your comment is essentially

Only white people should receive the benefits of this country. The problem is however non-whites are doing more work than "entitled" white persons especially in the south. And the true laugh is those white people think that trump will bail them out. How stupid can they be?

Basic misunderstanding

There's a difference between "shaming whites for their so called privilege" vs. simply asking whites to be aware of the privilege they've been granted and subsequently asking them to try and understand how that makes their lives different in some very fundamental ways from those who don't get granted that same privilege due only to the color of their skin.

You (generic "you", not you specifically) can keep on trying to insist that you're being shamed, but that gets you nowhere in terms of understanding and will simply engender a continuation of the self-imposed victim mindset.

By the way...

....the only time I feel a heighten sense of white identity is when I am in the presence of people of other races and I am very aware at that moment of the huge advantages I have had in my life. I think to not be able to experience that is a sign of spiritual death.

history and heritage

Wow - That is straight out of a Cohn brothers movie - Brother Where Art Thou. And don't forget our womenfolk...

Condescending Article

The article states that whiteness and Trumpness are connected. So? I’m pretty sure everyone in America knows this. Why is it important? The article does not say.

‘Correlation’ is not staggering. Correlation is only a number comparing two data sets. You did not make a case for the numbers being staggering, only that they are highly correlated. Given the correlation, are we supposed to assume something? What is it?

Whiteness and Trumpness, Blackness and Obamaness, and Femaleness and Hillaryness are all highly correlated. Is one more favorable to the other? …. still tying to figure out what part of the article was ‘news.’

And on the offensive front…

In a future article, could you insinuate that a left-leaning candidate uses a dog-whistle to make women or black constituents snap to it? I’d love to read that feedback.

Perhaps this is what Trump means by double-standards in the media.

Are you Surprised?

Mr. Black has done nothing but try trivialize the last election to no end from any angle possible. It's sad that it is put in a context that the effect is that white people should be simply ashamed for being white as many in society are trying to do with the constant white privilege fallacy.
Going further about the study, what would happen if all black people were polled about their pride and who they voted for in 2010 and 2014 for Obama. Would there be a correlation there? I'm going to bet there probably would be. Did Obama play to his base? He sure did, countless times.
So is it okay to question someone's pride and where it comes from? Who cares?
So in the end, does this study really matter other than to falsely stoke racial tensions even more? Because that's what this does.

The sore wound continues ....

to fester. Made worse by some who only want political gain. And giving us folks confusing their economic position with their race by design of the confusors. The wealthy hold on to their power and fortunes. How might you ask. Well how did his Trumpness get his money ? Then the confused might ask themselves how their economic condition evolved to what it is. I think there is a degree of entitlement underneath all that. But how did that come to be ? And a big dose of if she or he can why can't I ? So today 800,000 humans got stepped on. Very unpleasant. Some were glad to a part of that act. Who are these people who would do that at basic human level ? You have to ask who is "playing the race card?" I think it is those who gain the wealth and power. Those who gain the most from keeping the question from being settled. Those who "stir the pot" to keep the conflict alive. All of us have to ask ourselves which it is we are doing. And the survey hopefully will help some identity their behavior. That is if they reflect.

Kind of a mundane observation actually

I'm sorry but if white privilege and the racist assumptions that underlying it come as a surprise to you... you haven't been paying attention for the last 500 years or so.

Trumps appeal to white racism has always been rather obvious hasn't it? You didn't seriously think you were living a post racist America did you? I can't honestly understand why these numbers or survey results would drop any jaws unless those jaws are attached to heads that have been buried in the sand. Whatever.

Here's what's weird in my mind: We keep seeing one statistical data set after another that identifies one minority or another as Trump's "Base". Whether these numbers surprise you or not, they still reveal a minority that pretty consistently ends up sitting around 30%. I don't know why everyone's obsessed with that 30%? Why aren't we talking about the 70% that Trump cannot possibly appeal to? Why did Clinton lose? Because Democrats failed to get more of that 70% into the voting booths. This minority only holds our future in it's hands so long as the majority sit on their hands.

And yes, racism, sexism, elitism, and anti-intellectualism are ubiquitous features of American culture... liberals have always acknowledged that fact. Pseudo-liberal centrists on the other hand have allowed themselves the luxury of complacency and denial regarding these features of American life.

And by the way...

In terms of our ongoing struggle for the "soul" of the Democratic Party; note that the voters "centrists" seem bound and determined to run towards... are these self same racists. All centrist Democrats can talk about since the election is "capturing" more Trump votes rather than mobilizing more liberal votes. Well... we KNOW who those Trump voters are so who's being the racist Party here.. the party that already HAS those votes, or the party that WANTS to have those votes?

When you look at almost any major metric of inequality in the US you see that from gender equality to racial equality disparity has INCREASED substantially during the era of "centrism" that Democrats embraced in the late 80s. From education to income women and people of color are worse off now than they were in the 80s. That's not a coincidence because by definition when you keep moving towards Republican policies under the guise of trying to find the "center", your moving towards inequality, racism, and sexism. This is how you end up with a country where a black male is three time more likely to end up in prison than college. And then you're surprised when a guy like Trump gets into the white house?

Exactly. While the right-wing

Exactly. While the right-wing noise machine tells its devotees that the Democrats are "far left," if you look at their policies objectively, they are somewhere in Nixon territory ideologically.

You all remember, Nixon, don't you? The guy who changed food stamps from a local experimental program to a nationwide program, founded the EPA, opened relations with China, negotiated an arms treaty with the Soviet Union, proposed a guaranteed universal income, and came up with a health care plan more liberal than the ACA?

Republicans seem to assume that all people who vote Democratic are as worshipful of their political figures as Republicans are of Reagan or Trump, so if I make a point about climate change, the right-winger is likely to bring up Al Gore's big house and private jet and think that he has scored a point.

The trouble with that argument is that I don't like Al Gore and never have, not since he and several other Southern Democrats were founding members of the Democratic Leadership Council, which was founded for the express purpose of dragging the Democratic Party rightward, presumably in an effort to prevent the Republicans from taking over the South.

Yeah, that worked real well, didn't it? They supported Reagan's military buildup, his tax cuts, his interventions in Central America, and his union-busting, and the South still went Republican, while we in the North ended up with two de facto Republican Parties, the center-rightists who call themselves Democrats and the increasingly reactionary types who continue to call themselves Republicans.

This leaves people like me, whom you might call a New Deal Democrat with a strong antipathy to foreign military intervention, politically homeless.

I vote Democratic only because today's Republicans have fallen so far off the right edge of the political spectrum that they would reject the supposed heroes of their party's past, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and even some of Reagan's policies. (You know the "Obamaphone" of right-wing lore? It's actually just an updated version of a program started by Reagan.)