The Republican Party isn’t opposing identity politics. It’s practicing identity politics. And being Republicans, they deplore identity politics as they practice it and accuse the Democrats of using it.
The Democratic Party is the party that supports equal treatment for everyone. The Republican Party is the party that says some people are better than other people. Obviously a lot of people respond favorably to being told they’re better than somebody else.
I’m also white. And I’m an older straight man who grew up in the country, has worked on a farm and in law enforcement, and was raised in a Christian church. I fit every demographic for being a Trump supporter except one; I’m not dumb enough to be a Trump supporter.
That’s the nationwide trend. Here in the Midwest the union vote tends to be both a larger share of voters and include more blue collar workers. (That’s opposed to states where the union votes skews more towards white collar/government unions.) Trump won the union household vote in Ohio. While he lost the demographic in Michigan, Trump cut the union household margin by IIRC 19 or 20 points on his way to a very narrow overall win. Just the nationwide swing is enough to highlight the problem Democrats face in the Midwest. Unions votes weren’t very reliable in 2016. It showed in the results.
I agree with Andy, and I’d also add that while Trump got support from some disaffected (white) Obama voters, I’d hardly call that a “big gain”. Remember, he won by a slim margin in a few key states to tip the electoral balance. It could very easily have gone the other way.
Remember that Trump’s core base is old white people. That is also the only demographic that is actually shrinking.
Like others who have made it clear, I’m also old and white. I recognize that the majority of us who are Trump supporters are desperately fearful of that future in which they are the minority. Just like slaveholders in the 19th century, their fear is that if the minorities take power they will treat the whites the way the whites historically treated them. That drove them to extremes in order to keep that day from ever happening. And they also blamed everybody in the world except themselves when it all blew up.
History is not exactly repeating but the pathology is all too similar. We’re in a period like the 1850s. I don’t think the 2020 election will be as cleaving as the 1860 election, but, heck, I’ve lost all confidence that I can predict anything about politics these days. We’re in Wonderland as far as I’m concerned. Six impossible things happen before breakfast every day. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
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You seem to be very interested in introducing anti-white sentiment in your posts. And while that can be fine or not depending on context, this type of language above is not. Calling people “negro” in this context is not okay.
Huey Freeman, isn’t treating all white folks as an undifferentiated block whose actions, thoughts, and other traits can be determined solely on their color of their skin a form of prejudice?
Granted, the vast majority of Trump supporters are white (the exceptions, like Ben Carson, really stand out due to their rarity) but to assume a white person voted Trump based solely on the color of their skin is, dare I say it, prejudiced.
I am concerned that many of the valid points you raise could be tuned out by that element of your prose.
Wow, I never knew that African Americans suffered more discrimination, more roadblocks, less access to healthcare, higher unemployment, and lower pay than these ex-union rustbelt white folks. Thank you for informing me.
I despise Trump, I am embarrassed daily on behalf of my Country by his actions and tweats, but I also understand to some degree why those under-employed white foolks[sup]TM[/sup] in the Rust Belt voted Trump, it appeared to them the Democratic Party was largely ignoring them and just counting on them to vote Dem again. Trump spoke to them, like Jerry Springer or something, but he spoke to them. He at least blew spoke up their assholes and called it new jobs.
As soon as someone shows me an actual working national-level system designed to never oppress anyone I will examine it closely. The Founding Fathers truly thought they had designed one, and in many ways it produced the greatest and fairest system the world had ever seen, one that became the dictionary definition of democracy. And yet, as soon as human beings got involved in the day-to-day workings of that system a hundred types of oppression revealed itself.
The problem is not in the system (at least if the system is not inherently totalitarian). The problem is always in the interactions of the people. Our system works just fine as long as people make the effort. I’ve seen a truly astounding change in attitude toward the LGBT community in my adult lifetime. I’ve seen anti-Semitism virtually disappear along with restricted clubs and professions. And, yes, I’ve seen enormous differences in attitudes toward Huey Freeman’s “Negros” since the 1964 riots in my city. No matter what you are seeing today, you wouldn’t want to go back 50 years.
Changes in laws helped, but those laws followed public opinion rather than formed it. The system hasn’t changed at all. (Which is why it was capable of producing a Trump.) From the evidence I’ve seen, age is a critical factor. The younger the voter, the more opposition to hate factors. That’s why I keep looking at the changing demographics to give me hope.
It’s an inherent potential problem in democratic rule. If you have one group which is a majority and one group which is not, the majority group can impose its will on the minority group just be outvoting them, even in fair elections.
Democracy’s important. It’s a means of keeping the government accountable to a large segment of the population, so it does help minimize oppression. We should think a long time before tinkering with basic democracy.
So the best answer is the hard one; we work on creating a sense of community so that the majority group respects the minority group and doesn’t see it as something separate from themselves. That’s a long gradual process but I feel, overall, American society is moving in the right direction.
The current administration is on the wrong side of this issue. But I believe they represent a temporary counter-reaction to the general progress towards greater equality. I’d like to think the Trump movement is the last stand of old-style bigotry; they’re fighting a last battle but they’ve lost the war.
I will fight to get my kid any advantage within the system while simultaneously fighting to limit those systemic unearned advantages. I don’t see that as being hypocritical.
I agreed with Mitt Romney when he said that he would be foolish to pay more taxes than the law stated he should. But I disagreed with him for fighting to maintain those tax laws and make them worse.
I other words, I have no problem with individuals using the system as it is designed to advantage themselves and those around them. But, I support efforts on a societal level to limit those unearned advantages.
I think tax policy is something qualitatively different than white supremacy generally.
However, putting that aside (I can see a principled argument for expecting someone who wants to be elected to refrain from taking advantage of all the advantages the law allows), I think these questions are more relevant—
If the law allows an institution to discriminate on the basis of race or religion or gender, etc.—say a private Christian university bars interracial or same-sex dating among students, or a private golf club bars Jews, women, or blacks, or Harvard bars women, do you let your child take advantage of the opportunity presented?
More importantly, since white supremacy is enforced today largely through informal means, do you have any qualms about letting your children take advantage of networking, interviewing, etc., in ways that systematically benefit people of a particular race or economic background. Like introducing your children to a friend or frat brother or take advantage of an unpaid internaship.
I’d like to think that a person of good will might at least think twice about these things.
I do think twice about them. One of my first posts here(Jesus, over ten years ago) was whether it was ethical to allow my (at the time hypothetical and now actual) non-white children take advantage of affirmative action benefits despite being advantaged in every way. I’m not sure of the ethics behind it, but my kids enjoyed a transfer to a better public school that wanted to encourage non-white student admissions. I’m not sure this is right, but we took advantage of the policy.
But, I’ve used networking and friends to get ahead to the extent that I could, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to do otherwise. My point is that at the individual level, it is not wrong to use the system as it is intended to be used, even if you disagree with it on the societal level. I could probably make a case that it is morally better to not do that, but it’s not wrong to do that.
I think that legacy admissions to college are ridiculous. But, if my kid wants to go to the same school as me, I’ll make sure that the admissions group knows that I went there.
The GOP has been using racial resentment to win elections since the 1960s when the southern strategy was created. The GOP has been pushing this strategy more and more, appealing to angry and resentful white people who feel that ‘their’ America is changing and becoming a place where they are no longer the top of the heap.
All the people you listed were more than happy to ride the racial resentment train for 50 years. They’d appeal to angry white people’s resentment about blacks, muslims, feminists, atheists, gays, etc. and when in office they’d vote for tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and an aggressive foreign policy.
Only now that a deranged moron like Trump who doesn’t support free trade and who supports isolationism is leading the GOP are they upset.
They aren’t upset that the GOP is filled with brainwashed racists who hate democracy. They were happy to take advantage of them for half a century. They are mad that the brainwashed racists aren’t passively supporting GOP agendas like free trade and neoconservative foreign policy goals, and they are damaging the GOP reputation by being too blatant with too few dog whistles about how stupid and racist the modern GOP is.
So again, hard not to be cynical. They are angry that the GOP base of useful idiots elected one of their own rather than someone who was just taking advantage of them.
It is like a parent who looks the other way when their spouse abuses the kids at home, but if the abusive parent slips up and punches the kid in public, now the other parent who has been looking the other way for years now has to pretend to be horrified to save face.
This is not why they found Trump appealing. Trump is appealing because he is authoritarian and racist. Economics had nothing to do with it. Many white people who feel threatened by globalization and multiculturalism found Trumps racism and authoritarianism refreshing and appealing. They are hoping he can stem the tide of these things they see as threats.
Also the entirety of the GOP at this point is identity politics. If not for racial resentment and hostility towards multiculturalism, the GOP coalition falls apart.
The democrats do engage in protections for minorities, but I’m not sure how that counts as hard leftism or identity politics.
Either way, I do think Trump ushered in a new coalition. On one hand whites who are high on authoritarianism and reject multiculturalism, on the other whites who are low on authoritarianism and embrace multiculturalism (and science for that matter).
Education can be used as a proxy to determine which side you fall on, and the education gap among whites exploded from 2012 to 2016. The education gap went from roughly a 11 point gap in 2008 or 2012 (high school educated whites preferred McCain or Romney about 11 points over college educated whites) to a 35 point gap in 2016 (college educated whites gave Trump a 4 point margin, high school educated ones gave him a 39 point margin). I believe exit polls from major elections in 2017 found the same thing, a 30-40 point education gap among whites.