HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Saturday, March 12, 2016

 
The populist icing on the cake

by digby














Greg Sargent had an intresting piece the other day featuring some new data from Alan Abromowitz,Ronald Rapoport, and Walter Stone about "The Trump voter". Sargent writes, "Abramowitz’s conclusion is partly that Trump support is driven heavily by a combination of nativism and support for Trump’s unorthodox (for Republicans, anyway) economic positions."

The unorthodox economic positions are defined by Trump's pledge not to cut social security (because he'll root out the waste fraud and abuse and make the country so rich, rich, rich we'll have money for everything.) He is also apparently considered someone who will raise taxes on those making over 250k but that's not true. And there is his promise to bring back jobs by "beating" China and Mexico etc on trade.

The nativism is obvious. He is promising to ban Muslims, deport Hispanics and show those Chinese, Japanese, Indians overseas who are making all those cheap goods just who is boss. That argument all ties together.

There's another factor they found as well: authoritarianism, which they defined this way and found the following results:
We measured authoritarianism by asking respondents to agree or disagree with the statement that “what this country needs is a strong leader to shake things up in Washington.” Fifty-nine percent of Republican voters strongly agreed with this statement and among that group, 50% ranked Trump first and only 14% ranked him last. In contrast, among the 17% of Republican voters who were classified as low on authoritarianism by either agreeing only slightly or disagreeing with this statement, only 20% ranked Trump first and 48% ranked him last.

So, what they concluded was that there was a strong relationship between authoritarianism, nativism, and economic liberalism among Trump voters. (I would argue that nationalism plays an extremely important role as well, but it appears they didn't ask about that.)


I guess I don't really understand why this is such a mystery. This the profile of Republicans who used to be called Reagan Democrats. They've been part of the GOP coalition or more than 30 years. And their views have always been the same. Nativism/racism, authoritarian/lawandorder, nationalist/militarist, economic populists. These are blue collar white people who used to vote for Democrats until Democrats became the party of civil rights, civil liberties and anti-war protests. In other words, the party of black and brown people, gays, and feminists, globalists and critics of authoritarian police agencies and military adventurism.

After that happened Democrats remained more responsive to economic populism although they foolishly muddied their message so that their differences with the GOP were obscured. But it wouldn't have mattered, not really. People who hold that set of beliefs are Republicans because they do not want to be in multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition where "liberal peaceniks" and uppity feminists are equal partners. The GOP's fundamental nativism and racism and "patriotic" militarism are the reasons they prefer the Republicans and they are the reasons they prefer Donald Trump. They love him so much because they've finally found someone who boldly expresses all those beliefs.

It's just a fact that these voters stuck with the GOP for many decades when they were fetishizing free trade, promising to cut "entitlements" and obsessing over "tort reform" and "the deficit" because it was the white party and the war party.

It's obviously necessary for Democrats to offer solutions to these voters' economic woes. It's long past time they started looking after their own working class constituency of brown and black folks, many of them women, who will benefit from a more populist approach. So no arguments from me that they shouldn't try to appeal to everyone on this populist axis. But these people will not vote for them if they do that.

This new piece by Ron Brownstein confirms that these are standard issue Republicans, not independents or recent Democrats:
Though some conservative Trump critics have claimed that he has relied on a surge of non-Republican voters, the exit polls conducted so far in 15 states point toward the opposite conclusion. Overall, although turnout has soared from 2012, the share of the total primary votes cast by self-identified Republicans this year is virtually unchanged. And Trump has beaten his rivals among self-identified Republicans in every exit poll conducted in states that he has won.

Together these patterns suggest that Trump has built his coalition primarily from voters within the heart of the Republican electorate—a dynamic that could make it more difficult for the party leaders to deny him the nomination if he finishes the primaries with the most delegates, but less than an absolute majority. It also suggests that his rise could signal a lasting shift in the party’s balance of power toward the anti-establishment, heavily blue-collar voters who have provided the core of his support.

Trump’s consistent success with those voters has replaced many of the party’s traditional divides—such as religious identification and ideology—with a new fissure centered on class and alienation from institutions. In that sense, Trump this year has been as much a demand-side as a supply-side phenomenon. He is coalescing, and giving voice to, an increasingly important component of the existing Republican coalition—one that earlier blue-collar populists such as Patrick J. Buchanan in 1996 and Rick Santorum in 2012 also tried to mobilize, with much less success.

“It is a part of the coalition that has always been there,” adds Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist. “It’s just that he’s capitalizing on this anti-establishment anger within the party, that’s been directed toward the Democrats and President Obama, now he’s directing it inward. And the key issues he talks about, the nativist appeal that he has, is broadly popular among Republican voters.”
I'm sure these folks always believed that social security should be protected and that trade deals were bad and that taxes should be raised on rich people. But they weren't the issues they voted on and they still aren't the issues they're voting on. It's those "other" things they like about Trump --- that he promises to "beat foreigners the old fashioned way" and deport millions of "illegals" and ban Muslims and let police take the gloves off against the "bad people" who have no respect for "law and order". That he also promises to make so much money "for America"that we won't have to cut entitlements is just icing on the cake.


Robert Mackey at the Intercept took a look at Trump's demagoguery with respect to protesters and had this insight. After all, Trump is an old guy, a product of the 60s.  But he wasn't a radical.

Mackey writes:
Given Trump’s obvious fondness for the presidency of Richard Nixon, though — the posters evoking “the silent majority” of Americans who support him, the decades of advice from dirty trickster Roger Stone — my own guess is that he might be harking back to a moment in early 1970, when dozens of antiwar protesters in Trump’s own city did indeed require stretchers, after being attacked and beaten by construction workers loyal to Nixon. 
The incident, which became known as “the hard-hat riot,” took place in May 1970, when a student demonstration against the killing of four protesters at Kent State University in Ohio by members of the National Guard was broken up with extreme violence by union members from nearby construction sites.