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


Friday, June 03, 2016

 
How do you if they're a Trump voter? #birthers

by digby

















I wrote about Trump's followers for Salon today:

It has become a matter of conventional wisdom that the reason Donald Trump has captured the imagination of so many people is because he is speaking to the anxieties and anger of the white working class in America. Every day it seems we get another long dissertation about how these folks have born the brunt of unfair trade agreements and the fallout from globalization even as other demographic groups are thriving in their diverse liberal enclaves inflicting political correctness on every white person they see, lording their new-found superiority over them with unabashed glee. In other words, their troubles all stem from snooty liberals and it's snooty liberals who are responsible for Donald Trump.

It is certainly true that there has been tremendous economic dislocation over the past 30 years as manufacturing moved overseas and the once thriving white American working class fell behind. The consequences of this shift came into very sharp focus this winter with the publication of a shocking study by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton and Anne Case:
Between 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for U.S. whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2 percent per year on average, which matched the average rate of decline in the six countries shown, and the average over all other industrialized countries. After 1998, other rich countries’ mortality rates continued to decline by 2 percent a year. In contrast, U.S. white non-Hispanic mortality rose by half a percent a year. No other rich country saw a similar turnaround...
The reason these people are dying is because of alcohol, drugs and suicide and most of them are people with only a high school degree or less. The Washington Post found that the most pronounced increase in death among this cohort was "among white women ages 25 to 54 in small cities, small towns and the most rural parts of the country." There is a serious problem of despair and depression among white, middle aged people without a college degree in some parts of this country.  And it's certainly at least partially attributable to the shifting economic tides of globalization. These are people who were not always so lost. They had jobs and lives and hope. They have none of those things today and it's a problem that our society must deal with if we have any empathy at all.

Bill Clinton addressed this at a rally in New Jersey yesterday:
We all need to recognize that white, non-college-educated Americans have seen great drops in their income, have seen great increases in their unemployment rate, have seen drops in their life expectancy, and they need to be brought along to the future. But they can’t live under the illusion that you can reclaim a past which is just that — past. This country is always about the future,”
I suspect those people would be grateful for any help they can get to go into the future. But according to Nate Silver at 538 they aren't Trump voters.  His voters are white but they are not members of the working class, at least not if you define class as relating to how much money someone has.  Silver wrote a piece called "The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support" about a month ago in which he examined all the exit poll data and discovered that Trump voters are actually better off than most Americans. He wrote:
 The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.
Now it's possible that these people define class in cultural rather than economic terms. The Republicans have been  doing this for decades although they liked to define it as "country" vs "urban" but the idea is the same. It wasn't about how much money you had it was whether you had "downhome" tastes --- listened to country music, killed animals, liked to wear cowboy hats --- that kind of thing.  This was how blue bloods like the Bushes and Hollywood royalty like the Reagans indicated they were jus' plain folks who understood the plight of the working man. Sarah Palin came closest to speaking to the actual blue collar working class in 2008 with her references to "Carhartts  and  steel toed boots". (That campaign also fetishized an odd fellow whose name was Sam but was called "Joe the plumber" even though he wasn't one.) So it's possible that many Trump voters identify as working class on an aesthetic basis even though they are comfortably middle class.

Still,  if they are currently making more than the median wage they cannot be said to be among those poor suicidal, addicted lost souls from that study. And neither can they be suffering terribly from the economic dislocation brought about by globalization. Perhaps they or one of their relatives once lost a good job in the mill or the mine or the plant and they're angry and resentful about it, which is their privilege. But again, if this is a group of which at least half are making more than the median, it's more likely their anger and resentment is coming from something other than economic stress.

But that doesn't really answer the question about why they would choose Trump. It's not as if the other Republican candidates were touting diversity and political correctness.  What is it that most of these people do have in common that would draw them to Donald Trump?  Philip Klinkner, professor of government at Hamilton College set out to find out and the answer isn't pretty. Via Vox:
You can ask just one simple question to find out whether someone likes Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton: Is Barack Obama a Muslim? If they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton. 
That’s more accurate than asking people if it’s harder to move up the income ladder than it was for their parents (54 percent), whether they oppose trade deals (66 percent), or if they think the economy is worse now than last year (81 percent). It’s even more accurate than asking them if they are Republican (87 percent). 
Those results come from the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES) pilot survey. My analysis indicates that economic status and attitudes do little to explain support for Donald Trump.
Recall that Donald Trump was the King of the "Birthers", the man who mainstreamed that inane conspiracy theory and continued to push it as recently as 2014:

Always remember, I was the one who got Obama to release his birth certificate, or whatever that was! Hilary couldn't, McCain couldn't.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2014


"@futureicon: @pinksugar61 Obama also fabricated his own birth certificate after being pressured to produce one by @realDonaldTrump"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2014


How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013

People should be proud of the fact that I got Obama to release his birth certificate, which in a recent book he “miraculously” found.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2013

This was his introduction to politics among the group of white voters who now revere him. It wasn't economics or trade or even American pride that drew them. It was his cynical "othering" of the first black president and all that that culturally represented.

Professor Klinkner did a series of elaborate regressions with a lot of data about these Trump voters. And after all is said and done, the analysis showed that these voters are primarily motivated by racial and ethnic animosity and resentment of social change. There's just no way around it.

I've written a bit about this before, in which I cited Ron Brownstein's incisive analysis of these folks and what they are seeking from Donald Trump. Essentially they want to recapture an America that no longer exists, one that has white people at the center of the culture, on top of the world, secure in their place as the highest caste. That's what they hear when he says he will "Make America Great Again". And that's just not something that anyone deliver for them, not even Donald Trump.

.