October 27, 2018


Trump Feeds White Resentment (Steve Chapman, October 25, 2018, Creators)

[T]rump doesn't let facts hinder his panic-mongering. His falsehoods serve to assure whites with resentments or suspicions against Latinos, blacks, immigrants and Muslims that he is on their side.

It's often said that Trump won because he appealed to the pain and anxiety of blue-collar Americans harmed by economic change. But the evidence for that belief is lacking, according to the new book "Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America," by political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler and Lynn Vavreck.

Economic anxiety, the authors note, declined under Barack Obama. They found "generally weak relationships" between "measures of economic anxiety and how people voted in 2012 or 2016." They add, "Changes in household income had little relationship to changes in people's votes between 2012 and 2016."

What accounted for Trump's success? His willingness to appeal directly to voters fearful of groups they see as alien or threatening. "Views of racial inequality, Muslims and immigration, as well as a more politicized white identity, not only were strongly related to whether Americans voted for Clinton or Trump but were also more strongly related to how people voted in 2016 than in other recent presidential elections."

Trump did much better than Mitt Romney among those who believe whites face a great deal of discrimination and those who have negative views about Muslims. Why? Because Trump made clear to them that he agreed -- and Hillary Clinton made clear that she didn't.

Posted by at October 27, 2018 8:17 AM