July 11, 2020

WHEN YOU GIVE A TEA PARTY AND THE INVITEES DON'T SHOW UP:

Trump Is Selling White Grievance. The Suburbs Aren't Buying It. (Katie Glueck, July 10, 2020, NY Times)


CORNELIUS, N.C. -- On a humid Wednesday morning in this leafy lakeside suburb of Charlotte, American flags fluttered from porches along Main Street, traffic was slow, and the occasional resident ambled out for a walk.

There was only one visible sign of the anger and anxiety that have coursed through this community and so many others across the nation in recent weeks: "Racist," read the faded black graffiti at the base of a Confederate memorial, the kind of statue President Trump has vowed to preserve amid a national discussion of racism in America.

Down the street, as she loaded groceries into her car, Elizabeth Stewart vented her frustrations about Mr. Trump's incendiary approach.

"He's trying to appeal to a base that's gotten more and more narrow," said Ms. Stewart of Davidson, N.C., a small-business owner who supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race and Hillary Clinton in 2016 and will support Joseph R. Biden Jr. this year. "It's just extremely divisive."

From North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Arizona, interviews this week with more than two dozen suburban voters in critical swing states revealed abhorrence for Mr. Trump's growing efforts to fuel white resentment with inflammatory rhetoric on race and cultural heritage. The discomfort was palpable even among voters who also dislike the recent toppling of Confederate statues or who say they agree with some of Mr. Trump's policies.

As the president increasingly stakes his candidacy on a message of "law and order," casting himself as a bulwark against "angry mobs" and "thugs,'' there are signs that he is especially alienating voters in bedroom communities who approach the debate over racial justice with a far more nuanced perspective than the president does.

Posted by at July 11, 2020 8:59 AM

  

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