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But Trump Voters Still Belch Loudest–So They Have That Status Symbol

April 25, 2018

This is interesting.

Tonight James and I talked with a man on our front lawn for about 30 minutes.  He was walking by and just said hello.  He had worked in the biomedical field, but retired in his mid-40s as he now owns rental property (condos and such) bought in large part following the recession.  As we talked and the conversation moved to current events he mentioned that trying to understand ‘the plight’ of the white male in political terms made no sense whatsoever.

“I am a white male, 6 feet tall, and the world is mine”.

He was not being arrogant or elitist.  He made the same point I have posted often on this blog.  Be it right or wrong, white males still set the rules. Those white males who are angry voters because they can not lay stake to their claim in life can not blame anyone other than themselves.

Though they try to cast blame.   And that is why I find interesting this latest study aimed at trying to understand the 2016 election results for president.

I have been consistent about my desire to see life-time learning presented in campaigns and then funded by governments.  I know that concept will come as a shock for many people in red states who felt the last book they had to read was back in high school.  There is no way to hold back the future–nor should we try.   We need to find the new jobs of the future and work to move people in that direction.   But think what angry white voters did in 2016.  While China is investing in mega amounts of dollars for new energy technology Trump voters are wishing to dig with zeal for coal!   (And the rest of the nation should feel sorry for those voters?)

Some laugh at education and ‘elite’ schools while others around the globe embrace the power of learning.  Conservatives tell our nation on a continuous basis taxes are never to be increased, but we know the programming for education is not free.

And we wonder why some white male voters then are not able to make it in the modern world of technology and change!  If we had a better educated nation we would have fewer people with a fear about their status.    Because status and economics are linked.

A study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences questions that explanation (regarding economic anxiety for voting for Trump) , the latest to suggest that Trump voters weren’t driven by anger over the past, but rather fear of what may come. White, Christian and male voters, the study suggests, turned to Mr. Trump because they felt their status was at risk.

“It’s much more of a symbolic threat that people feel,’’ said Diana C. Mutz, the author of the study and a political science and communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she directs the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics. “It’s not a threat to their own economic well-being; it’s a threat to their group’s dominance in our country over all.

Her survey also assessed “social dominance orientation,” a common psychological measure of a person’s belief in hierarchy as necessary and inherent to a society. People who exhibited a growing belief in such group dominance were also more likely to move toward Mr. Trump, Dr. Mutz found, reflecting their hope that the status quo be protected.

“It used to be a pretty good deal to be a white, Christian male in America, but things have changed and I think they do feel threatened,” Dr. Mutz said.

The other surveys supported the cultural anxiety explanation, too.

For example, Trump support was linked to a belief that high-status groups, such as whites, Christians or men, faced more discrimination than low-status groups, like minorities, Muslims or women, according to Dr. Mutz’s analysis of the University of Chicago study.

Those white males just might need to take up some self-improvement courses.

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