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White Identity Politics Highest Among Lower Educated Voters

July 16, 2019

The Washington Post has one of the must reads from today’s newspapers.


Following the news over the past 96 hours confirms again that I have not figured out what makes some white males so fragile and unable to function in the real world.  These males hold onto their resentments and lift them up like a badge of honor.  Meanwhile four women of color who are in the headlines, and who had a genuine hard and uphill climb, made it to congress and leadership in the nation.  At the same time our nation’s weakest links–the angry white men–fuss and cuss and tweet and act like complete morons.  Their women must be so proud……

Trump’s combustible formula of white identity politics already has reshaped the Republican Party, sidelining, silencing or converting nearly anyone who dares to challenge the racial insensitivity of his utterances. It also has pushed Democratic presidential candidates sharply to the left on issues such as immigration and civil rights, as they respond to the liberal backlash against him.

Left unknown is whether the president is now on the verge of more permanently reshaping the nation’s political balance — at least until long-term demographic changes take hold to make nonwhite residents a majority of the country around 2050.

“Trump is proposing a giant swap: Republicans can no longer count on suburban women and we will continue to lose college-educated men and women, while we increasingly pick up working white Americans without college degrees,” said Ari Fleischer, who was a White House press secretary for President George W. Bush and who has spoken with Trump campaign advisers about their strategy for increasing turnout.

His strategy is sharply reminiscent of that waged by segregationist George Wallace in multiple presidential campaigns beginning in the 1960s. Republican candidates including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush have since used milder variations of race-based politics to try to pry white voters from the Democratic Party.

Academic studies of the 2016 election have found a strong correlation between those Americans who embraced white racial solidarity and those who supported Trump. The feeling of white identity is much stronger among non-college-educated whites than those who went to college.

“The crucial thing about 2016 was [that] how much you felt this grievance as a white person was much more related to how you voted between Trump or [Hillary] Clinton than in 2012 or 2008, even when a black person, Barack Obama, was on the ballot,” said John Sides, a political science professor at George Washington University.


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