Rural and Suburban Whites Did Not Vote for Trump Because They Felt "Left Behind"

Comments

2
So Charles, why did the blue wall rust belt states that elected a black man twice to the White House vote for Trump? How many of those voters do you now classify as racists? Have you listened to Michael Moore? Did you see his Trumpland movie? He gets it, you don't.
3
I do love how our local black urban socialist feels the need to lecture suburban whites about how they feel and then just calls them racists because they voted for Trump.
4
We can trust Charles because he visited a rural community one time several years ago. But hey...all those gutted businesses there in eastern Montana really just means that white folks are really pretty well off. And here we have the racism of the left: white people can never experience economic hardship: only P.O.C. are capable of that.

5
@2: Mudede has always thought his feels are better evidence than research, experience, or actual evidence of any sort.

Have you noticed how he rarely makes any claims that are provable/falsifiable, and when he does, they are more often than not, false?
6
I don't think the average voter even pays attention to the economy; especially since the media constantly neglects actual issues in favor of the next biggest distraction for more ad revenue. Maybe people will start paying attention as medicare and medicaid are pulled out from their retirement plans, but I doubt it.
7
They do feel aggrieved, because they identify as normal people pissed on by the elites. And they're not wrong about that. But the attitude is racist, in that black people know America doesn't consider them "normal".

People would mostly still vote for Trump if he were identical except black-skinned, and so they figure they're not racist. I'm sure some will have commented before mine shows up.

There are two strategies. Pull back into the cities, tack full left, and wait for enough older people to die, sorry. Or smile and eat some shit sandwich if some grandmas will put their masks of decency back on. Why should they though, they're feeling self-esteem for the first time in a while.
8
"There was not one rational reason for a white person not in the upper classes to vote for Trump." - Right, the Republican party has always treated those wealthy whites so poorly.

I guess the way to win the next election is to just insult the people that cost you this one. You may be right, they all might all be deplorable. But here's the kicker, do you want to be right or do you want to win?
9
You don't have to normalize him to find a candidate to address very real material decline.

I think i know what you are getting at in that Trump has stoked racism but that's a reactionary tendency and no it doesn't go away with shoring up the working class but I hope would agree dealing with this as a class issue is a step in the right direction. After all, white working class has more in common with any suppressed minority than it does with a member of the wealthy elite.
10
I think a lot of people get pissed off about this kind of thing because *they* voted for Trump for entirely standard Republican reasons. Surprising nobody, the normal GOP constituencies all voted for Trump because he was the Republican, not because he was Trump. And I guess that's where all the "How Dare You" comes from.

Is there any real evidence that the bigot vote put Trump over the top? It seems like the story of the election was that the democratic party completely failed to get Obama's voters out to the polls. Which is something they also failed to do in 2010 and 2014. So we got a mid-term electorate during a presidential election, with the corresponding results.

The real peril of the next few years isn't that Congress will fail to restrain Trump - who has no opinions about policy - and that Trump will fail to restrain Congress. And at long last, that Tea Party woman from years ago will get her wish and the government will finally get its hands off her medicare.
11
The meld of social condescension and racism is depressingly unfortuante.
12
But its simply preposterous to claim that Trump made no appeals to racist impulses. If someone says they weren't swayed by these and voted for Trump for the right reasons, I'll take their word for it. But to deny the appeals were made is either willful ignorance or bad faith.
13
I'll lecture those dumb white motherfuckers on how they feel. Somebody needs to. They're racist. Full stop.

If you think these downscale whites voted for asshole for any reason other than racism, you have never gotten drunk with one. You can sling all the bullshit narratives you want, but I know these people intimately. Most everyone knows them; you've had a few tequilas with them and gotten them to admit the truth to you at one time or another in your life. Actually once Rush Limbaugh became mainstream I'd hear them say it sober. You've heard it too, but some of you have a bullshit narrative to spin so you conveniently forget.

They are racists. They hate Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and Jews. They blame them for their own fuckups. Any blame left over, they lay it on women. They hate anyone who isn't a Christian, and aren't too keen on anyone who isn't their preferred brand of Xtianism.

This asshole is going to fuck working class whites in a really big way, and they know it, and they don't care because they are more than happy to pay that price if it advances a white supremacist agenda. This is what makes them "deplorable": you can't but deplore them. You can't meet them halfway, like agree to add a racist rider to your healthcare bill to get some racist votes. You can't secure funding for mass transit by offering to make it whites only. You can work with all sorts of political points of view, but this point of view, you can only deplore.

They voted for asshole because they're racist. That's the whole story right there.
14
It'll be nice to have a POTUS and AG who support the police and not thugs lives matter. I think that was a factor in the vote.
16
Only partly right. Spent some time in flyover country this summer and wow, the all-white rural hick towns sure look like bombed out war zones. Boarded up businesses, cars so old I'm not sure how they can keep running, and nothing but wal-marts as far as the eye can see.

Of course, they are voting against their own self-interest, but it's not just racism, they also want to stick it to the liberal coastal whites who, on average, are doing much better and let's be truthful, have not offered up any major progressive policies in the past 8 years.

ACA is not single payer and the public option was abandoned in those slim 2 years Ds had control of the House after 2008 elections. The Occupy movement dissolved into a progressive farce with the hand-wiggling signals.

Yes, I supported Hilary, but I wish it had been Bernie and I wish there were many young Bernies in the wings. Maybe it's time Jon Stewart for president (then amended the constitution to abolish the electoral college and let a naturalized citizen run for president, then we could have Samantha Bee as president in 2020).
17
Bernie Sanders articulated a clear economic message that could resonate with these voters. The Dems need to run with it.
18
Fuck white people!
All white people are irredeemable racists!
Fuck America AND fuck white people!
...
wtf how could white people not vote for our candidate!

You smug liberals don't care much about cause and effect, do you?
19
@18 you're asking too much from this group of SJW cry babies.

And they are working really hard to lose some seats in the Senate in 2018. Look at the states with Democratic seats that are up in two years? The following have Democrat incumbents in states that just went red: Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, possibly Michigan once it's certified, and Florida..oh and West Virginia

Seriously, the left needs to purge this mentality of "if you disagree you're a *blank*" or election night in 2018 is going to be worse than last week. Oh, redistricting is still over 4 years away....
20
YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!! I love Thomas Frank but he's driving me crazy right now.
21
Actually they are mostly redeemable, if they want to be. You are redeemable. You do have to want to though.

Until you want to, why not stop fussing about whether you think other people think you can do something you don't even want to do.
22
@13: Take your cue from Oprah. Cooler heads prevail.
23
@22

Raindrop, are you ever going to go fuck yourself? Hello? Anyone home? Tick tock, times a wasting. You've been told once, told a thousand times. Go. Fuck. Yourself.

Everyone is getting sick of having to remind you. Get it done. Take care of that, and then get to work on fucking off an dying. I haven't forgotten you've got that on your list too. Don't even think of coming to talk to me until you've gotten all that off your plate.

Now run along.
24
Chaz, have you seen the documentary Rich Hill? It was a Verite-style doc from a couple of years ago about the rural voter in Rich Hill, MO. No, they don't all live like that. It shows a struggling white community that everybody loves to sweep under the rug.

Also, the county with Rich Hill went Trump.
25
This article is once again lacking of anything factual, conjecture & emotion driven. White voters in the rust belt came out much more for Obama in 2008 & 2012 then for Clinton. That is a fact and conflicts with the narrative here. I loathe "Identity Politics" which is a form of racism in of itself intended to "bully" those of your race into voting a certain way based on a singular issue. Blacks who vote republican or third party are "Uncle Tom's or Aunt Thomasina's. Gays like Peter Thiel & Milo Y. are seen as traitors to LGBT community for standing with Trump.Women who didn't vote for Hilary are accused of betraying the "Sisterhood" .Any constructive feedback for the opponent is met w/ identical retaliation(Repub/Dem alike). Bernie voters were placated & mocked, Trump voters are ridiculed and stereotyped as racist the same way Minorities feel stereotyped by Whites. The Irony of these articles appears lost on many of the readers.
26
@23: I'm sorry you're upset. But insulting huge demographics is not going to improve the situation and only reverberates everyone's anxiety.

Peace.
27
@13 & 23, I'm quite surprised you didn't manage to shove a few white cocks into your comments. Maybe you've had your fill for the day?
29
I don't think we are going be winning anything in 18, whatever 'message' we come up with and however much we try to coddle the imbeciles that make up the majority of the electorate in this country and listen to their 'concerns'.

Pretty much what we need to do is wait around until the pending catastrophe has a chance to fully realize itself. What worries me is how they are going to top their performance from the last time they had control: two interminable wars and near total economic collapse. How does one top that? A nuclear exchange?
30
Thanks for the concern, trolls.
31
@28 - and just what are they, please. You hate your mother, grandmothers, wives, sisters, and daughters? You hate the environment and want to see everything wild burned to the ground? You believe building a wall between the US and Mexico solves any kind of actual problem? You like "businessmen" who are terrible for business? You think it's appropriate that your president's name appears in like 20-foot font on the side of hotels all over the country? You didn't think Giuliani and Gingrich had spent enough time fucking things up already? You like people who lie egregiously and constantly? You like people without any kind of qualifications to score jobs that require qualifications? You believe all Muslims should be deported? You have a boner for Mike Pence?
32
I'm from a rural- suburban area that has close to a 50/50 ratio of black and white people. I despise Trump, but if you were to ask the white suburban people, from where I'm from, why they voted for him, this would not be the majority's answer. Only the most ignorant would give this as a response. This may be because they have more experience with diversity, or it may not be. This article speaking about them as if they're another species, that need to be reformed in order to fit certain ideals of what a proper citizen should be like. And, oh boy, is that ironic considering that's exactly how people have discriminated against blacks for centuries, who still undergo this injustice today. You can not preach against racism while reinforcing it. What good will it do to attack and talk down to any group of people? That's what spreads hate in the first place. If you want to change people's minds, if you want them to see the errors of their beliefs, you do not do so by insulting them or insinuating that they are lesser beings. Any person would get defensive, and run to someone who would shelter them. And lo and behold there was Trump with wide open arms. This, is what causes people to vote for Trump, a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and anti-LGBTQ business man with absolutely no political experience. Not that they "fell left out", but because people will turn away from those that speak against them instead of with them.
33
@31- cut the histrionics.
34
@28: Care to name a reason?
36
Mr. Mudede, if you do Tuesday's Morning News, I hope you will include the passing of Gwen Ifill. I wish she was around to make sense of all this. She was sharp, insightful and one of the few fair and trustworthy voices in journalism.

I miss her greatly.
37
Trump's talk about the hellish "inner cities" is a classic case of right-wing projection. It's old rural white folks who have been living for the most part in bombed-out hellscapes since the consolidation of agriculture. The only people who bother to talk to them are Fox News (the Walmart of journalism) and the rest of the right-wing mediascape, who have got them convinced that gender-neutral bathrooms are coming to drink their blood. More to the point, they've been bashing Hillary Clinton for thirty years, which is reason number 458 why Democrats were stupid to nominate her.
38
Add "and the decline of manufacturing" to the end of that second sentence.
39
@37 add "and the decline of manufacturing" to the end of the second sentence.
40
So as a history guy with a little professional training in the area, I've had some opportunities to look at what kinds of conditions seem to breed intolerance (looking at the history of anti-Jewish persecution over the centuries is a really good place to start if you're interested in this kind of thing).

One really big predictor I've found is that when populations are under stress of some kind, they tend to look for scapegoats, and that minorities of various kinds are often targeted. That stress can be caused by war, disease, economics, whatever.

Point being, people tend to be more tolerant when things are going well; less so when things are going badly. One reason areas with high poverty tend to be intolerant. And there could be practical reasons for this: a high degree of cultural cohesion and homogeneity seem to make it easier to formulate collective responses to crises. Which makes sense: if your neighbors are like you in a lot of ways, it's easier to trust them. Simple human nature.

Want a more tolerant society? Take the stress out of people's lives.

BTW, I really find it hilarious that The Stranger's resident Marxist has taken upon himself to be the basher of the proletariat. Guess those peasants really were revolting after all, weren't they Marie-Antoinette Mudede?
41
The pic of that house reminds me of the psychiatrist's house in Todd Solondz's film _Happiness_.

Just sayin'.
42
@37

Show me a backwater redneck hellscape town that experiences thousands of gang-related shootings per year and I'll eat my shoes.

Protip: you can't.

@40

Marxists don't care about working class people anymore. The only people they like are the effete Gender Studies majors that constitute their ideology nowadays.
43
@42 Backwater redneck hellscape towns don't have thousands of people to kill, although they're not free of their own little drug wars. Now, can you show me a major city where a trio of inbreds plotted a terrorist attack on an immigrant housing complex? Betcha can't!
44
@28: He's not my president. If you end up totally screwed like 99% of us will in 2017 and suddenly feel shocked, don't come crying to me.
45
Auntie Grizelda,
He is your president.. much like Kshama Sawant is my City Council Member despite my absolute hatred of her policy positions. Ironically if you insert "Obama" instead of "Trump" you have right wing southerners that said the same thing. Your not so different after-all but to ignorant to see that. Oh and I didn't vote for Trump so lets put that stereotype aside.
46
@2 So Charles, why did the blue wall rust belt states that elected a black man twice to the White House vote for Trump?

Because neither McCain nor Romney ran on racial fear. Trump did.

In an election this big and this close, simple narratives will never be completely true, but Charles pretty much nailed it. It wasn't just race, of course, but also nationality and religion.

Trump campaigned on one big thing: Fear of immigrants. Not only from from Mexico, but from the Middle East. This was his presidential announcement speech, the most important speech that a candidate can give:

They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. ...

It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East.


Throughout the campaign he focused on the same issues -- they are out to get us. We should have a religious test for refugees or simply not let in people from that part of the world. They can't be trusted. There are some good ones, but overall, the folks that come from that part of the world are bad. That was his message, and it was effective.

The exit polls validate this. When asked to name the most important issue, folks who chose the economy or foreign policy overwhelmingly picked Clinton. If they said either immigration or terrorism was the most important issue, they picked Trump. He ran on fear and fear won.
47
@40 BTW, I really find it hilarious that The Stranger's resident Marxist has taken upon himself to be the basher of the proletariat. Guess those peasants really were revolting after all, weren't they Marie-Antoinette Mudede?

Since when is he bashing the proletariat? Clinton did best at the lower income levels:

Under $30,000 -- Clinton 53 to 41
$30,000 - $49,999 -- Clinton 51 to 42

No, he is criticizing Trump voters, most of whom ignored the economy and foreign policy, but focused on immigration and terrorism. He spoke to their racially based fears, and that strategy won.
48
@47 Those numbers are distorted.

When it was only white people, Trump won all of the income brackets. He also won the lower and middle bracket by a larger margin than he did the higher income brackets.

The reason HRC won the lower classes is that Black and Brown people overwhelmingly went for her, and they're overrepresented in those brackets due to racial income inequality.
49
@35 I do not care about non white people and non white immigrants in this country, or their future as part of this nation.
50
Even if the popular vote stood and Hillary became president we'd still have a Republican House and Senate...and soon a more conservative Supreme Court. Hillary would be only one of three and therefore a minority. The only way to move forward is the flip the House and Senate in 2018, giving us only two years of nightmares instead of four. The House will be harder to flip because of the gerrymandering of districts done quietly over the years by Republicans, so we need to first flip the "fuck you" voters in those traditional red districts. Calling them all racists isn't going to work even if they are. We must make are enemies our friends. So get mad, scream how fucked up this is, how racist homophobic and misogynistic this is, loudly shout how Debbie Wasserman Shultz sabotaged Bernie and lost the election. Once everyone calms down, lets win 2016.
51
Dave in Shoreline, you sited valid points for turning against HRC. However you abhor political correctness and feel we must get control of our borders? So does that mean you don't want Canadians streaming into the states? And what does "political correctness" mean? Just trying to understand here. Which immigrants are competing with you for a job? Are you competing with the campesino who is waiting outside of Home Depot for a job, who barely speaks and reads English? Because the college educated immigrants that are making bank come in completely legally, sponsored by the Corporations you hold in high esteem.
I agree with you NAFTA was a horrible plan for all us, but guess what Republicans loved that plan and want more trade agreements. It was Liberal people that were out in the streets against WTO, not Republicans, not conservatives-so don't count on any changes.
As for high taxes on corporations running them out of the country, not true we have some of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world. They left because they don't want to pay workers-get ready for a race to the bottom for wage earners.
52
Sorry, I meant lets win in 2018.
53
And "our" enemies instead of "are". So much for proofreading before coffee.
54
Everyone should pay attention to David from Shoreline here. I grew up in a small town and I am well familiar with the mindset, also the NYT conducted exhaustive interviews with these people over the course of the campaign. To the deplorable the number one issue of the day is political correctness. Seriously, we have a climate catastrophe that is imminent, breathtaking inequality, a health care crisis, numerous foreign crises and the number one issue is that meathead white guys hate it when they are called bigots for spouting bigoted shit. Oh yeah and immigration. Even though the population of undocumented immigrants has been declining for years due to emigration and deportations.

Safe to predict that an administration that believes that complete non-issues are the primary issues of the day, and absolutely urgent crises either don't exist or are trivial, is headed for disaster. Seems likely this disaster will take some time to unfold though so 2018 will very likely be a bust. They might well create a bubble in the meantime by handing corporations and billionaires fat tax cuts and exploding the deficit. Let's just hope the yahoos get their comeuppance before 2020.
55
We're all racists. First, because we grew up and live in a racist society, and it's impossible to do that and NOT absorb some of that racism. Second, because it's the way we're hard-wired:
http://time.com/67092/baby-racists-survi…

That doesn't mean we should just accept racism, of course. It is evil, and we must struggle against it.

In an election where one candidate panders to economic losers by appealing to their racism, and one which doesn't do a good job of appealing to them at all, the racist panderer will win. Even though those same racist White people were able to look beyond their prejudice and vote for a Black man twice.

It's a choice between winning elections and elevating society by convincing people to rise above their inner ugliness or throwing temper tantrums because they were too stupid to vote for your candidate, watching your tantrums do nothing about those voting patterns, and watching our country continue to regress backwards more than we ever imagined it could
56
And my "we are all racists" applies to ALL of us, even non-Whites. It means Blacks harbor internalized racism against themselves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_an…
57
Ok, Ok, Ok after a week we get it. If your're white and voted for Trump for any reason you're a racist, homophobe, and on and on and on. Get over it cupcake you lost, deal with it for the next 4 years.
58
@57 Wrong. People didn't vote for trump because they are racist, they voted for trump because HE'S racist.
59
@57 Worse than that actually: if you voted for Trump you believe that political correctness is the most important issue of the day. In other words, you may not be a racist, but you are a complete fucking idiot.
60
Charles, you're missing a big part of this, and that is free trade. If you talked to Trump voters in the upper midwest, you heard trade brought up over and over again. Bill Clinton supported NAFTA, and Hillary Clinton supported TPP, her unconvincing reversal not withstanding. Bernie Sanders beat Clinton in Michigan solely by focusing on this issue. Free trade agreements are widely, and correctly, seen as being responsible for the loss of manufacturing in the upper midwest.

You say Democrats offer social welfare to these voters. That is true. But social welfare is NOT a substitute for good jobs. Jobs provide more than just money, they provide dignity, and without them communities wither and die, which is what has happened to many communities in the middle part of the country.

A second part of this is immigration. Coastal liberals might not want to admit it, but an influx of immigrant workers does put downward pressure on the lower end of the labor market. So now not only are most of the jobs gone, but the few that remain are subject to competition from immigrants who may not be legally in the country.

The answer of coastal liberals to these problems is the following:

1. Free trade actually has not led to the loss of American manufacturing (bullshit)
2. Immigration actually does not lead to downward pressure on wages (bullshit). You are racist for saying so.
3. Those jobs aren't coming back. Too bad for you.

So we tell these voters that the things that they can see with their eyes are not true, we deny basic economic principals to their face, their complaints are dismissed as racism, and then we are surprised that they don't trust us. They are then faced with a choice: Accept that they are screwed, or take a chance on a flawed racist blowhard who has a plan. I'm not surprised they go with the latter.

There's no doubt that many white voters are motivated by racism. But how do you account for the fact that Trump *improved significantly* over Romney with blacks, latinos, and asians, but had basically *the same* support among whites? If Trump's appeal is based solely on white racism, wouldn't we expect him to outperform Romney?

How do you account for the fact that many of these counties in the upper midwest voted for our first African American president, not once but twice? They stuck with him even when the economy failed to fully recover in 2012. I find that really hard to believe those people are drawn to white supremacism.

Racism does play a huge part in American politics, and has for a long time. My guess is that many of the white voters most susceptible to a racist appeal (which is quite a lot of them), were not voting for Barack Obama. We don't need or want those voters. We do need and want the white swing voters in the upper midwest.
61
@42- There are lots of small towns with astonishingly high *per capita* murder rates over the past decade. They have terrible meth and opioid addiction issues and someone (aka a gang) is selling drugs there.

The absolute numbers are tiny in comparison to a city because the towns are tiny in comparison, which is why "Show me a backwater redneck hellscape town that experiences thousands of gang-related shootings per year and I'll eat my shoes." is an astonishingly stupid thing to say. If one of these little towns goes a couple years without a shooting it's like there not being a shooting in one block of Chicago in years.