Saturday, November 19, 2016

"Whitelash" only part of reason for Trump triumph

I think it's almost time to call a halt to the analysis of -- and liberal hand-wringing over -- the triumph of Donald Trump in the late presidential election. The lamestream media and "progressive" chattering classes have convinced themselves the 60 million Americans who voted for Mr Trump are all racists, and have run out of other things to say. The moaning of the snowflakes is dying down as cold weather forces them to move inside into safe spaces.

Enough reading of the entrails, then. The last you'll read of the topic here -- I hope -- will be the following precis of an article by Joseph Brean in today's National Post, headed "Theory that racist 'whitelash' was behind Trump victory ignores true reasons, experts say". I've selected just a couple of paragraphs.

According to Gil Troy, a presidential historian at McGill University, putting too much emphasis on race, to the exclusion of economic, cultural and security concerns, is precisely the same mistake that cost Hillary Clinton the White House.

"To reduce these people to racists, as so many Democrats are now doing with their 'basket of deplorables', misses a subtlety," Troy said in an interview. "Whitening Trump’s support too much plays into the identity politics which led Hillary to misread the electorate in the first place. Simply seeing it through a black and white lens misses the economic dimension, which I think Trump and Sanders understood, which is that at the core of the anger, the core of the frustration, is a sense of too much month left over at the end of the money.... I really think it starts with the economics."

The infrastructure of middle class American life has "exploded," he said, and the very same consumers who demand low cost products are, ironically, the same people who lose their jobs as industry and the market shifts accordingly. There is widespread unease about a declining culture, with compromised security and poor economic prospects, and a danger for the left is that fixating on Trump's blame-game rhetoric against immigrants or Muslims can risk minimizing those primary concerns. "I think the ugly bits (of Trump’s rhetoric) were reinforcers," Troy said. They were not the main message....

In an election between two disliked candidates, with a large number of voters lacking party affiliation, and economic factors pushing against Democrats after eight years in power, Clinton simply lost, as much from tactical error as from racist uprising. As the Columbia University political scientist Mark Lilla put it, Clinton pitched to every identity group except white people, and her failure in the vote should mark the end of "identity liberalism".

Footnote: I asked Mrs Walt yesterday if she had finalized her battle plan for Black Friday. "There is no more Black Friday," she told me. "It's not PC now. They're calling it 'Hot Friday' or 'Crazy Friday'." Unbelieving, I started listening to commercials on the boob tube, and sure enough.... Apparently this started last year. See "Is Black Friday racist? These college students say it is", TheRebel, 27/11/15.

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