Figuring out what to do with Trump's base means admitting they are racist

We already discussed this, but I’ll include the link for others.


That’s the benefit of the doubt I would have given to previous Republican voters. But for Trump voters? That doesn’t fly. He’s so transparently awful and vacuous, so completely devoid of sense or sanity, that just being ignorant and brainwashed doesn’t justify it. There has to be at least a serious cognitive defect that prevents reasoning through the brainwashing and/or a serious character defect that means they see how terrible and empty Trump is - but they don’t care.


It strikes me there’s a lot of push back here on the subject of even most of Trump’s current voters falling into the white nationalist camp. But that’s not the contention. A healthy portion of Trump’s current polling numbers come from all that polarization. The sort of person who backs (or wants to) the GOP by default. The “I don’t like the guy by he’s better than x/the supreme court/provisos” sort of voter. The anti-hillary voter.

What’s under discussion isn’t his current voters. It’s his active supporters. The people who propelled him in the primaries. Who go to his rallies. Who support Trump above, And even in opposition to his political party or a given issue or ideological position.

That’s a different, smaller group than his overall group of voters. Based on the primaries perhaps one 3rd or more of the GOPs current coalition. And it’s hard to argue that group is anything else but white nationalists. You’ve seen the videos of his rallies. Policy and rhetoric wise what makes Trump distinct from the GOP is hopelessly tied to racist ideas. The openly while supremacist groups and alt right internet brigades that provide a surprising large chunk of his campaign materials.

That’s the bit of the GOP base, of their demographic coalition, that Trump now controls. Rather than the GOP or movement conservativism. Pointing to other, less dominant slices of his base. Especially those more likely to break left (however narrowly). Doesn’t address the central problem. A large base of openly or cryptically or accidentally white nationalist Americans currently controls one of our major political parties. Explaining all the ways the other Trump voters aren’t that. Addressing their concerns, however valid, doesn’t defuse the big sheet wearing turd in the pool.


A little off-topic, but you might want to leave out the dog example, because we actually DO do this for certain breeds of dogs—not Labradors, though. For example there are two “breeds” of Belgian shepherd dog, the Groenendahl and the Tervuren. The former is all-black, the latter tan with a black face. Both kinds can be born in the same litter; functionally, they are the same kind of dog; but they’re considered different “breeds” with specific standards.

The More You Know™


I don’t disagree that a significant chunk of his base is racist and/or misogynist, but imho it’s lazy to just dismiss all of them as “just racist”.

I’m from David Wong’s part of the country, we went to the same university in the same department, and worked in the same town for years. He grew up in a town which, surprising to me, was actually poorer than the town I grew up in. Down the road from me is a sign that says, “VOTE TRUMP 2 SUPPORT COAL”. Sadly, our region was a one-trick pony and when government regulation cut off the rich deposit under us from being used in the US, it put a lot of people in the poor house. It’s not hard to understand that people here might hate Obama and/or Clinton for reasons other than “he’s black” or “she’s a woman”. Now, voting in Trump isn’t going to do a damn thing to bring back the good ol’ days–I mean, local coal production was nearly back up to its 1970s peak with almost none of the old employment. But facts don’t matter here, feels do.


I thought you said he supported Trump, not Clinton?

Yes, but the same rhetoric is on both sides, if you can believe it. I don’t buy any of it, but do hear the exact same shit from both sides.


Except race is a social construct, not a genetic one, no matter the rhetoric. That’s why Irish and Italians could “become” white within a few generations of arriving in large numbers. There are many studies and books about the creation of “whiteness” in America.


I believe that’s called administering the intelligence test…,

Oh yes, was that the lady who complained that, “We can’t pray in our schools, but they can build mosques”? Honey, you just can’t make everybody pray as a school function, and neither can they–and you are just as free to build places of worship as they are. :rolling_eyes:


Middle-class whites are also anxious about the end of white hegemony in the U.S. and on a global scale, perhaps not for themselves but for their children. When we talk about his voters making an average of $72k we’re not talking about professionals and creative-class types with graduate degrees in coastal cities.

Instead, we’re talking about the mid-level corporate manager or small business owner in the Midwest who may have had four years at a mediocre college and is now trying desperately to figure out how to pay for his kid’s college costs (with the knowledge that young Master Millenial may not have a job for years). That same person also knows there’s a chance that his own paper-pushing job might outsourced to India or Vietnam or that Walmart will come to town and crush his business if a CEO decides it adds to shareholder value. And that’s before taking into account worries about various Others pushes by the non-stop anxiety machine of conservative radio and Fox News.

Whatever his worry and whether it’s legitimate or not, he knows that the “good old days” when being a white American was enough to bail you out of that kind of trouble and keep you at the front of the queue are ending. This idea that Mexicans and Syrians and other “undeserving” minorities are jumping the queue seems to be a common one in those circles of white voters, regardless of economic class.

Voting for this orange blowhard thus becomes part desperation move (“maybe he’ll roll things back/make America great again”) and part middle-finger to the comfortable coastal elites (“if my family is gonna be miserable, they and theirs will damned well be miserable, too.”). And when their candidate loses, they’re going to join his more noxious alt-right and white nationalist supporters in accepting his claim that the election was fixed.


And we’re not? There are a few hundred million non-citizens who would love to move to the Western world and would have their lives immeasurably improved even without any government support.

Why do we need to keep these non-whites out? Because it would cost us big time. We’d lose our birthright of being part of the 1% simply because where we were born. We might actually have to compete head to head with the rest of the world and we’d actually have to live cheek-by-jowl with severe poverty.

And I’m less racist! Hurrah me!

(And yes, degree is important, which is why Trump has to be stopped, but Dear God, let’s look at ourselves with some perspective before we decide that the Trump supporters are different in kind rather than simply different in degree.)


The thing is – no, that’s not tar-and-feathers racism – but in the end, it is a complaint that the game is no longer stacked in our favor. The economy isn’t a zero-sum game, but of course white people were better off when we had a more privileged position. And moving back in that direction is technically an option; that’s the (previously) unspoken impulse behind a lot of conservative politics. I mean, the clue is in the name.

(You can make this argument substituting “Americans” or “Westerners” for “white people”, but personally I think that’s dodging the uncomfortable heart of the matter)

White people were better off when black people weren’t allowed to do our jobs. America was better off when its competitors were bombed-out ruins and feudal despairscapes. It might come as a surprise to talk radio listeners, but no one ever covered up those facts; we just didn’t mention them because we thought we’d agreed not to go down that route. In hindsight, that tiptoeing probably went too far, because some Brexiters and Trumpkins now believe they’ve discovered a brilliant, untried new idea with their exceptionalism.

So, even if Trumpism were just about economic grievances, that wouldn’t mean it wasn’t about [something that could accurately be called] racism. But in any case, the point the Vox article makes (which btw I totally invented linking to) is that the people with title to those grievances aren’t the ones driving Trump rallies.

It makes sense. If you’re a steelworker, you want your Chinese counterpart to get paid the same as you, in terms of both competition and not being a dick; Trump’s not offering you much, even if you’re out of work. But if you’re a white business owner who doesn’t like his low-paid Latino employees to see his house, then you know exactly what racial biases do for your lifestyle. That’s the sort of person I can really understand liking Trump.


That line had me shouting at my radio.
I wish the reporter had asked how those are equivalent. How does someone develop that level of jumbled logic?


And that scares me just as much as a tRump victory does.


Bullshit on SCOTUS. Trump won the primaries with the evangelical vote before ever courting them.


[quote=“Daedalus, post:20, topic:87585, full:true”]

[quote=“Medievalist, post:10, topic:87585”]
My cow-orker who switched when Bernie Sanders left the race, who is still planning on voting Republican, is not a racist. Dude has a multi-racial family, he’s an American of German ancestry married to a Colombian, speaks three languages.[/quote]

So, why does he want to vote for a guy who is absolutely going to make the country a worse place for his wife? What’s his deal?[/quote]
Maybe his sexism overrides his not-racism.


What should scare you is the GOP congress response to the alt right claims of election fixing - new “champions” emerge as the next model Ted Cruz burns millions on even more witch hunts against Hillary and voting.


We watch a lot of Bollywood, and up until quite recently the industry was saturated with racism. For example, this well-known song about Hawaii made my jaw drop when I first saw it.

In the US “Indian” still almost always means “indigenous American”.


That song started off fun, but it only got more and more racist.

1 Like