TheFeniX wrote: ↑
I find that's just an oversimplification when you take into all the bullshit 2016 brought up. White evangelicals swung harder for Trump than ever but not for the reasons people think.
Now of course, the problems with polls is that people can, and probably do, just lie their asses off. But on this level?
In total, nearly half of white evangelicals considered the economy or national security most important when choosing between presidential candidates. Even when the Pew Research Center asked them which issues—not limited to a single one—were “very important” to them in deciding how to cast their votes, terrorism (89%) and the economy (87%) ranked higher than Supreme Court appointments (70%) and abortion (52%).
Immigration is still an important issue for them, and there are racial motivations, but also specific economical
ones. So, being rabidly anti-illegal immigration doesn't make you racist or at the least not exclusively so.
Let's be real here: the vast
majority of anti-immigrant sentiment in the US is directly tied to racism and xenophobia. And there's a reason for that: there are not clear economic reasons to oppose immigration, even illegal immigration. That might seem an outlandish claim, given how hard the anti-immigrant movement has worked to ingrain the idea that immigrants automatically represent an economic loss into the public consciousness, but its true. There is considerable statistical evidence IIRC that immigration can actually strengthen a country's economy, and it makes sense- those immigrants who take jobs will also be creating
jobs, and putting money back into the economy as consumers- at least if they're paid a decent wage and afforded full rights and legal protection (in which case, there would be no incentive to hire them over workers who are US citizens). In any case, automation now represents a far greater threat to jobs than immigration.
If there are negative economic reprecussions for immigration, they are more likely to result from immigrants being forced into the shadows, where they can be more easily exploited as a source of cheap labor without rights, and where they will find it harder to become successful members of society. If we wanted to address those problems, we would grant all the illegal immigrants citizenship.
But that's not what the anti-immigrant movement is about. Its about scapegoating the "other" as the cause of our economic problems (which makes it a handy tool for wealthy politicians, media figures, and lobbyists who don't want to address the real causes of corporate greed and political corruption), and it rests on the assumption that foreign people (especially brown foreign people) are always no good, shiftless criminals and parasites, who will only take from, not contribute, to society, living at the expense of "real" (ie, white) Americans.
Yes, it's fucking so just.... moronic people (even people I know) thought and still think the Trumpster would fight for them more than HRC. But where was HRCs swell of support from minorities and women when up against a total shit-bag, philanderer, and sexual assaulter like Trump? What cost the Democrats all the white middle class votes that help push Obama into office?
There's gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. And those were issues, maybe even big enough to swing an election where the winner lost the popular vote by 3 mil. But WHY was it even at that level? Why did Trump pick up the votes in the areas he needed while Clinton LOST votes in the areas she had no fucking business losing?
Racism and Sexism? No, I don't see it. Those were issues, but not nearly in the numbers needed (that I've found, though honestly I've not kept up since 2017) to turn 2016 into the dumpster fire it was. If anything, the worst part about it was the ability of voters to IGNORE racism and sexism for multiple reasons. Fear of HRC starting more wars, selling more jobs overseas, fear of her track-record, or just straight "who gives a shit about HRC?" to get enough people swinging Democrat to stay home, enough people on the fence to swing to Trump, enough idiotic "look at the shiny" douchebags to get taken in by Trump's bullshit to push Trump into a landslide win of "lost by 3 million."
tl:dr: I don't blame racism and sexism for 2016 because I can't find anything to really back it up. Not in the numbers needed to explain the low turn-out, shifting votes, the support Trump had, and support HRC didn't have. If those WERE at fault, it's because all the other bullshit pushed the election so far into "rock bottom" territory that you can actually dig up a bit of blame in that area.
EDIT: I should probably add that a SIDE EFFECT of Trump is emboldening racists and sexists.
I think to some extent you're conflating two different issues.
Racism and misogyny were, absolutely, at the heart of why the Trump base voted for Trump. Not the only reasons, of course, because humans are complicated, but that was a big fucking part of it, and as noted by Gandalf, anyone who voted for Trump, or supported or condoned him, at the very least had to be okay with those thing being given a platform at the highest levels of government. At the very least, they were willing to throw women and minorities under the bus for whatever issues were
more important to them
, which I would argue is itself a racist/sexist position.
That said, I would agree that racism and sexism are not the main reason why Trump ultimately won. They were major motivations of his base, but they were not enough to put Trump over the top. Neither was "anti-establishment"*/anti-Democrat/anti-Clinton backlash, however. There is no single reason for the cluster fuck that is the 2016 election result, and anyone saying their is either is misinformed or saying it to push an agenda. Trump barely got elected, with a deficit of nearly three million in the popular vote, by a relatively tiny margin in three key states- which is close enough that there are at least half a dozen major things, off the top of my head, that could have changed the outcome if they had gone a little differently. So in that sense, you can more or less equally say that racism and sexism caused 2016, Bernie Sanders caused 2016, Jim Comey caused 2016, Anthony Weiner caused 2016, Russia caused 2016, voter suppression and gerrymandering caused 2016, Hillary Clinton caused 2016, and that a wave of "anti-establishment" anger caused 2016. All of those are probably true, and all of them are false (or rather, only part of the picture).
I am, however, wary of progressives saying that Trump's election was due to anti-establishment/anti-Democrat/anti-Clinton backlash rather than bigotry, because it can very easily slip into portraying Trump's election as a justified
backlash based on legitimate grievances, and minimizing the bigotry- it can slip, thus, into condoning
Trumpism, and thereby becoming culpable in it. I know that's not your intention here, but its a concern that is never far from my mind when discussing these issues. All the more because I am very aware of the constant efforts by Trumpers (and Russia) to push those sorts of narratives: to on the one hand shield themselves against charges that they are essentially rebranded Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, and on the other, to stoke anti-establishment anger to drive a wedge into the opposition. And ultimately, more insidiously, to coopt Progressivism.
*I hate the term anti-establishment these days, because 2016 and the Trumpers and the Bernie-or-Busters made it almost meaningless. Any definition of "anti-establishment" which can condemn Hillary Clinton but condone Donald Trump- a wealthy fat cat who inherited his fortune from Daddy Klansman- is a meaningless one. Or, alternately, one in which the "establishment" being condemned is not the corrupt oligarchy, but rather the cultural establishment which says that open bigotry against women and minorities are no longer okay.