Monday, April 17, 2017

Study: Racism A Main Factor in 2016 Election

We've noted before that the 2016 elections was not really about "economic anxiety" as it was racial resentment by low-information voters who responded to neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump's xenophobic and racist rhetoric about Mexicans and Muslims. In the aftermath of the elections, the pent-up rage burst forth in a flurry of vandalism, attacks on minorities and other products of Rump's incitement.

Now, the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES) says that the 2016 elections were indeed about racial hostility and xenophobia. The study, which has been done post-election since 1948, involved 1,200 participants, and gauged whether Rump voters were voting on the basis of Rump's authoritarianism or the underlying racial message he was sending in his speeches and comments. According to a key finding:
"Since 1988, we’ve never seen such a clear correspondence between vote choice and racial perceptions...Racial attitudes made a bigger difference in electing Trump than authoritarianism."
There are jobs being lost to automation and corporate cost-cutting, but the overwhelming number of Rump voters were not in the throes of economic distress; on the contrary, the median household income for Rump's core primary voters was $72,000. The media, looking for a narrative to explain his unexpected electoral college win, grabbed "economic anxiety" as their facile conventional wisdom, when in fact it had far more to do with his base's racial resentments toward minorities and immigrants.

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