From a very interesting election analysis in the Orange County Register by Joel Kotkin – Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University …
Disclaimer: I’m not a Trump fan because of his incivility (bad role model for kids), unpredictability (I have no idea where he really stands on any issue except “the wall” – and I’m betting the under on that one), and temperament (though I wonder why the U.S. should be the only country that doesn’t have a wild man with their finger on the nuclear button – why not round out the roster?).
That said, I’ll fill in his circle on the scantron ballot if it’s Trump vs. Hillary in Novemeber.
I have much sympathy for his constituency of victims: lower and middle class working class folks … with emphasis on “working”.
You know, the folks that the press likes to brutally characterize as “brain dead, mindless zombies”.
In his article, Mr. Kotkin more charitably coins them as the “precariat” — people who are working, many part time or on short-term gigs, but lacking long-term security.
Mr. Kotkin observes:
“Just as Sanders’ strategy thrives on younger white and working-class voters, Trump appeals to the mostly older part of America’s beleaguered white working class.”
Key points from his analysis:
Contrary to the “white privilege” meme popular on campuses and with the gentry Left, most whites are not wealthy or particularly well-educated.
Trump’s base lies with lower-middle-class working whites.
At least one-third of the U.S. workforce falls into this category, and the numbers are growing.
By 2020, more than 40 percent of the American workforce – or 60 million people – will be independent workers: freelancers, contractors or temporary employees … with no guarantee of lifetime employment.
Translation: now that knowledge jobs are shifting off-shore … the only “protected” occupations are service jobs (think, hospitality), tenured professorships and, of course, union-protected government work.
Unlike wealthier voters, poor whites compete for jobs with immigrants and also tend to live where poor minorities also settle.
Understandably, voters under financial stress tend to be more concerned about illegal immigration.
They also tend to work in occupations, such as construction and manufacturing, where the foreign-born constitute a disproportionate share of the workforce.
Trump’s anti-immigrant message is not “white only”..
A majority of Latinos, in contrast to their open-borders-minded leadership, according to some surveys, already believe overall immigration levels are too high.
“What seems like racism to college professors and journalists might seem more like economic salvation to struggling families, even ones with roots in Latin America.”
Bottom line: There are a lot of angry lower-middle-class voters.
Think, how does the GOP establishment feel now that their jobs are threatened?
One key factor may be African Americans, “whose self-interests were submerged in service to President Obama.”
Nearly 70 percent of African Americans polled think overall immigration levels are too high.
If Clinton tacks too closely to the open-borders stance embraced by both the Democratic and Republican establishments, Trump may be able to slice off some of this most-solid segment of the blue electorate.
Ultimately, class interests are likely to prevail over racial interests, particularly in a contest between two whites.
Trump will repel many upper-income whites, who tend to be less concerned with illegal immigration and are less angry about the economy.
Many, including some Republicans and independents, may vote more for Clinton, as opposed to the New York billionaire many find loathsome.
“While working-class voters may be declining as a percentage of the electorate – from 65 percent in 1980 to about 35 percent today – they may be substantial enough in numbers to determine the November outcome not only in the South but also in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and New Hampshire.”
We’ll see …
The entire article is worth reading (and cites sources for Mr. Kotkin’s conclusions).