Working-class whites feel worse off than their parents while working-class blacks and Latinos feel better off. If you’re a white man in your mid-30s without a college degree, there’s a decent chance your father enjoyed steady blue-collar employment and a stable family life when he was your age, and you do not. Native-born black men, in contrast, might compare their circumstances favorably with those of their own fathers, who often faced intense racial discrimination. Similarly, Latino immigrants of modest means generally believe themselves to be better off than they would have been in their native countries. That’s no small thing. In this sense, at least, upwardly mobile working-class blacks and Latinos have more in common with upwardly mobile college-educated whites than they do with working-class whites.
For the working class whites, given our country’s history of racism, of segregation, of slavery, finding respect through race is dangerous territory. Yet, with the unions mostly gone, with so many other outlets for respect eroded, it has left many with few easy options other than surging ahead, led by Trump, into the ugly, unacceptable territory of outright racism.
[I]f you are someone who wants to stop Trump or Brexit, your goal should be to communicate effectively with the people who believe it is in their interest to support Trump or Brexit. I think in general there is no effort on the part of media elites to communicate with those people and do anything other than tell them that they are primitive, racist, and stupid. And if the message being sent is that you are primitive, racist, and stupid, and not that you have been f–ked over in ways that are really bad and need to be rectified, of course those people are not going to be receptive to the message coming from the people who view them with contempt and scorn. I think that is why Brexit won, and I think that is the real danger of Trump winning.
I’m not a hillbilly, nor do I descend from hillbilly stock, strictly speaking. But I do come from poor rural white people in the South. I have spent most of my life and career living among professional class urbanites, most of them on the East Coast, and the barely banked contempt they — the professional-class whites, I mean — have for poor white people is visceral, and obvious to me. Yet it is invisible to them.
The liberal media hacks are going to find that middle America doesn't buy the Democrats' new/found love for the military— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) July 30, 2016
Just as most Americans say they hate Congress but routinely vote for their local congressmen, most Republicans seem to detect a national economic malaise while — with some exceptions in places like coal country and the oil patch — touting the economic progress in their local communities. They square that circle in a variety of ways — crediting their Republican mayors and governors, accusing Obama of manipulating data, or citing legitimate weaknesses in the recovery from the Great Recession. But with unemployment down from 10 percent to less than 5 percent since late 2009, one of Trump’s many challenges will be convincing non-Republicans that America isn’t working even though nearly 15 million more Americans are.
In addition, the NBC/WSJ polls shows that 52 percent of voters believe President Obama is in the mainstream when it comes to his approach to issues, and 50 percent say the same thing of Hillary Clinton. But just 40 percent say that Donald Trump is in the mainstream, while 57 percent say he’s out of step.And 48 percent of respondents believe Democratic congressional candidates are in the mainstream, compared with 31 percent who think the same of GOP congressional candidates.