If You Don’t Know the Causes of a Terrible Problem, Then You Probably Can’t Fix It

Whatever Hillary’s defects, Trump’s voters exhibited horrifically bad judgment in viewing him as preferable to her. Paul Waldman admirably catalogues the reasons why, in The Unpersuadables. Having done so, Waldman concludes that “racial, ethnic, and religious hatred was the foundation on which the Trump campaign was built.”

Well, no doubt white identity was one foundation of Trump’s campaign.

The Waldman piece may usefully be contrasted with Pankaj Mishra, writing in the New Yorker on The Anti-Elite, Post-Fact Worlds of Trump and Rousseau, which places great emphasis on economic, class, and educational resentment.

My own hypothesis is that the main immediate cause of the Trump voters’ massive failure of judgment was the loathing toward Hillary that had come to possess them.

Whatever the right answer—or rather, answers—may be, they likely will not be discovered by pundicts articulately contemplating their navels. We need some social science, folks