It’s Not the Economy, Stupid, It’s the Racism

sorting hat

This is an excellent article, and highly recommended reading: A new study reveals the real reason Obama voters switched to Trump.

There were between six and nine million people who voted for Obama in 2012 but switched to Trump in 2016. Does that prove that, for those voters, economic issues were more important than racial issues? No, it does not.

One reason is that Obama’s second term featured a significant amount of racial conflict. The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013. The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and subsequent week of protest and unrest, kicked off a massive and racially polarizing national debate over police violence against African Americans.

A second reason is that Obama’s very presence in office was racially polarizing. Michael Tesler, a scholar at the University of California-Irvine, has documented in detail how Obama’s very presence in the White House polarized America along racial lines. It would make sense that this effect would grow stronger the longer Obama was in office, setting the stage for a major backlash in his final year.

Third, and arguably most importantly, the two candidates turned the election into a kind of referendum on American race relations. Trump kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and vowing to build a wall between the US and Mexico. He vowed to ban Muslims, and described black life in America as a hellscape of violence and poverty. Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign was not nearly so overt, which means it was less likely to attract voters who held latent racist and anti-immigrant attitudes.

Clinton, for her part, positioned herself as a champion of racial justice. While Obama’s rhetoric on race was typically post-racial, positioning the country as more united than divided, Clinton got out front on issues like police violence and immigration. There are plenty of valid reasons for this — Clinton was more worried about failing to turn out minority voters, Obama was more worried about alienating skittish whites, and there was no way to respond to Trump’s campaign without tackling race head-on.

The result, though, is that racial issues became the key political dividing line in a way they were not in either 2008 or 2012.

Please read the whole article.

What Pocahontas Needs to Do

lemonade

I feel some sense of comradery with Elizabeth Warren. I have two Cherokee great-great-great-grandparents, and some genetic testing has shown a small percentage of Native American ancestry.

Unlike her, though, I have never contributed a recipe to a Native American cookbook undere the name of “Arius Aardvark, Cherokee.” Nor did the law school where I was once an adjunct professor describe me as a person of color. In my case, any claim to minority status has not gone beyond the casual joking stage.

So I can see why there is some difficulty in coming to terms with all this:

Media Congratulates Trump for Spreading Lie About Elizabeth Warren

Canned crab? Elizabeth Warren is unfit to lead

The Elizabeth Warren Fiasco

My own view, in case you happen to be interested, is that we are all sinners and that Elizabeth’s Warren’s sins are venal, whereas the Trumpster has many mortal sins to account for. (See, e.g., journalist/bone saw.)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. A clever politician would find a way to make this lemon into lemonade. Let’s see how clever a politician Elizabeth Warren is.

“Trump Calls the Saudis As Innocent As Brett Kavanaugh”

ruthlless interrogation

I wish I had written the headline above.

Meanwhile, in the picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words department, Mike Pompeo—who worked himself into redfaced hysteria during the Benghazi hearings—is shown above, looking very much like the cat who ate the canary, as he helps a posse of murderous thugs concoct a non-coverup coverup.

cat