Neglected by Republicans and Democrats alike, vilified by the culture, and preyed upon by globalization, white working-class voters in 2016 cast their lot with the one candidate in a generation who remembered them, and thus became Donald Trump’s base—a constellation of blue, white, and pink collar laborers. This spark ignited what was supposed to be a revolution in party politics and carried Trump into the White House.
The truth about white “dysfunctional, downscale communities,” Kevin Williamson informed us in a March 2016 National Review article, “is that they deserve to die.” A year into Donald Trump’s presidency, an unrepentant Bill Kristol quipped that the “lazy” white working class should be replaced with immigrants. The mask was off what had been the prevailing attitude among establishment conservatives and Republicans until Trump.
And so it was that the cultural, political, and economic depredations these Americans suffered formed the chord of grievance Trump struck to resounding success.
Williamson’s hit piece on the white working class was a vulgar smear peppered with insults at Trump supporters. Apparently, they’re all ‘white trash hillbillies with drug addictions’. Williamson who was a former National Review contributor quit his job at the NR and offered his services to the leftwing rag Atlantic. He was unceremoniously dumped after just one article.
He and Kristol share some components with DemProgs; sneering disdain for people they consider beneath their cultured pedigree.
“For white men without a college degree,” Stephanie Mencimer writes, “the average growth in median wages between 1979 and 2017 was a negative number (−0.2 percent a year), even as median hourly earnings for all white workers grew by 11 percent in the same period.” Deaths from suicide, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related disease among middle-aged white men and women have soared over the last two decades. Despite popular narratives, whites are actually the biggest victims of interracial violence and police shootings. It seems like maybe there is something to their grievances.
……The spiteful spirit of Williamson and Kristol-style “conservatism” evidently also haunts many supposed champions of the new “populism,” and not just in Florida.
“The decided view internally was that white working class men lacked an alternative,” a senior White House official told American Greatness. “There was no need to develop policy that would improve the social or economic conditions in America’s industrial communities. They voted for Trump once, they’d do it again,” this official said of the campaign’s thinking. “From late 2017 foward, the goal was to make the Republican Party the vehicle for blacks and Latinos. They wanted to build off of white working class men and discard them, not build an electoral coalition around them.”
The white working-class “is the ‘forgotten man’ demographic,” A Republican close to the campaign told American Greatness. “The focus on left-wing identity politics has already robbed these people of a home in the Democratic Party, but now also the GOP,” the source reported, referring to the campaign’s pandering. “In the final critical week, instead of holding events focusing on mobilizing cops, miners, steel workers, the campaign focused on PRIDE events in blue-collar areas under Richard Grenell and Jared Kushner, which actually alienates many of these people.”
……When rioting erupted across the country over the summer, that same trio urged Trump to sit on his hands. They said that stopping the riots would make him look racist in the eyes of an unproductive criminal class. Instead, Kushner invited rapper Ice Cube to the White House, soliciting his input for what became the “Platinum Plan.” The rapper, not exactly known for his love of police, asked Kushner for a $500 billion capital infusion exclusively for blacks. He got his wish, with the added promise of more criminal justice reform in the “Second Step Act.”
Trump’s immigration agenda was regularly undermined. Chad Wolf, formerly a paid immigration lobbyist, became acting Secretary of Homeland Security. From his perch, Wolf pushed for bringing in more visa workers up to and even during the pandemic’s early days. Elevating Wolf to helm DHS, after demonstrating that his mentor and boss Kirstjen Nielsen was a complete failure, is akin to firing James Mattis at the Pentagon only to promote Michelle Flournoy: it is impossible to drain the swamp when you keep pumping more of it back into the mix. Today, Wolf reportedly defied Trump’s order to terminate election cybersecurity official Christopher Krebs.
Thus, talk of eliminating birthright citizenship fell silent to amnesty proposals because the former was said to risk alienating Latinos. Then came the “American Dream Plan,” the equivalent of a Platinum Plan for Latinos, the architect of which was Jenny Korn. An alumnus of the Bush public liaison office, Korn argues contra Trump that the GOP must soften its “harsh tone on immigration” to attract more Latinos.
Thus an administration created by tapping into the legitimate hopes and fears of America’s disaffected white middle class ended up excluding them from programs tailored to securing the “American Dream.”
More to the point, an infrastructure plan producing high-paying jobs for all would have eliminated the need for any group “plans” as it would have promoted jobs that elevated Americans of all ethnicities. It would have been in keeping with the president’s admonition that “Success will unite us.”
Gallup polling in early 2017 found two-thirds of Americans said “it is ‘very important’ for President-elect Donald Trump to keep his campaign promise to enact major spending on infrastructure renewal.”
In 2016, Trump said he would “save your Social Security without killing it like so many people want to do.” When the pandemic hit, Kushner sent a proposal to the White House Council of Economic Advisers to provide Americans with stimulus in exchange for delays or cuts to their Social Security benefits—something that made older white voters, concerned about their declining retirement accounts and health, recoil. Though the Platinum Plan and American Dream Plan promised billions to specific minority groups, the administration failed to secure a second stimulus package to benefit all struggling Americans.
……Trump scored roughly 64 percent of non-college whites in 2016, compared to 62 percent in 2020. Among non-college white men, the gap is even more profound: 71 percent in 2016 versus 64 percent in 2020. By contrast, the same data show Trump won between 6 percent and 8 percent of black voters in 2016 and 8 percent in 2020. After the First Step Act, the Platinum Plan, a soft touch on riots, and a Republican National Convention heavily focused on courting black voters, Trump improved his share of the black vote by just 2 to 4 percentage points. Trump improved with Latinos by 7 percentage points, though they constituted a smaller share of the overall electorate compared to 2016.
Put simply, while minorities supplement the coalition, this is still mainly a white working-class movement, something Shapiro, Rubio, and much of the GOP appear eager to downplay or dismiss.
White working-class Americans continue to constitute the largest component of America’s broad mass who do the work, hold the country together, and sustain the ruling class that despises them—all things Trump acknowledged on the road to the White House. Yet no one seems to remember them now, except to celebrate the fact that Trump won fewer of them this time around—a testament to the Republican Party’s diverse bona fides.
Now we are the “coalition of the ascendant,” elite Republicans crow, breathing a sigh of relief in the hope that maybe people won’t call us racist anymore. “That new coalition will be central to continued Republican success in the state,” Matt Dixon and Gary Fineout wrote in Politico regarding Florida, where Trump’s success with Latinos has been an occasion for a ticker-tape parade. White men, after all, are going extinct.
We elected them to stop DemProgs in their tracks. They turned out to be chickenshits unwilling to take the measures necessary to accomplish that. They’re so afraid of being called “racist”, “mean”, “uncaring”, and a variety of other leftwingnut pejoratives, that they quake at the mere thought of fighting to get this country back. Because they hate Trump and want acceptance so badly, some Republicans/’Conservatives’ are selling their souls to the DemLeft.
But those dying white men punched Trump’s ticket to the White House and, ironically, are likely the most significant reason Trump won Florida. “Trump’s largest base of support was, again, with white voters, who helped him outperform his 2016 showing in 32 mostly rural, white counties across the state,” Dixon and Fineout noted. “That support squeezed an additional 153,000 votes out of areas of the state that already backed Trump by wide margins.” That Biden underperformed with Latinos sealed the deal in the Sunshine State.
……America’s white working-class continues to wait for a champion, someone who will not take the political capital their votes buy and squander it on progressive projects and old dogma by another name. Trump’s moment could be the beginning of something far more significant than the man himself if we are willing to hammer it free of the dross so that the mandate does not become a mausoleum of hope and desire.
There’s a reason why groups like the Tea Party were created and gained influence and momentum. The GOP leaders have abandoned the principles in the United States Constitution of limited government and fiscal restraint. They vilify, insult, and denigrate faithful grassroots Republicans and Tea Party Patriots for holding them accountable and demanding that they fulfill the promises they made.
We expect that kind of filth from LeftProg Dems; not from our own party.
We really need a third political party dedicated to the Constitution and the principles of ethics and law. The Tea Party has a nice ring to it.