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“Trump’s Many Racist Supporters”: Not All — But A Lot Of ’Em

In a Republican debate last month, Donald Trump was asked whether his claim that “Islam hates us” means all 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide hate the United States.

“I mean a lot of ’em,” Trump replied, as some in the crowd — Trump supporters, presumably — laughed and applauded.

That ugly moment comes to mind in describing how many of Trump’s supporters have racist motivations for backing him: Not all — but a lot of ’em.

Just as it’s unfair to paint all Trump backers as bigoted, it’s impossible to ignore a growing volume of public-opinion data showing that a large number of his supporters are indeed driven by racial animus.

A Pew Research Center national poll released Thursday found that 59 percent of registered voters nationwide think that an increasing number of people from different races, ethnic groups and nationalities makes the United States a better place to live; only 8 percent say this makes America worse. But among Trump backers, 39 percent say diversity improves America, while 42 percent say it makes no difference and 17 percent say it actually makes America worse. Supporters of GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich were significantly more upbeat on diversity.

This was no anomaly. The week before, my Post colleagues Max Ehrenfreund and Scott Clement reported on a Post/ABC News poll that asked whether people thought it more of a problem that African Americans and Latinos are “losing out because of preferences for whites” or that whites are “losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics.”

Trump had the support of 34 percent of Republican-leaning voters overall, but among those who said that whites are losing out, 43 percent supported Trump. Ehrenfreund and Clement did a further analysis finding that racial anxiety was at least as important as economic anxiety — the factor most commonly associated with Trump backers — in predicting support for Trump. Though the two factors were statistically close, those “who voiced concerns about white status appeared to be even more likely to support Trump than those who said they were struggling economically.”

Other somewhat-related attributes may be as or more predictive of whether somebody will support Trump: approval of deporting undocumented immigrants, strong feelings that the government is dysfunctional, and support for banning Muslims from entering the United States. (Authoritarian child-rearing attitudes, believed by some to be closely related to Trump support, were less predictive.)

But Clement, The Post’s polling manager, told me: “What was striking to me in analyzing the data is that even after controlling for a variety of demographics and attitudes [including all those above], believing whites are losing out continued to be a key predictor of Trump support. . . . Its importance persisted under a wide range of scenarios.”

This, in turn, confirms previous findings. Earlier this year, University of California at Irvine political scientist Michael Tesler, citing data from Rand Corp.’s Presidential Election Panel Survey, found that “Trump performs best among Americans who express more resentment toward African Americans and immigrants and who tend to evaluate whites more favorably than minority groups.”

Trump’s supporters overall tend to be older, disproportionately male, less likely to have a college degree and more likely to be suffering economically. But race is an ever-present factor among Trump supporters. Trump support, it has been shown, is high in areas where the number of racist search queries on Google is also high. The Post’s Jeff Guo has documented that Trump, in GOP primaries, performs best in areas where the middle-aged white death rate is highest — that he effectively channels “white suffering into political support.”

Various polling of more dubious methodology has found that Trump supporters are more likely to support the Confederate battle flag, oppose Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and support the Japanese internment camps of World War II. But Thursday’s poll by nonpartisan Pew, a well-respected outfit, finds antipathy toward minorities as well: Sixty-nine percent of Trump supporters say immigrants burden the country, and Trump supporters are significantly more likely than other Republican voters to want illegal immigrants deported, to favor a wall along the Mexican border and to support extra scrutiny of Muslims in the United States solely because of their religion.

Some Trump supporters may not be overt about (or even conscious of) racial motivations. One indication: Trump support is higher in automated or online polls than in surveys conducted by a live interviewer — about five percentage points, according to a study by the polling firm Morning Consult. One possible factor is a “social desirability bias” that leads them to tell an interviewer not what they believe but what they think is acceptable in society.

This may mean some Trump supporters feel a sense of shame — and that’s good. Trump makes bigots feel safe to come out of the shadows. But that doesn’t excuse them.

 

By: Dana Milbank, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, March 31, 2016

April 4, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Racists, Trump Supporters | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Just Get Out Of My Way”: This Progressive Doesn’t Need Your Lectures

Have I mentioned lately how much I’m enjoying the lectures from self-avowed liberals who insist my respect for Hillary Clinton is proof that I am not a “real progressive”?

I haven’t had this much fun since I had my sinuses packed with 40 miles of gauze after polyp surgery.

It’s not just men — my sisters, you disappoint me — but it’s particularly entertaining when the reprimands come from young white men who were still braying for their blankies when I started getting paid to give my opinion. They popped out special, I guess.

I became a columnist in the fall of 2002. Immediately, I found myself on the receiving end of right-wing vitriol so vile it made “The Sopranos” cuddly by comparison. My first death threats came within weeks, after I wrote that the Confederate flag should be retired. After I supported stronger gun control measures, an NRA zealot posted on a gun blog what he thought was my home address and identified me as “unarmed.” I was a single mother at the time. I bought new locks and kept writing. But by all means, do tell me what I don’t understand about being a progressive.

First, though, let me tell you what you clearly don’t understand about me — I almost added, “and women like me,” but that would be presuming to speak for other women, which would make me sound just like you.

I am a 58-year-old wife, mother and grandmother, who first knew I was a feminist at 17. I was a waitress at a family restaurant and a local banker thought he could stick his hand up my skirt because my hands were full of dinner. In the time it took me to deposit that steaming pile of pasta onto his lap, I realized I was never going to be that girl.

Like so many other women, I soon learned that knowing who you are is no small victory, but making it clear to the rest of the world is one of the hardest and longest nonpaying jobs a woman will ever have. I’ll spare you my personal list of jobs with unequal pay and unwelcome advances. No good comes from leading with our injuries.

It helped — it still helps — that my working-class parents raised me to be ready for the fight. My father was a union utility worker, my mother a nurse’s aide. Both of them died in their 60s, living just long enough to see all of their children graduate from college and start their lives. I’ve said many times that my parents did the kind of work that wore their bodies out so that we would never have to. That, too, is my legacy.

But, please, tell me again how I don’t know what it means to be a progressive.

Last month, I started teaching journalism at Kent State University. One of the first things I did was to lug to my office the large metal sign that used to hang over the tool shed at my father’s plant. “THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE IS A CAREFUL MAN,” it reads. Nice try, management.

I’m stickin’ with the union, Woody Guthrie sang.

Every time I walk into my office, that sign is the first thing I see. Remember, it whispers.

What does any of this have to do with why I admire Hillary Clinton? Nothing. But it has everything to do with why I don’t need any lecture from somebody who thinks he or she is going to tell me who I am because I do.

One of the hallmarks of a progressive is a willingness to challenge a power structure that leaves too many people looking up and seeing the bottom of a boot. I want power for the people who don’t have it. And for the rest of my conscious days, I will do my small part to help get it. I love it when detractors describe Clinton as too angry and not “warm and fuzzy” enough. I want a leader, not a Pooh Bear.

I don’t want to diminish anyone who supports Bernie Sanders. I’m married to Sanders’ colleague, Sen. Sherrod Brown, which is how I’ve gotten to know him over the last 10 years. He’s a good man.

If you support Sanders in this Democratic presidential primary, I don’t assume that you hate women.

See how that works?

But if you tell me that, should Sanders lose, you won’t vote for Hillary Clinton, then stop calling yourself a liberal or a progressive or anything other than someone invested in just getting your way.

There is so much at stake here. The fight for women’s reproductive rights is not a sporting event. Our cities are rife with racial tensions, and too many of us white Americans fail to see this as our problem, too. The Affordable Care Act is not enough, but it is the first fragile step toward universal health care. It is already saving lives of people who had nothing — no health care, no safety net, nothing — before it passed.

Finally, the growing gulf between the obscenely privileged and everyone else is a reason to get out of bed every morning — if we care about the future of the people we are supposed to be fighting for.

If you would sacrifice those who need us most because you didn’t get your way, then please, save me your lectures and get out of my way.

 

By: Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist and Professional in Residence at Kent State University’s School of Journalism; The National Memo, February 4, 2016

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Liberals, Progressives | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“A Not-Very-Subtle Attack”: GOP’s Official SOTU Response Helps Obama Undermine Trump

At the beginning of her pre-recorded “response” to the State of the Union address, Nikki Haley echoed the president’s evocation of his 2008 campaign themes by taking up the old 2008 Republican theme of Obama being just a good speech-maker with no substance. Near the end she briskly went through the Republican critique of Obama and the standard GOP agenda of tax-cutting and Obamacare-repealing and defense-spending increases, etc. But in between these bookends, she did something very different.

The emotional and structural heart of Haley’s speech was a not-very-subtle attack on Donald Trump as a “siren voice” of intolerance:

During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.

No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.

That was clear enough. But Haley doubled down by making the saga of the Charleston massacre earlier this year — not coincidentally the beginning of her best moment in office when she squashed conservative resistance to the removal of the Confederate flag from state property — an allegory of the kind of tensions Trump is exploiting.

What happened after the tragedy is worth pausing to think about.

Our state was struck with shock, pain, and fear. But our people would not allow hate to win. We didn’t have violence, we had vigils. We didn’t have riots, we had hugs.

We didn’t turn against each other’s race or religion. We turned toward God, and to the values that have long made our country the freest and greatest in the world.

We removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him.

There’s an important lesson in this. In many parts of society today, whether in popular culture, academia, the media, or politics, there’s a tendency to falsely equate noise with results.

Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.

Not much doubt who she was talking about.

So Haley delivered the Republican Establishment’s message to and about Trump as much as any message to and about Obama. By doing so, she is presumably doing their will, and will store up treasure in heaven politically. But will it make her more or less viable as a possible vice-presidential nominee in 2016? That obviously depends on the identity of the person at the top of the ticket. But if I were Donald Trump and had any leverage over the GOP at the end of this nominating contest, I’d make sure Nikki Haley is buried at the Republican Convention in some pre-prime-time, five-minute speech slot, preferably confined to talking about the Tenth Amendment or something. She’s only 43, so maybe she’s shooting for a spot on the ticket — perhaps even the top spot — in 2024 or 2028.

 

By: Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, New York Magazine, January 12, 2015

January 13, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Establishment Republicans, Nikki Haley, State of the Union | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Texas Swagger No Longer Travels Well”: Rick Perry, George W. Bush, And The Death Of The Cowboy Conservative

Rick Perry, who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race on Friday, was always a long shot. It seemed hard to imagine that the erstwhile Texas governor could win the nomination in a field decidedly stronger than the one he failed to overcome in 2012. And in the end (which didn’t come all that long after the beginning), what Perry hoped to be a redemption song turned into a swan song. Mistakes were made. The campaign gambled Perry would make it to the first “varsity” debate and that donors and supporters would believe again. He didn’t and they didn’t. (A necessary disclosure: My wife advised Perry’s ill-fated campaign.)

There’s no guarantee Perry would have risen to the occasion even if he had made the main debate stage. There may be little correlation between being a good debater and a good president, but there seems to be a strong one between being a good debater and being a good candidate.

Regardless, Perry never really got the chance. So we are left asking questions like “What if today’s more prepared Rick Perry had run in 2012?” or “What if John Kasich hadn’t gotten into the race and bumped Perry out of that last debate slot?”

The world will never know. Yesterday’s rock stars are today’s forgotten men. The political gods are fickle.

But here’s one clear lesson of Perry’s failed campaign: Texas swagger no longer travels well. Blame changing demographics in America, and George W. Bush.

In my forthcoming book Too Dumb to Fail, I document how several Republican presidents, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, all profited politically by feigning a sort of everyman ignorance. After losing a congressional bid, Dubya reportedly vowed that he’d never be “out-countried” again. This was smart short-term politics, but it also reinforced the notion that the GOP was the “stupid” party. That’s a notion that haunts us, and Perry, to this day.

For a long time, though, being a “good ol’ boy” was decidedly better than being an effete urbanite, and Republicans liked this contrast. Times are changing. Republicans are running out of old, white, married, rural voters. Being a “cowboy conservative” ain’t what it used to be.

As I have long argued, conservatives should “modernize, not moderate.” Some of this does include emphasizing substantive policy positions that might better appeal to 21st century Americans. But a good bit of it involves style.

Younger, more diverse, and cosmopolitan voters aren’t so much embracing liberalism as they are rejecting what might be described as a caricature of a Republican. It’s an image, largely of Republicans’ own creation, that repels these voters culturally and aesthetically. A 2014 survey of millennials, for example, demonstrated that “[o]ften, they decided they were liberals because they really didn’t like conservatives.”

The stereotypes that George W. Bush helped cement about the “dumb” swaggering cowboy made it almost impossible for Rick Perry to reinvent himself. The two men were never particularly close, but the prospect of electing another Texas governor (literally, the next Texas governor after Bush) was always going to be a tough sell, especially since the two were stylistically very similar. Bush left office extremely unpopular, and didn’t just damage the Republican brand; he did specific damage to a particular type of Republican.

Consider the case of George Allen, who was thought of as a bit of a rock star as governor of Virginia and U.S. senator. Political insiders viewed him as the likely GOP nominee in 2008. But he fell apart, and I don’t think it was just the “macaca” gaffe that did it. It was also the Confederate flag, the cowboy boots, and the “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia” line. (People assumed he reserved that for the young man he called “macaca.” In fact, this was his shtick. Allen said virtually the same thing to me the first time I met him and told him I was from Maryland).

It’s hard enough to get a second chance to make a first impression, but it becomes doubly difficult when your persona viscerally reinforces urban America’s pre-existing negative notions about Southerners. These biases and stereotypes may not be fair. But whoever said running for president would be? In the end, Perry’s accent and swagger were too much a part of our collective conscience for even hipster glasses to overcome.

 

By: Matt K. Lewis, The Week, September 14, 2015

September 15, 2015 Posted by | George W Bush, GOP Presidential Candidates, Rick Perry | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Unbearable Nuttiness Of Mike Huckabee”: A Hard-Shell Baptist Ordained Minister Dog-In-The-Manger-At-Bethlehem Christian

“Playing the Hitler card” is an infallible sign that a politician has run out of intelligent, substantive and plausible ways to criticize an opponent. This would be amusing (Mel Brooks made Hitler amusing), except “playing the Hitler card” is also an infallible sign that a politician has run out of amusing ways to criticize an opponent.

So goodbye to you, Mike Huckabee.

Claiming that the President of the United States “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven” is not a cogent critique of the Iran nuclear deal, however bad the deal is. Nor is it an insightful thing to say about the administration that made the bad deal.

And, Mike, it is not a Christian thing to say about Barack Obama.

I’m a Christian too. Maybe I’m not a hard-shell Baptist ordained minister dog-in-the-manger-at-Bethlehem Christian like you are. But I think you could use a refresher course in Christianity.

“Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council,” said our Lord. “Raca” and “council” are Aramaic for “playing the Hitler card” and “New Hampshire primary.”

And it’s not just your “march them to the oven” comment that makes me think you need a come-to-Jesus moment.

I believe the Bible is the word of God. And you believe in creationism. “God created man in his own image,” says Genesis.

Mike, look in the mirror. This is obviously God’s way of telling you to lay off the biblical literalism.

You’re a smart man. You graduated magna cum laude from Ouachia Baptist University. which has a “Department of Worship Arts.” So, Mike, you know about God. Do you think God is smarter than we are?

I’m a god to my dog. When I say to my dog, “It shall be an abomination unto you to run into the street chasing a squirrel,” what does my dog hear? “Squirrel!

Maybe you should consult I Samuel, verses 1 through 4. “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David… Then Jonathan and David made a covenant… And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him…” And here you are trying to get in between them.

Mike, you’re against gay marriage and gay adoption. Once people get married and have kids they don’t have the energy for any kind of sex. And then, pollsters tell us, they become Republicans.

Having you trying to convince people to vote for the GOP is like having Mahatma Gandhi on U. S. Marine Corps recruiting posters.

You call for “civil disobedience” to halt gay marriage. And you compare this to the actions of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Mahatma and MLK would walk down the street in assless chaps at the Gay Pride parade before they’d join you in a sit-in.

And you don’t like immigrants coming to America and making money. When people come to America and make money, what do they become? Again, Republicans.

You want 10 million illegal immigrants to return to their countries of origin within 120 days. Otherwise they’ll be banned from coming to America, where they already are.

Lights on in your head, Mike.

You say displaying the Confederate battle flag is “not an issue” for a presidential candidate. Not an issue, if you don’t want any black person to ever vote Republican in this dimension of the universe. You’ll have Clarence Thomas putting up Bernie Sanders yard signs if you don’t stop talking smack.

Mike, my Republican friends would rather hoist the Jolly Roger than fly the rebel flag like a bunch of cement-head biker trash with Nazi face tattoos.

To what political party do you think Abraham Lincoln belonged? We won the Civil War.

And my Republican friends aren’t worried about LGBT rights or undocumented aliens. Who do you think decorates Republicans’ houses? The guys from the Moose Lodge? And who mows Republicans’ lawns? Lincoln Chafee?

You’re nuts, Mike. You were on John McCain’s short list for running mates and he picked Sarah Palin for her comparative sanity.

Furthermore, Mike, as a hard-shell Baptist, you are accused of tea-totaling until proven innocent. I don’t want any damn sweet tea in my stemware when you invite me to a State Dinner at the White House. And you may have to. I’m the only inside-the-beltway type who’d come.

Because you wrote a book called, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy. It’s a great title and—between saying Grace, the Glock I’m cleaning, and the bacon, sausage and scrapple—that’s pretty much what was on my breakfast table this morning.

“Marriage as an institution is not so much threatened by same-sex couples as it is by heterosexuals’ increasing indifference to it.” That’s you in your book. Maybe you should re-read GGG&G as well as the Bible.

Mike, you think God is involved in politics. Observe politics in America. Observe politics around the world. Observe politics down through history. Does it look like God is involved? No. That would be the “Other Fellow” who’s the political activist.

I suppose your candidacy won’t disappear immediately—not until the Holy Rolly Pollys, amen snorters, snake handlers and flat-earthers have met at their Iowa caucus tent revivals and born witness to your divinely inspired campaign.

Then, however, as is foretold in Revelation, you will look around at the field of other candidates and realize that “without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters” and go back to Fox News and AM talk radio.

But even there you aren’t the “In-the-beginning-there-was-the-Word” that you once were. Mike, national opinion is flowing so fast against your brand of conservatism that you look—even to God-fearing Republicans—like a man trying to row up Class 5 rapids on a standing paddleboard.

Yes, you have your base. There are the no-account redneck gospel-grinding, pulpit-hugging evangel-hicks who think that the answer to every question including “What to wear to the prom?” is found in Leviticus, Chapters 17 to 26, in English like God spoke to Moses.

But, as I said, it’s the “Other Fellow” who’s involved in politics. And he’s helping you reap what you’ve sown, which is, in the case of your ridiculing Obama, a bunch of dried up old “corn” stalks.

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble.

— Malachi 4:1

 

By: P. J. O’Rourke, The Daily Beast, August 1, 2015

August 2, 2015 Posted by | Christianity, Christians, Mike Huckabee | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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