Why the White Working Class Voted for Trump

It wasn’t the hair…

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It’s not about money, this says, but keep in mind that Trump lost the election and only won the Electoral College.

There are a lot of ways you can operationalize (as they say in the business) the concept of “class”. These folks decided on primarily social status related measures: self-identified as “non-Hispanic” white, without a baccalaureate, non-salaried employment.

You can find a more extensive discussion by Olga Khazan, “People Voted for Trump Because They Were Anxious, Not Poor“.

Some of this may also come down to levels of trust and cooperation among the electorate. Consider this account of a study recently published in Current Biology, as presented by Bruce Bower at Science News: “‘Laid-back’ bonobos take a shine to belligerents“. In other words, in times of uncertainty, there are some people who look to the biggest ass-hole in the room to kick-butts as a way of maintaining a predictable order.

It also follows that cynically scheming jerks will play with catastrophe to raise anxieties and bias the electorate in their favor. It need not be anything deliberately planned (as in Wag the Dog) because there’s always a crisis du jour that can be played up — the point is that while issues and cerises can be provoked or invented, it’s easier to use something real.

So: Whenever you hear the drums of fear, check your wallet. There’s a good chance you’re being played.