August 13, 2016

"New Study Reveals That the Washington Post Is Eager to Dismiss Economic Explanations for Trump’s Rise."

Headline for a New York Magazine piece by Eric Levitz, who begins:
Donald Trump’s supporters tend to live in economically depressed areas where white residents experience exceptionally high rates of mortality — and exceptionally low rates of social mobility — according to a new study from Gallup.

Some might view these findings as evidence that “economic anxiety” among the white working-class has contributed to Donald Trump’s rise. The Washington Post, however, sees them as evidence of the opposite. Or, more precisely, one of their headline writers does.

The paper titled its write-up of Gallup’s analysis thusly: A massive new study debunks a widespread theory for Donald Trump’s success. The article defines that theory as the idea that “economic distress and anxiety across working-class white America” is a valid explanation for Trump’s political appeal. But, as the actual copy of the piece makes clear, Gallup’s analysis does not “debunk” that idea; the study merely complicates it...

59 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'd say white guys tend to favor truth, and others favor narrative, even if just for respective entertainment value.

rhhardin said...

Someday I will do a parody leftist explanation of how a gyroscope works, that is, making it interesting to a leftist.

It's simple enough to make it interesting to the right. Just explain it.

rhhardin said...

What an abundant source of error every half-truth is!

- Lautreamont

rehajm said...

New York has certainly complicated it. I've read it twice and can't make sense of their copy. Reads like they don't have anyone to explain basic economic principles to them so they resort to tossing out leftie canards- Racism! Inequality! Middle Class Stagnation! Boo!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I don't get it.

Am I supposed to not like Trump because I don't want to be like the people who like Trump?

No, wait, now I get it.

rehajm said...

Eric, that was helpful. Thank you.

SteveR said...

Thanks Eric, I was wondering myself.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is exposing the old corrupt one party Southern state politics that used Segregatoon blather to justify a
Pay to play State Government. That is Arkansas Billy's gift to the Presidency that his accomplice in crime wants back again.

That the NYT and the TV Nets all want to support that is the one evidence of insanity in this election cycle. Because that IS redneck white supremacy corruption in action.

Clayton Hennesey said...

This is obviously why po', Shoeless Rudy Giuliani is backing him.

There's a an interesting, related sub-narrative being pushed that I haven't yet heard anyone comment specifically on. Blogger Rod Dreher has been pushing J. D. Vance's new book Hillbilly Elegy as if it were both exhaustive and definitive scholarship on rural white people (it's not; it's entirely anecdotal) while suggestively tying it to the narrative that Trump is essentially only the candidate of poor, white, lower class, poorly educated, largely rural people prone to making unfortunate life choices like smoking meth while screwing their siblings.

It is of course the atavistic urges of these Watchers From the Hills that retired the hopes of 16 other presidential candidates.

Roughcoat said...

Duh.

Sebastian said...

Journalists committing social science. What could go wrong?

FullMoon said...

The narrative is always "poor dumb whites" are the only Trump voters. Smart whites, educated whites,and no colored people at all will vote for Trump. That is the constant story. told a dozen different ways.

The fear factor is nuclear war. A blast from the past. Surprised Hillary has not brought out the " Republicans will take your SS away", which has been a Dem standard forever.

Robert Cook said...

"This is obviously why po', Shoeless Rudy Giuliani is backing him."

"Po', Shoeless Rudy Giuliani" is just another narcissistic asshole opportunist who perhaps sees a place for himself in a Trump administration. He never was anything other than a nacissistic asshole opportunist.

As for why economically disadvantaged whites (a cohort growing larger every day) favor Trump, it's easy to understand: he's not one of "them". "Them" being the Washington insiders and perennial candidates for office who promise everything and deliver nothing. (That Trump is just another self-serving rich asshole--little different from any of the financial elite who are raping this country's (and the world's) people of their money and livelihoods--or that he doesn't pay his bills and screws working people, does not enter their minds. Or perhaps it does. Still, it's enough that he's not one of "them".

I deplore Trump as a narcissitic asshole and opportunist--like his peer Rudy G.--but if, at gunpoint, I had to pull the lever for either Hillary or Trump, I'd have to think long and hard about whether I could actually cast a vote for Hillary.

Fortunately, I'm not at gunpoint and I'm free to vote for Jill Stein.

Big Mike said...

Surprised Hillary has not brought out the " Republicans will take your SS away", which has been a Dem standard forever.

@FullMoon, that would create quite an opening for Trump, since one not-very-well-publicized part of Hillary's plan is to confiscate part of people's 401K savings.

Not that Trump is intelligent enough to use it.

M Jordan said...

Something's happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear...

But something sho' is going on.

Paco Wové said...

Another discussion of the "Trumpians in the Mist" WaPo piece is here.

Has the WaPo ever asked itself about the mysteries of Hillary support?

gspencer said...

You might be a Democrat if,
>>>>> You like to tell people what to do

You might be a Trump supporter if,
>>>>> You're sick and tired of being told what's good for you, including not having economic prospects

traditionalguy said...

Slavery was the Spanish Empire's gift to the coastal South that got rich when industrial cotton cloth became the oil industry of the 1800s replacing slave raised sugar cane as the world trade cash king.

But that never went inland to the Scots Irish areas that are now called the culprits in the Trump Movement. Those guys just like to fight.and they did it for their home States once, and then for the USA for the past 100 years, and now are willing do it for a leader like Trump.

Jonathan Graehl said...

'debunk' seems a little desperate. have they given up on credibility?

Jonathan Graehl said...

Lion: Let’s go back to 2012. Mitt Romney lost. But it was NOT game over for Republicans. They maintained dominance in Congress, they blocked Obama from granting statutory amnesty to illegal aliens, not much changed in four years.

Now, a lot of #NeverTrumpers think that the same thing will happen again, and they can run a “true conservative” candidate in 2020. Assuming Republican primary voters will select a “true conservative.” Even if Mitt Romney can be considered a “true conservative,” in 2008 voters selected John McCain (a very moderate pro-amnesty Republican who made deals with Democrats) and of course this year they selected Donald Trump. Primary voters NEVER selected a conservative firebrand like Ted Cruz. George W. Bush was very conservative on Christian issues, but under his presidency we saw massive increases in government spending and government debt, stupid wars in the Middle East that in the long run accomplished no useful goal, and he supported the amnesty bill. The Republican primary process is not capable of selecting a great candidate. Trump is the best we are going to get.

(1) It’s hard to see how the Supreme Court remains conservative or even moderate after Hillary gets to select at least one liberal justice to replace Scalia, and who knows if Kennedy, who is 80 years old, can hang on another four years? Also, Ginsburg is extremely likely to be replaced during the next four years, and it makes a huge difference if she’s replaced by another extreme liberal or by a conservative.

With a liberal Supreme Court, the liberals can rule by judicial fiat even if Republicans control the other branches of government. We saw how activist the Supreme Court was in the period between Brown v. Board of Ed. (1954) and Roe v. Wade (1973). Expect that activism to return big time.

(2) Republicans will be utterly demoralized and there will be forces saying that the key to the Republican future is to agree to amnesty for Hispanics who are “natural conservatives” and will start voting Republican if only Republicans weren’t so hostile to immigration. I know it didn’t happen that way in 2012, but are you willing to risk that it’s going to be the same this time?

Democrats don’t merely want amnesty, they want amnesty with a path to citizenship, and if they get that from Congress, or if the liberal Supreme Court says it’s unconstitutional not to give them citizenship, then we are talking about 11 million new voters who I predict will lean more heavily Democratic than current Hispanic citizens. They may be poor and “uneducated,” but collectively they will remember which party had their back. I guarantee it.

* * *

OldTimer writes in a comment:

Can we please stop trotting out this bullshit 11 million figure which has been static for the better half of two decades? Reliable private sector estimates say it is closer to 30 million, which makes much more sense.

damikesc said...

But that never went inland to the Scots Irish areas that are now called the culprits in the Trump Movement. Those guys just like to fight.and they did it for their home States once, and then for the USA for the past 100 years, and now are willing do it for a leader like Trump.

We're becoming increasingly less willing to fight for the country here. And when the South starts losing its desire to fight for the US, the country is dead because the NE and NW aren't going to do a fucking thing. The South was always the backbone of the military in this country.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

@RC: "being the Washington insiders and perennial candidates for office who promise everything and deliver nothing" I know you're just trying to describe "their" perceptions, but they are still puzzling. DC has delivered a lot: more Medicare benefits and ed subsidies under Bush, then more unemployment benefits, more disability payments, green and ag subsidies of all sorts, TARP and GSE support, big stimulus, BP shakedown, loosening of welfare reform, ACA Medicaid expansion and community rating, and so on and so forth. That's quite a lot. The 47% are on a roll. As a transfer mechanism, fueled by borrowed money of course, DC is doing its job. Exactly what proportion of Trump voters are net contributors or beneficiaries? Sure, there are a few more things DC could "deliver"--"free college," public pension rescues, "public option" health "insurance," and so on, but it's not clear exactly what deliverables would satisfy the Trumpites.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Stop channeling Democrats' [class] diversity. That way lies division, envy, and hate.

Mick said...

More nonsense. They are running very scared now. Trump in a Landslide. It won't be close.

campy said...

Of course the Post has to dismiss economic explanations for Trump. It's a ironclad rule of journ-o-lism that when the POTUS is a democrat, the economy is good.

Skipper said...

I get dizzy just watching them spin at warp speed.

jaed said...

Primary voters NEVER selected a conservative firebrand like Ted Cruz.

...until this year, when Ted Cruz came in second to Trump. Had Trump not won (or not glommed onto immigration), Ted Cruz might well be the Republican nominee.

(And I am convinced that the Republican establishment would have gone fully as crazy as they did over Trump, if not more so. They're horrified by Trump, but they hate Cruz. I think we'd be seeing just as many #NeverCruz-ers, just as much self-destructiveness, just as many Deeply Concerned Republican politicians trotting out to oppose the Republican candidate, just as many think pieces on how Cruz voters need to be humiliated so that they will never again challenge the establishment's candidate. If it had been Cruz, I think they might have actually carried out the plan to parachute Mitt Romney into the convention and get him anointed, rather than just loudly thinking about it.)

Comanche Voter said...

Ah the Post, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Hillary, Angela Merkel and the whole gang on the Potomac are busy telling the unwashed to stay the heck in their place.


Well every now and then, the lumpenproletariat who are pretty much subjected to a "Golden Shower" from above (and Laslo knows what a "Golden Shower" is) rise up and object.

Or as an earthier LBJ might have said were he subject to such a shower, "Y'all can stop peeing on my head and telling me it's rain."

A beaten dog will occasionally surprise its master and bite. And Trump is that sort of bite. Maybe the bite will be big enough in November, maybe not. In which case the beaten dog will go back and cower in the corner.

wildswan said...


"Trump’s supporters are blue-collar, and many people working in those occupations have jobs in construction, repair or transportation — all of which are protected from Chinese competition."

In 2008 construction was the #1 employer in the US; manufacturing was #2. By 2012 IT was the #1 employer, and health care and/ or services was #2. In many states Walmart is the biggest employer. The only response Democrats make to these changes is to increase government subsidies as if part of America was now a big Indian reservation with inhabitants receiving rations and blankets from the Indian agent in return for being forced to give up their means of independence.

That loss of independence is resented. Democrats constantly publish statistics showing that the more a state's residents depend on subsidies, the more those same residents hate the government. Why doesn't the government work to give these people the means of independence - a job? Because - see all media comments on Trump supporters - because the the progressive-government/media complex despises them.

And the progressive-government/media complex despises the Trump people because the progressive-government/media complex supports the trade treaties that stole the manufacturing jobs from Americans and gave them to the Chinese. The globalists got rich doing this while impoverishing a huge group in America. Moreover all the downstream jobs which these progressives prtend are shielded from Chinese competition are downstream from the consequences of loss of jobs to China - no good manufacturing jobs, no home purchases or repairs. Anybody can see that if they are not profiting from hiding the truth.

But if globalists can present the Trump supporters as composed of bigots, as composed of Yahoos, as composed of racist-xeno-phobos, then anything bad done to them is a good thing. So taking their jobs and getting rich off that is a good thing. Americans are only ignorant savages anyhow.

Why are so many Americans out of the labor force? Why don't the Democrats, the supposed party of labor, care? Why is Obama's devastation of the people of the coal country ignored and Hillary's intent to continue the evil - why is that OK? Why should we think of Syrian children when West Virginia parents and children are suffering more than they did in the days of King Coal? When will it be admitted that America is out of money and borrowing to live? Who will do something?

Hillary? What a laugh. Hillary is going to continue the executive orders, the regulations, and the waivers for those with money and the rule by judges. BUT she is going to turn the job of creating good paying jobs over to - Congress. And not just Congress but a committee of Congress. And not just a committee, but a bipartisan committee. Congress. The most distrusted part of government, the part Hillary is going to ignore or override with a packed Supreme Court - this part is going to be tasked with solving the problem of creating new jobs (loaded with environmental regulations and $15.00 minimum wages yet competitive) to replace the ones Hillary, Obama and others sold to the Chinese. Jobs loaded with environmental regulations and $15.00 minimum wages yet competitive. Yeah, sure.

Excuse me while I go outside and laugh or cry or whatever.

Crazy Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Ah the Post, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Hillary, Angela Merkel and the whole gang on the Potomac are busy telling the unwashed to stay the heck in their place.

We. Will. Like. HELL.

As the chorus of "Sunshine" put it, "He can't even run his own life, I'll be damned if he'll run mine."

Got that, Chuck? Got that, Bezos?

MayBee said...

The only response Democrats make to these changes is to increase government subsidies as if part of America was now a big Indian reservation with inhabitants receiving rations and blankets from the Indian agent in return for being forced to give up their means of independence.

Good analogy.
This is pretty much exactly what they are doing in CA's Central Valley, where they've shut off the water. Sure, they want the workers to stay in the area so there is someone who will build the train that nobody needs.

Paddy O said...

"Had Trump not won (or not glommed onto immigration), Ted Cruz might well be the Republican nominee."

Had Trump not been in the race, everything about the primary would have been different. I strongly suspect Walker would have gotten ahead. He's not a blusterer or a showman, so couldn't get an edge when the media was actively promoting Trump for the candidacy.

Cruz was the next most blustery candidate, so rose with Trump and he stuck it out.

Carol said...

Surprised Hillary has not brought out the " Republicans will take your SS away", which has been a Dem standard forever.

Oh, their constituents are trained already and don't need to be told. Like Pavlov's dog. Even though Trump said he didn't want to leave it as-is.

Anyway, I wonder what would have happened, had the eGOP not been split between Jeb Bush and their hispanic darling Marco. God knows they couldn't have two Florida men on the ticket.

Paco Wové said...

"it's not clear exactly what deliverables would satisfy the Trumpites."

What a strange comment. It's as though you can't even see all the other comments on this thread, even dimly, through the dense fog... What do these strange, exotic people want? They seem to disdain my trinkets and colored beads... it's baffling.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Of course they are. Because that's the left's contribution to Trump's rise. And Democrats never take responsibility for anything.

The Democrats are responsible for his economic nationalism and the Republicans for his xenophobia. The former denied what they were doing to the working class and the latter denied the way they've used race and cultural conformity to gin up votes ever since 1968. It's simple. They're both responsible. And they both need to either fess up or just go away.

jaed said...

Cruz was the next most blustery candidate

Eh? Cruz is the opposite of blustery. He's wonkish to the point of parody. When he gives a speech, it's in the manner of a courtroom attorney.

Also, please note: I said if Trump hadn't won, not if he hadn't been in the race. If this were just a matter of that terrible Trump mysteriously hypnotizing the electorate, the non-hypnotized would have been voting obediently for Jeb!, the way they were supposed to. And yet someone Cruz, the Tea Partier, the hobbit, the wacko-bird, the radical, came in second with a credible amount of the primary vote.

It's entirely possible he would have won, in fact, had the establishment gotten behind him once it was obvious Jeb's candidacy was going down for the third time. But they hate Cruz with a passion stronger than reason, so they clung to the moldering corpse of the Jeb campaign for months after it was obvious he couldn't win, then they got a touch of Rubio fever - but by then it was too late for Rubio too - and then they gingerly approached the idea of supporting Cruz, but couldn't quite bring themselves to do it for the "spawn of Lucifer" or whatever it was McConnell said about it, and besides they were too busy mumbling about how maybe Kasich....

They wanted Jeb.
They would have settled for Rubio.
They got Trump.

buwaya puti said...

Immigration was the one thing that split the Republicans. It was the third rail, it turns out, that the old party could not touch, because it was unacceptable to most of the big money.

It turns out, also, that the big money was hugely out of touch, and it seems they still are. Money worked poorly to sell an unacceptable product. The people wont cooperate.

Long term solution is seems is the British/Euro program to override the people by replacing it.

buwaya puti said...

It goes without saying that the Wapo is a political asset, purchased for that reason by Bezos, and is part of the mechanism of the centrally directed publicity machine, his contribution to it as the protection payment to avoid harassment.

There is no arguing with them, there is no point in it anymore than there was arguing with Pravda, or with a bulldozer, or with the local trolls. Argue with their owners, if you can.

The first chapter of "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" explains the situation precisely.

buwaya puti said...

Any of the 15 (other than Cruz) could have seen the significance of the immigration question and other related issues. Odds are they all did, it was repeatedly shown in dozens of public polls and focus groups. No doubt it showed up in all the candidates private polls also.

None but Cruz touched it, other than Trump. In every case all the well funded candidates avoided it scrupulously, or talked around it. I was very puzzled. It was uncharacteristic of normal political behavior, it was unprofessional, it was malpractice, if these candidates were driven by professional advice.

buwaya puti said...

As for the journalists/columnists on the other side - the machine analogy just doesnt seem to work on you.
So lets try this, analogy to legal practice.
These people were hired as lawyers by the side opposed to you.

You cannot convince the opposing lawyer. There is no point trying to change his mind, because he us paid to oppose you, and he is a professional. What he thinks, personally, is irrelevant.

You have no leverage even on his institutions because they dont make their money off your custom, as commercial enterprises; these days they only exist as professional political practitioners and are funded for this purpose alone.

The only leverage you have is on the people who hire them.

narciso said...

so it's the Vogon guild, entirely possible, of course they could be the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation,

buwaya puti said...

The funny bit (well, one of them), is that you COULD actually argue with the Vogons. And they were more "human" than the humans. Not that it would do any good.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

At this point should the newspaper's style books heavily discourage using "debunks" at all?

buwaya puti said...

There is no point in a style book, anymore, either.
What works, works, no matter the style. They are well advised to use focus groups exclusively to establish effective practices in this area.

narciso said...

the style book is to conform to the narrative, it's not about proper diction,

Original Mike said...

"They wanted Jeb.
They would have settled for Rubio.
They got Trump."


And we got Hillary.

GAHCindy said...

Sebastian, they don't want all that stuff. Those are just handouts. They want jobs and their self-respect back.

mikee said...

Journalists, I have found, often cannot notice the beams in their own eyes, due to their diligence in looking for the motes in the eyes of Republicans.

Sebastian said...

"Sebastian, they don't want all that stuff." Good to know. But why then did they vote for the guy who wants to keep giving out the handouts?

"They want jobs and their self-respect back." The original point was about presumed opposition to candidates who "promise everything and deliver nothing." No GOP candidate in my neck of the woods promised "everything" as in "giving people their jobs back" or promised that DC would "give them their self-respect back." Nor do most GOPers think DC can or should do so. So the discontent is not with politicos who failed to deliver what they promised but with the GOP(e) not promising what the Trumpites want. It's a structural divide. It explains why Trumpites voted for a non-Republican who promises to deliver things no traditional conservative thinks he can deliver.

But voting for a clown is an odd way to regain self-respect.

heyboom said...

The Democrats are responsible for his economic nationalism and the Republicans for his xenophobia.

Funny that only Americans are ever called xenophobes. I have never heard that term used against people from any other country in the world. If you're from anywhere else, you're just proud of where you come from.

heyboom said...

But voting for a clown is an odd way to regain self-respect.

The Democrats have been doing it for decades now.

Anglelyne said...

heyboom: Funny that only Americans are ever called xenophobes. I have never heard that term used against people from any other country in the world. If you're from anywhere else, you're just proud of where you come from.

Nah. Everybody in Europe who isn't squealing with joy over mass immigration and multiculturalism gets called a "xenophobe" by their governments and sanctimonious fellow-citizens, too.

Anglelyne said...

Sebastian @4:37 PM:

The keys aren't under that street lamp.

mockturtle said...

Anglelyne Nah. Everybody in Europe who isn't squealing with joy over mass immigration and multiculturalism gets called a "xenophobe" by their governments and sanctimonious fellow-citizens, too.

Quite a few years ago there was a 60 Minutes segment about Europeans' opinions about immigration. I seem to remember that many, if not most, expressed--almost in whispers--that they were reluctant to air their misgivings lest they be called racists.
So they feel the same burden of tyranny that we experience.

Lem said...

They want to call people racists. In the end, pushing people to vote for Trump.

Rockport Conservative said...

Interesting. I was called by Gallup today and did take their questions which seemed to be targeting this type analysis. They didn't ask if I followed NASCAR as one did when my sister responded, but they seemed to be pointed questions trying to determine my education level, my income level, even my height and weight. They waited to ask my party affiliation and which way I was leaning politically for the last few questions. I hope they call back with followups because I really, really want to give my opinions.