In the past few days we’ve had tearful SJWs telling us that Trump’s victory was a victory for evil white supremacism. We’ve also had alt-righters telling us that it marked the beginnings of a white nationalist surge and the adoption by whites of identity politics.
I’m very sceptical about this. What seems to have happened is that Trump won much the same white vote that Romney did, but the black Democrat vote collapsed.
It’s likely that Trump lost some white voters and gained others. He obviously did well among white voters in the Rust Belt states but I doubt if these white voters were motivated by white identity politics. It seems much more likely that they finally figured out that the Democratic Party is the Billionaire Party and will never do anything to fix the serious economic problems facing these states. Trump at least offered some slight hope that he might address these problems.
These white voters have started to assert their class identity. The one class that is doing very well is the elite class. The working class and the lower middle class are being screwed. They’re tired of it and they’re starting to think that changing their political allegiance might be a good idea.
In some ways this was a very old-fashioned election. The issues that counted were good old-fashioned economic issues – jobs, jobs and jobs. Things like free trade and immigration were only issues insomuch as they impact on jobs. What is interesting is that Trump fought the election the way an old school moderate leftist would have done.
The Democrat Party has done what so many formerly leftist parties have done – they’ve abandoned their base and that base has turned on them.
I’m sure that voter fatigue with political correctness played a role, but probably a fairly minor one. I’m very dubious as to whether the alt-right had any effect at all. The alt-righters who think this was a victory for Pepe the Frog are living in a dream world. It was a victory for a candidate with sound old-fashioned political instincts and a moderate centre-left program with a healthy dash of nationalism without jingoism. Most importantly it was a victory for a candidate with the ability to convince ordinary Americans that he actually likes them and cares about their lives. That’s a formula that will usually lead to electoral success.