Who Really Spoke to the Angry White Working Class?

In the view of Derek Thompson, writing for the Atlantic, it’s a dangerous myth to suggest that Hillary Clinton failed to win the Electoral College because she didn’t speak to the angry white working class.

The more frightening possibility for liberals is that Clinton didn’t lose because the white working class failed to hear her message, but precisely because they did hear it.

Trump’s white voters do support the mommy state, but only so long as it’s mothering them. Most of them don’t seem eager to change Medicare or Social Security, but they’re fine with repealing Obamacare and its more diverse pool of 20 million insured people. They’re happy for the government to pick winners and losers, so long as beleaguered coal and manufacturing companies are in the winner’s circle. Massive deficit-financed spending on infrastructure? Under Obama, that was dangerous government overreach, but under Trump, it’s a jobs plan by a guy they know won’t let Muslims and Mexicans cut in line to get work renovating highways and airports.”


I think it’s also a dangerous myth to suggest that Hillary lost because of comments like “basket of deplorables”. Trump said something offensive multiple times a day, and his adoring crowds loved him for it.

There’s never a simplistic explanation for something as complex as a presidential election, and surely a lot of factors were at play. But a big one, I believe, was the inability of the angry white working class to contemplate following a black president with a female president.

Take a moment to really let that sink in. I thought we’d come farther than we apparently have.

2 thoughts on “Who Really Spoke to the Angry White Working Class?

  1. I agree completely with your assessment. I have also repeatedly said that the fact that she was a woman played the leading role in her defeat. The working class desperately wanted a white man even if he were a vulgar, ill-informed, unstable narcissist. I am so disappointed in half of this country!

  2. for Frances: Me too. It feels as if we are going back 50 years, and it breaks my heart. It also disappoints me enormously to see people like KellyAnne Conway speaking for Trump. What do these young women think we went through all those years, with crotch and boob grabbing bosses like Trump — can they really turn a blind eye to putting a man like Trump on center stage again?

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