A Myth That Suits the Ruling Class: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy


Noam Chomsky: Neoliberalism Is Destroying Our Democracy

Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky: How the U.S. Became an Oligarchy That Makes War on the Middle Class {VIDEO}

Bitter Clinton Supporters Try to Unseat Bernie Sanders in Senate Race.

The Notion That White Workers Elected Trump Is a Myth That Suits the Ruling Class

As Lehigh University political scientist Anthony DiMaggio noted three weeks ago:

Support for Trump … is largely concentrated among more affluent Americans. Trump voters were significantly more likely to be older, white, Republican conservatives—a group that has been quite privileged historically speaking. Trump voters were not more likely to be unemployed, compared to non-Trump voters. Income-wise, the single largest group of Trump supporters was comprised of individuals hailing from households earning incomes of more than $100,000 a year—which made up 35 percent of all his voters. Those earning between $75,000 to $100,000 a year accounted for 19 percent of Trump voters, meaning that 54 percent of the president’s supporters came from households earning over $75,000 a year. Another 20 percent of Trump supporters earned between $50,000 to $75,000 a year, putting them over the national median household income, which has long hovered around $50,000. In sum, approximately three-quarters of Trump voters were from households earning more than the national median income, while just one-quarter earned less than the median.

Lost in the hoopla over Trump’s alleged “working-class base” is an all-too-easy-to-forget fact that a higher percentage of Trump’s voters (35 percent) than Hillary Clinton’s (34 percent) were from the one-fourth of Americans who live in households that “earn” over $100,000 a year.

Academic studies of exit polling data show that Trump’s backers were concerned primarily with the “social issues” he championed. Sexism and racism (white identity) were the leading correlates with Trump voting, not economic dissatisfaction or disadvantage. It was Trump’s chauvinistic positions and statements on race, gender and immigration—not his “blue-collar populism”—that scored him the most points with his mostly middle-class backers.

Trump Didn’t Win the Working Class. The Democrats Lost It.

The dismal Democrats have been losing white working-class votes for decades across the long neoliberal era because the party has abandoned workers’ lunch-pail economic issues and the language of class in pursuit of corporate sponsorship and votes from the professional class. But there was no mass white working-class outpouring for Trump.

Clinton’s miserable, centrist campaign and Obama’s neoliberal legacy depressed working- and lower-class voter turnout, opening the door for Trump to squeak by—with no small help from racist voter suppression in key states.



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