I didn’t plan to do another political post for this election season, but the response I have been seeing on my timelines and news feeds from friends and news outlets alike has pushed me to do so. I hear many of your fears and concerns as women, LGBTQ, and other minority group members. I somehow doubt that if you are a member of those groups, voting and now fearing as a member of those groups, that you will have somehow found your way to this page. Despite my hatred for and general refusal to associate with identity politics, I can empathize with you to some degree as a white, male, Christian when I say that I have no idea what a Trump presidency could mean for America. I believe that Trump will not be as effectual as many of you believe he will be, but, again, I am as unsure as anyone else.
However, I was met with a barrage of posts today that exhibited the same tone, saying much of the same thing:
Trump’s victory of Hillary Clinton as the now President-elect of the United States is proof that a majority of American voters are totally fine with a President who is driven by racism, sexism, minority-hating, and homophobic tendencies, and, as one of these minority groups affected, I am legitimately afraid for my own life, safety, and the life and safety of other Americans like me going forward. I cannot believe what I am seeing. I have no words to describe what I am feeling right now.
Again, I was not planning to address the results at all and, given the frustrating nature of these posts and the apparent disconnect from the way that the majority of Americans who voted Trump in felt at the time of his election, I was tempted to simply drop (and please don’t click the hyperlink until you’ve finished reading this paragraph) THIS CLIP from a stream I was watching last night and leave it at that. However, I was afraid that my feelings would be interpreted as being as angry as Steven Crowder’s are in the video when that is not the case and I do not feel that way. However, as someone who liked neither of the candidates presented, I wanted for people to have somewhat of a clearer understanding in the aftermath of this election as to why things fell out the way they did.
Steven Crowder gives a somewhat decent (albeit, impassioned and incomplete) explanation of the reason, but I didn’t want to leave it at that. I wanted to research deeper and give a better picture of what happened. So, if you want the short, impassioned, profanity-laden, incomplete, TL;DR version, watch Crowder’s video. But, if you want a more in-depth explanation based on 2016 CNN Exit Polling, I will try to give that to you now with what follows.
Having not intended to do this and having other things to do, I will be as brief as I possibly can be, but there are a variety of complaints to address. First off, we need to address a point made by Crowder and further supported by stats delivered this morning by other news outlets (I happened to hear it from Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan):
Trump won less of the popular vote than Romney did in 2012.
Meaning: Hillary Clinton failed to persuade approximately 7 million of the Americans who voted for Obama in 2012. We can only assume that they voted Trump, otherwise (3rd party/ write-in), or not at all. We can speculate as to the various factors that might have contributed to Hillary losing the votes of all the people who voted for Obama in 2012 (be that the implications of the leaked emails, the distrust spawned by the private email server scandal, the racial tensions, etc.). However, one thing we can not say is that there was some kind of underground cesspool of racist, misogynist, immigrant-hating voters who came out in droves to vote for Trump when THE TRUTH IS that even fewer people voted for Trump than voted for Romney and the probability is good that those who did include in their ranks some of the approximately 7 million who voted for Obama in the 2012 election but not Hillary Clinton in 2016. Let’s get that straight.
For whatever reason, exit polls show a shift in voters’ feelings toward both parties’ candidates since 2012.
In 2012, 81% of voters for Obama said they believed that “he cares about people.” Of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton, 58% said that they believed she cares about people. That’s a 23% drop that could be due to any number of things including the email SNAFU and the devolution of race relations, but the fact of the decrease in Democratic favor is notable regardless. Compare this to the fact that the Republican party saw an increase in this same column (“care for people”) from Romney’s 18% to Donald Trump’s 35% (a 17% increase).
If you want to say that Trump’s election is due to white, racist, sexist, minority-hating voters, there are some statistics you will need to explain.
From a bird’s-eye view, we see that Trump won 8-13% of the black vote (sorry for being so shaky on the stat, but I’m getting some different numbers), which is an increase from Romney’s 6% of the black vote in 2012. Trump won 29% of the Hispanic vote, an increase from Romney’s 27% in 2012. Trump won 29% of the Asian vote, an increase from Romney’s 26% in 2012. So, we see increased vote percentages for a Republican candidate who (believe it or not) happened to be Donald Trump across the board for all of the major ethnic minority groups (which, after I typed it, is a wonderful oxymoron).
Zooming in a bit, we can see even more interesting data. Looking at age/race demographics, its easy to see the white v. non-white divide which liberal pundits tend to play off of in order to insinuate, not only that minorities vote Democrat, but that minorities should continue to vote Democrat. However, there’s far more to be said from this year’s exit polls.
First, Whites are more evenly split among both parties than any other age/race demographic, meaning that there is possibly more freedom of thought, opinion, and action among the white demographic.
Second, regardless of age, Latinos were more likely to vote Trump than Blacks despite the fact that Trump campaigned on a platform of deportation, immigration reform, and the infamous WALL (which did not hinder the Latino vote but rather saw it increase, as mentioned in the paragraph above).
Finally, Whites of every age level had a higher percentage of people voting 3rd party, otherwise, or not at all in rejection of the options provided by both major parties. Actually, I should say this was generally true given that in some age demographics Whites were actually a percentage point less likely to vote 3rd party than Latinos. Either way, Whites and Latinos were both demonstrably disgruntled over the lack of a proper candidate, but whites, of all ethnic demographics, were not the ones to see a remarkable increase in voter percentages for the now President-elect Donald Trump.
The LGBTQAI community is not off the hook from needing to explain some stats if they want to play the homophobic card.
Granted, there was a 9% decrease in the number of LGBTQ voters to vote republican from 2012 to 2016, which means that the LGBTQ obviously (and for obvious reasons) saw something in Donald Trump not worth their vote. However, and I don’t mean to downplay the fear you LGBTQ voters reading this might be feeling right now, but you’d think that if the whole community really was as fearful of Trump as they are communicating themselves to be, there’d have been a greater increase in Democratic/Hillary support than the 1% increase we have evidence of.
If we inspect the female vote, we have to deal with and find a way to justify the fact that the disparity in voting among women seems to be a racially driven difference.
Statistically, women are more likely to vote Democrat than men. However, within the exit polls of female voters we actually see a miniature example of everything we’ve talked about thus far and along the lines of race. The vote among white women was fairly evenly split between the two parties, implying that there was a clear disagreement and substantive disagreement among women as to who was most trustworthy or at least “the least untrustworthy.” On the other pole of the spectrum, among the vote of Black women, there was no such mentionable plurality of opinion. It was a very homogeneous 91% Clinton and 6% Trump. That overwhelming Democratic vote could easily be pinned upon the increase in racial tensions this year, but the same card can’t be played for the Latino vote. Latino women voted 65% Clinton and 28% Trump (noticeably closer to a 2:1 ratio), despite our already mentioned fact that Latino women are perhaps the most likely to consider themselves in danger of the platform that Trump campaigned with throughout the election season.
All of the above, female, exit poll stats are strictly those of the college-educated and, in some ways, there’s no point in even mentioning the percentages for non-college-educated women because the only change is an increase in the Democratic vote across the board regardless of race. The point here is that if you want to say that women, as a whole, are worried about a Trump presidency, you have to wrestle with the fact that White women and that Latino women had such a high percentage of Trump votes compared to Black women. But, even among the percentages of the Black female vote, you need to ask yourself why the percentage for Hillary was so disproportionately high (91% among college-educated and 98% among non-college-educated). For the record, I consider the dispriviledge of Black women as a perfectly tenable answer, but I think the question is worth struggling with to a greater degree than blaming it generally on Whiteness.
If you want my answer, here at the end of all things, I think that all of the discrepancies mentioned above and their contribution to what is certainly the greatest political upset in my lifetime if not the lifetimes of several generations before mine is very much along the lines of what Steven Crowder says in his video. The dishonesty witnessed during Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the utter lack of the change, hope, and racial reconciliation we were promised under Obama’s career as President, and the amount of obvious bias clumsily wielded by the mainstream media in support/defense/obfuscation of these awful things done by Obama, Clinton, and the Democratic establishment in bulk, all of these things are precisely the reason that Donald Trump is now the President-elect. It was why he was chosen by the people as the candidate and ultimately, against all predictions, it was exactly why he was elected President. It turns out, when you consistently pull the political fire alarm on any and all Republican candidates as being racist, sexist, bigots as Bill Maher straight up confessed to doing for over a decade, the people whose values those candidates represent (even if imperfectly or hardly at all) feel a little misrepresented and pissed. The stench of corruption was strong enough to sway even once-convinced Democratic voters from 2012, and regardless of which of these groups we are talking about you fell into, Donald Trump has rightly been called the grenade that the people have pitched at the foundation of the establishment.
In the same way that many of you fear that your personal liberties as minority groups are going to be stepped on by a Trump presidency, those people who voted for Trump, including the minority increases, voted in the belief that Hillary would threaten the liberty of the American people as a whole to a potentially greater degree. I would also point out to you Bernie supporters that Trump’s election is an exercise in the kind of upset that can happen under a DEMOCRATIC system, which was that word that preceded DEMOCRATIC Socialist Bernie Sanders. The concern you’re feeling now is the same that Conservatives had when they heard that Socialism might be instituted Democratically under Bernie Sanders. Regardless of where you fell here, you all voted for basically the same reasons because both candidates were crap options.The future is uncertain as this year has unarguably taught us. One thing we do know for sure, however, is that the reasons for Trump’s election are more complicated than the racist, sexist, minority-hating, uneducated, white males that we have been blaming so consistently for so long.