[Marxism] As Suburban Women Turn to Democrats, Many Suburban Men Stand With Trump

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Oct 14 09:38:57 MDT 2018


NY Times, Oct. 13, 2018
As Suburban Women Turn to Democrats, Many Suburban Men Stand With Trump
By Trip Gabriel

DUBLIN, Ohio — Robert Peters and George Fidelibus walked off the 18th 
green at the Golf Club of Dublin, then carried pints of beer to the 
patio overlooking the course, which was framed by $500,000 homes.

Their conversation quickly turned to the president.

“I’m feeling better and better about him all the time,” said Mr. Peters, 
63, a retired engineer, who had once been cool to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Fidelibus, 75, a retired banker in a Calloway hat, had also once 
been skeptical of the president’s bullying and lack of self-control.

“I’m a supporter of Trump now,” he said “He may not always say things 
the way most presidents before him said them, but what does it matter? 
They didn’t get the job done.”

As an edgy, divided nation heads into a crucial election, much of the 
attention is focused on the anti-Trump animus of suburban women, which 
seems to have gained a few degrees in intensity over the Supreme Court 
confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Much less examined are their male counterparts. While recent polls show 
that white women with a college degree favor Democratic House candidates 
by a large margin, 20 points or more, white college-educated men — who 
focus more singularly on economic issues, according to surveys — are a 
potential bulwark for the president and his party. It is especially true 
in suburban battleground districts that are likely to help decide the 
next House majority.

White men without a college degree were Mr. Trump’s most reliable 
supporters, but they made up only 33 percent of his total vote. 
College-educated white men were also essential to putting him over the top.

One reason for their continued support now: White college-educated men 
have benefited unequally in the Trump economy. While the president’s 
favorite barometer of success, the stock market, is up 26 percent since 
he took office, individual stock ownership is concentrated among people 
in the upper income brackets, who are far more likely to be white. The 
Republican tax cut also delivered higher benefits to whites than to 
blacks or Latinos, according to a recent study.

These men, largely Trump voters whose support for him has solidified 
since his election, are business owners and sales executives, 
veterinarians and lawyers — men who largely wouldn’t be caught dead at a 
Trump rally chanting “Lock her up!”

They may cringe at a president who humiliates cabinet secretaries and 
foreign allies, and who utters a stream of easily disproved falsehoods.

But many have quietly struck a bargain with Mr. Trump: They will 
overlook his trampling of presidential norms because he is delivering 
just what they want on the economy, deregulation, immigration and 
foreign affairs.

“He’s tough, he’s a bully, but boy things are getting done,” said JD 
Kaplan, who runs a graphics business from his home on a neatly 
landscaped block in Dublin, an affluent suburb of Columbus. Mr. Kaplan, 
63, who is a Republican activist, moved years ago from northeast Ohio’s 
struggling Rust Belt, where a younger brother still runs Kaplan 
Furniture, a store their grandfather founded.

“Whether it was Obama who started it or not, the economy’s better,” he 
said. “I see my brother’s businesses are doing better, my graphics 
business is doing better, my wife’s got a better job.’’

Dublin is in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Troy Balderson, a 
Republican, squeaked out a 1-point victory in a special election in August.

Mr. Balderson is on the ballot again on Nov. 6 against the same 
Democratic opponent, Danny O’Connor. The race has dropped out of the 
national spotlight it held during the summer, but the same dynamics are 
at work: whether Mr. O’Connor, an official in Franklin County, which 
includes most of Dublin, can attract enough votes in the suburbs to 
offset rural conservatives who favor Mr. Balderson.

Here, as elsewhere around the country, the vote has become largely a 
referendum on the president.

Interviews in August and on a recent return visit showed that while Mr. 
Trump is losing droves of white women with college degrees, many of 
their male counterparts now strongly support him.

They are country-club Republicans who long voted for business-friendly 
politicians like Gov. John Kasich, who represented the 12th District in 
the House and is the national face of never-Trump Republicans.

One Dublin man who is a former Ohio assistant attorney general, and who 
now owns a manufacturing business, said he wrote in Mr. Kasich’s name in 
2016, rather than cast a ballot for Mr. Trump. “But now I’m a big 
supporter,” he said of the president.

He asked to be identified only by his first name, Sam, because he fears 
a backlash for his business if he publicly supports the president.

“I feel he’s done a marvelous job,” he said.

He added: “I can’t stand his personality and behavior.”

Other men who back Mr. Trump in Dublin were also unwilling to let their 
full names be used. They did not want to inflame clients, colleagues or 
family members.

“Behind closed doors there’s very, very solid support,” for Mr. Trump, 
said Charles McClenaghan, a lawyer, who is president of the Dublin 
Republican Club.

“I think that’s exactly why the polls got it wrong in 2016,” he 
continued. “People felt intimidated, they felt bullied. They’re just not 
going to talk politics. But when they get in the voting booth, they’re 
going to look at the wonderful success he’s had.”

The college educated men said they sifted a wide variety of news 
sources, from MSNBC to USA Today to Breitbart, and formed their own 
opinions on Mr. Trump. Somehow, though, their views usually seemed to 
confirm their partisan predispositions.

Some echoed the president’s own high opinion of his achievements, which 
recently drew laughter at the United Nations. “I see him as being one of 
the greatest presidents we’ve ever seen in this country if you’re 
talking about the economy,” said Mr. Fidelibus, the golfer.

Like other Republican-held battleground seats that analysts say will 
help determine the next House majority, the 12th District is whiter, 
richer and better educated than the nation as a whole.

Its voters differ fundamentally from Mr. Trump’s winning coalition in 
2016, which was anchored by white voters without a college degree, 
primarily in the Midwest.

A Washington Post poll this week of 69 battleground House seats, 
including Ohio’s 12th, found that white college-educated women preferred 
Democratic candidates by an enormous 27-point margin, 62 percent to 35 
percent.

The survey echoed an earlier one by Monmouth University of eight 
battleground House districts, which found white college women favored 
Democrats by a 21-point margin.

White college men, on the other hand, are up for grabs. They split 
exactly 49 to 49 percent in their party preference in the Washington 
Post poll. The Monmouth survey showed them favoring Republicans by six 
points.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth Poll, said there were major 
differences in the issues that animate white college-educated men and women.

“The normal set of political concerns for men are which party is going 
to give me lower taxes and less regulation,” Mr. Murray said. “Whereas 
white college-educated women are saying, ‘I will do fine economically, 
but I am really worried about the tone of the Trump presidency, I’m 
worried about the direction this country is going.’”

Dublin, a growing city of 47,000, is the quintessence of the suburban 
good life: 75 percent of adults graduated from college; the median 
household income is $125,500.

Its most famous entrepreneur, Jack Nicklaus, is immortalized in bronze 
alongside a boulevard entering Muirfield Village, a luxury golf and home 
development he created in the 1970s.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a Muirfield resident, Rick Vanover, took 
in the Ohio State football game at the Bogey Bar and Grill. “How do I 
feel about Trump? I’ll tell you,” he said. He punched up an app and held 
his phone to display the digits 26,447, the Dow’s closing the day 
before: once again near record territory. After the market’s 4 percent 
slide this week, he said his support had not lessened.

“I’m a conservative with common sense,” said Mr. Vanover, a sales 
executive for a Fortune 100 company.

The next day at the Golf Club of Dublin, two other players finished 
their games, a veterinarian and a medical physicist, and sauntered into 
the Tudor-style clubhouse, where they ordered chicken wings and beers.

The golfing buddies were on opposite sides of the nation’s roiling 
political gulf, but had managed to remain friends. “Can I try one of 
these?” the veterinarian said, reaching for the physicist’s plate of 
Buffalo wings.

Paul Lundahl, the physicist, who works in cancer treatment, said he had 
long been apolitical, “reluctantly” voting in 2016 for Hillary Clinton 
while not caring much about the outcome.

“I’ve never really considered myself a Republican or Democrat or 
whatever,” he said.

But he has grown to detest Mr. Trump.

“I just cannot believe what comes out of that guy’s mouth every time he 
speaks,” Mr. Lundahl said. “I feel like I’m on the playground as a 
second-grader.”

The veterinarian, who would only be identified by his first name, Steve, 
was a fan of Mr. Trump’s.

He praised the Republican tax cut because it put more money in his 
clients’ pockets, which has meant more of them come to his clinic for 
heartworm and flea treatments for their pets.

“That helps me,” the veterinarian said. “So I don’t really care what the 
president says. He’s a crude guy. It’s embarrassing. But what he’s done 
is what he said he was going to do.”

He credited Mr. Trump for getting Justice Kavanaugh confirmed and for 
meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. “How many people 
over the past 50 years between Obama and Clinton and Bush failed?” the 
veterinarian said. “Who made the deals? Trump did.”

Mr. Lundahl has become so numb to the president’s trampling of political 
norms, he said, that he recently decided not to talk anymore about Mr. 
Trump. “It’s so exhausting,” he said.

There was a commotion on the TV above the bar. “Did the Steelers tie the 
game?” the veterinarian said. “How’d they do that?”



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