[Marxism] Time to Kill the Zombie Argument: Another Study Shows Trump Won Because of Racial Anxieties — Not Economic Distress

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Sep 18 06:01:40 MDT 2018

DO YOU REMEMBER “economic anxiety”? The catch-all phrase relied on by 
politicians and pundits to try and explain the seemingly inexplicable: 
the election of Donald J. Trump in November 2016? A term deployed by 
left and right alike to try and account for the fact that white, 
working-class Americans voted for a Republican billionaire by an 
astonishing 2-to-1 margin?

The thesis is as follows: Working-class voters, especially in key “Rust 
Belt” swing states, rose up in opposition to the party in the White 
House to punish them for the outsourcing of their jobs and stagnation of 
their wages. These “left behind” voters threw their weight behind a 
populist “blue-collar billionaire” who railed against free trade and 

Everyone from Fox News host Jesse Waters to socialist Sen. Bernie 
Sanders has pushed this whole “economic anxiety” schtick. But it’s a 
complete and utter myth. As I pointed out in April 2017, referencing 
both pre-election surveys and exit poll data, the election of Trump had 
much less to do with economic anxiety or distress and much more to do 
with cultural anxiety and racial resentment. Anyone who bothers to 
examine the empirical evidence, or for that matter listens to Trump 
slamming black athletes as “sons of bitches” or Elizabeth Warren as 
“Pocahontas” in front of cheering crowds, is well-aware of the source of 
his appeal.


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