Trump’s people: The Donald and white nationalism

Trump’s people: The Donald and white nationalism, by Christopher Caldwell.

In April the federal Centers for Disease Control revealed that life expectancy was falling for all whites, from 78.9 to 78.8 years, even as it was rising sharply for other races. You’d think this would have been big news.

The only people who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union were demographers … who examined similar demographic failures. Yet authorities show no alarm, or even curiosity, about why this is happening. They chalk it up to an epidemic of heroin, opiates and crystal meth that is ravaging white teenagers.

The US Democrat’s racial strategy is driving political correctness throughout the west:

Sensitive Americans used to assume that if a racial group was struggling, this was because resources were being denied. Perhaps that is the simplest explanation for what has befallen white people.

Over two generations, the logic of 1960s civil-rights legislation has worked its way into the political system. State and federal government has established affirmative action and much bureaucratic machinery to move trillions of dollars’ worth of assets, opportunities and protections to minorities. When ‘minorities’ was just another way of saying ‘blacks’, the white majority felt badly done by. Ronald Reagan was, in part, a result.

But in the intervening decades, Democrats have successfully enrolled minority after minority in this model — not just other ethnic and language groups but also women, the disabled, gays and transgender people.

It was not white racists who reintroduced the term ‘people of colour’ into general parlance. It was Democratic politicians, who benefited from solidarity among affirmative action’s beneficiaries. In California in the 1970s, such programmes served weak and disadvantaged minorities. But today minorities, if we can use that word, make up 62 per cent of the Golden State’s population. Once again, mainstream whites feel resentment — but now they may lack the clout, and elected Republicans certainly lack the inclination, to do anything about it.

Affirmative action turned out to be permanent racism, not temporary:

For most whites, Obama has not been a confidence-builder. The idea that white Americans carried in their minds when they passed the civil rights laws in the 1960s was that black people would both join white society and forgive it. Obama’s election was therefore seen by many as the final act of the civil rights movement. That it should instead institutionalise and even bring a new élan to government programmes that most citizens had thought temporary was a shock.

At the same time, white demographic decline has been accompanied in many quarters with official exultation. The promise is not to enrich white America with new ethnicities but to replace it. A Black Lives Matter-affiliated group to whose protests the Yale University faculty capitulated last year calls itself ‘Next Yale’.

The Democrats have lived by racial discrimination, and are now tribalizing US society. The political issues of a relatively homogeneous society, like bigger verses smaller government, have receded before the naked tribalism that is emerging.

Any system of race-based transfers and rights will eventually polarise voters along racial lines, even with the best will in the world. …

Trump’s voters sense the system is rigged against them. This does not mean they blame blacks for their problems. Nor do they have any language for describing themselves as victims of racism. They may be deeply hurt or embarrassed by accusations of bigotry. Perhaps that is Hillary’s thinking in calling them a ‘basket of deplorables’. In an aspirational country where much of the middle class is downwardly mobile and taking its signals from television, people are terrified of exhibiting attitudes thought of as low-class.

Trump is correct when he speaks of a ‘rigged system’. He has turned out to be a skilled representative of those who feel themselves its victims. He has a genius for finding reasonable ways to talk about it. Thus when he speaks of affirmative action, he does not criticise its minority beneficiaries. He singles out Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, a white woman from Oklahoma who reportedly invented American Indian ancestry when applying for her position at Harvard Law School. ‘Pocahontas,’ he calls her. He manages to attack affirmative action for its bad faith (an argument he can win), and not for the way it rectifies a historic injustice (an argument he cannot). He knows what he is doing.

Read it all.

hat-tip Stephen Neil