Trump voters in a nutshell.
Courtesy of NBC News:
Since the founding of the United States, politicians and pundits have warned that partisanship is a danger to democracy. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, worried that political parties, or factions, could “allow cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” to rise to power and subvert democracy. More recently, many political observers are concerned that increasing political polarization on left and right makes compromise impossible, and leads to the destruction of democratic norms and institutions.
A new study, however, suggests that the main threat to our democracy may not be the hardening of political ideology, but rather the hardening of one particular political ideology. Political scientists Steven V. Miller of Clemson and Nicholas T. Davis of Texas A&M have released a working paper titled “White Outgroup Intolerance and Declining Support for American Democracy.” Their study finds a correlation between white American’s intolerance and support for authoritarian rule. In other words, when intolerant white people fear democracy may benefit marginalized people, they abandon their commitment to democracy.
Miller and Davis’ paper quotes alt-right, neo-fascist leader Richard Spencer, who in a 2013 speech declared: “We need an ethno-state so that our people can ‘come home again’… We must give up the false dreams of equality and democracy.” Ethnic cleansing is impossible as long as marginalized people have enough votes to stop it. But this roadblock disappears if you get rid of democracy. Spencer understands that white rule in the current era essentially requires totalitarianism. That’s the logic of fascism.
Trump’s rise is often presented as a major break with the past, and as a repudiation of American values and democratic commitments. But in an email, Miller pointed out that white intolerance has long served as an excuse for, and a spark for, authoritarian measures.
Black people, Asians, Native Americans, and women were prevented from voting for significant stretches of American history. America’s tradition of democracy (for some) exists alongside a tradition of authoritarianism (for some). The survey data doesn’t show people rejecting American traditions, then, Miller says, so much as it shows “a preference for the sort of white-ethnocentrism that imbued much of the functional form of democracy for the better part of two centuries.”
I have made this same assertion a number of times in the past here on IM, and now this study simply reinforces what we already know.
Many white Americans are quite ready to trash the entire basis for the founding of this country if it means they do not have to share power with or surrender power to, ethnicities whom they deem inferior to themselves.
THAT is what helped to bring Donald Trump to power and it explains why his shabby treatment of immigrants and minorities in this country only makes him that much more attractive to his base.
And that is why he desperately needs to be removed from office and replaced with a leader who sees ALL Americans as equal, and all people as deserving of the benefits of being an American citizen.