by William Skink
As a privileged white male, there are things I’m not experiencing right now. I’m not afraid of my reproductive rights being taken away, and I’m not afraid of being deported. I’m not wondering if a new permissiveness to grope my body will go viral or if articles of my clothing can now be violently ripped from around my head with impunity.
While individual acts of violence should be strongly condemned and prosecuted, depicting every single person who voted for Trump as racist, sexist and Islamophobic is a mistake.
Yesterday I stood in a short line outside Best Buy to get the Nintendo Classic. To help pass the time, conversations meandered and eventually touched on politics. A woman who identified herself as Hispanic indicated she voted for Trump, and now that she is seeing stories of gay friends being harassed on Facebook, she expressed dismay that she would be associated with that kind of behavior.
What would the losing team think about this woman? That she is stupid and ignorant? That she has an abusive male spouse forcing her to vote Trump? Would they ridicule and mock her and blame her for the ugliness that seems to be rising to the surface?
The narrative forming right now explaining Trump’s victory is best summarized by this term: whitelash. The problem with this notion is exposed by the actual data of who voted, and who didn’t. The following lengthy excerpt is from Jeffrey St. Clair’s analysis at Counterpunch:
There’s no doubt Clinton lost the white vote. Lost it big: 58-27. She was even trounced by Trump with white women voters by a stunning 53 to 43% margin. Think about that for a moment. More than half of the white women who bothered to vote preferred a serial sexual predator to Hillary Clinton. (Hillary won the total women’s vote 54 to 42 percent. But that’s one percent less than the 55% Obama got in 2012!)
But did whites vote in such large margins for Trump because they feared blacks, Muslims and Hispanics? Some of them, surely. America is a racist country, has been and will be. But is it any more racist now than it was four years ago, when the Tea Party and what we now call the Alt Right feverishly tried to take down Barack Obama?
There’s no evidence to show that it is and plenty of data to suggest that it is not. For one thing, the voting age population is more diverse now than it was four years ago. This should have been a decisive advantage for Clinton, but it wasn’t. Why?
Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers. Clinton lost the white vote by almost the exact same margin that Obama did to Romney in 2012. Holding that margin should have been a huge advantage for Clinton because, demographically speaking, the share of white voters is falling and the share of black and Hispanic voters is rising. How could she possibly lose given that dynamic?
The problem, and this should come as a shock to the Whitelash Theorists, is that Trump did 2% better with blacks than Romney did and Hillary performed 5% worse than Obama for a total spread of 7% less than the 2012 margins.
Even more startling, given Trump’s vile Mexican-bashing, is that Trump won a higher percent of Hispanic votes (29%) than Romney (27%) and Hillary won a much smaller share of Hispanic votes (65%) than Obama (71%) for a total decline of 8% from 2012.
Even so, Hillary should have won the election. Why? Because Trump got 1.5 million fewer votes than Romney. There was no great white surge.
The fatal problem is that Hillary got 5.4 million fewer votes than Obama, many of those black and Hispanic voters, and lost 6 states that Obama won twice: Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio. That’s pretty conclusive evidence that Hillary didn’t lose because of racism.
This data isn’t going to help those wishing to immediately direct the rage and confusion of Hillary supporters at racist white people. The protests that have immediately sprung up are being depicted by those on the right as a Soros-style color revolution. There’s no doubt Soros has helped finance color revolutions in other countries, but now the contention is a “purple revolution” is being direct at America.
This is what Trump means when he refers to “professional protesters” helping to fuel this civil unrest. Because Trump is saying it, the idea is instantly poison to anyone on the left, but the left should remember the seeds of the Occupy Wall Street movement did indeed originate from a Soros-funded petri-dish, which Reuters reported on back in 2011:
Anti-Wall Street protesters say the rich are getting richer while average Americans suffer, but the group that started it all may have benefited indirectly from the largesse of one of the world’s richest men.
There has been much speculation over who is financing the disparate protest, which has spread to cities across America and lasted nearly four weeks. One name that keeps coming up is investor George Soros, who in September debuted in the top 10 list of wealthiest Americans. Conservative critics contend the movement is a Trojan horse for a secret Soros agenda.
Soros and the protesters deny any connection. But Reuters did find indirect financial links between Soros and Adbusters, an anti-capitalist group in Canada which started the protests with an inventive marketing campaign aimed at sparking an Arab Spring type uprising against Wall Street. Moreover, Soros and the protesters share some ideological ground.
Both sides–Trump supporters and Hillary supporters–are being skillfully manipulated for maximum effect.
I doubt many protesters hitting the streets these last few nights are consciously aware of how wealth can seed and direct color revolutions–they are legitimately horrified at the prospects of a Trump presidency and face the threat of real violence from emboldened segments of America’s extreme-right fringe. That doesn’t mean the claim of professional protesters involved is without merit.
On the flip-side, most Trump supporters aren’t card-carrying members of the Ku Klux Klan, but that doesn’t mean the growth of the “alt-right” is a harmless, benign phenomenon. In today’s Missoulian there is an article about American Nazi Party literature showing up in Missoula.
I think what we are seeing (for those with eyes to see) is a classic divide and conquer strategy deployed by the plutocrats and their billionaire puppet masters.
If both sides allow themselves to be manipulated, then what we will have is a Soros-backed color revolution violently disrupting an American Fourth Reich. If that’s the narrative, both sides lose and the Plutocrats win.