This Wasn’t a Working-Class Revolt. It Was a White Revolt.

November 14, 2016 | | Moyers & Company |

Resentment won this election. It was a middle-finger, throw-caution-to-the-wind, damn-the-consequences vote — cast overwhelmingly by white people.

Only white people had the luxury and the safety to ignore Trump’s promises to restore law and order, to deport millions of immigrants and to endanger Americans who practice the world’s second most popular religion. His phony economic populism was the icing on the cake — the cherry on top of the dog-whistle sundae. It was not the driving motivation behind Trump voters.

A quarter of Trump voters said he was not qualified to be president, yet still voted for him to lead the country. Trump was as likely to win affluent voters — individuals making more than $100,000 — as Clinton. This wasn’t a working-class revolt. It was a white revolt.

Did Democrats do something wrong? Absolutely, but not just in this election. For the last three decades, the party has abandoned pocketbook issues and working-class people in favor of business leaders and Wall Street titans. The Republican Party never had an economic platform for the working class, just its effective Southern strategy: blame African-Americans (and now immigrants, too) for white struggle, and position government as the finger on the scale tipping the advantage to people of color.[...]