While concerns about changing views on faith, gender and sexuality were often expressed by many of the former president’s most die-hard supporters, fear about America becoming less White — and less “great” — was at the root of at least some of the loyalty to him.
A widely reported 2017 survey from the Atlantic and the Public Religion Research Institute provided some insight into the views of White working-class voters who backed Trump.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of White working-class Americans said: “Things have changed so much that I often feel like a stranger in my own country.”
- Nearly 70 percent (68 percent) of White working-class Americans believe the United States is in danger of losing its culture and identity.
- More than 60 percent (62 percent) of White working-class Americans believe the growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens American culture.
The narrative that the former president was primarily popular with White low-income voters who were anxious about their economic position in an increasingly globalized economy was true but always incomplete, as the final chapter of his presidency shows. The most recent attempt by Trump supporters to keep the president in office largely included White culturally anxious professionals from urban areas, according to the [Robert A. Pape] study.
This pattern isn’t unfamiliar in history. During the civil rights movement, the White Citizens Council, the Ku Klux Klan and other self-identified white supremacist groups often consisted of people who were members of the professional classes of their respective communities. [Continue reading…]