Strange.— Hunter Wallace (@MisterBlackPill) December 8, 2020
Why isn’t there an essay on social identity issues? After all, this is the axis that unites GOP voters and which is the common ground between populists and conservatives. My guess is that being so cucked on race is a sensitive subject with conservatives https://t.co/ohQ3SH4gUu
The American Conservative has its own autopsy up on the Trump presidency which focuses heavily on personnel and economic issues. It is silent, however, on the GOP’s social identity problem.
In the 2016 election, Trump’s populists were 18.95% of the electorate and Trump’s conservatives were 20.4% of the electorate. The coalition was roughly equally balanced.
In the 2016 election, the Populist quadrant was 28.9% of the electorate and Trump won 65% of voters in it. In the 2020 election, the Populist quadrant shrank to 17% of the electorate and Trump won it by 47 points. The Populist quadrant declined in relative importance along with Trump’s margin in it.
In the 2016 election, the Conservative quadrant was 22.7% of the electorate and Trump won 90.2% of voters in it. In the 2020 election, the Conservative quadrant expanded to 32% of the electorate and Trump won the same 90% of voters in it. The Conservative quadrant grew in relative importance along with Trump’s margin in it. In 2016, Trump’s populists were 18.95% of the electorate and Trump’s conservatives were 20.4% of the electorate. He won the 2016 election with a populist-conservative coalition. He lost the 2020 election with a conservative coalition. He lost the election on his left flank.
In both the 2016 and 2020 elections, Trump’s voters were united more by social identity issues than by economic issues. Clearly, it is opposition to the Left on social identity issues that holds Republicans together. Populists, however, are cross-pressured on identity and economic issues. They are torn between common ground with the Left on economics and the Right on social issues. Thus, it is imperative for the Right to deliver on social issues because this is the only point of agreement.
I know it looks like I keep picking on Lady MAGA, but this is where the major cultural shift on social issues took place in the Trump era. Mainstream conservatism became gayer than it was under George W. Bush. MILO and Lady MAGA were a new development on the Right in the Trump era. The mainstream Right abandoned all resistance on LGBTQ issues when Donald Trump was president. Ric Grenell waged a global crusade to legalize homosexuality. The Supreme Court found that transgenderism was covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and refused to take up the bathroom issue.
Can we all agree that the mainstream Right and Donald Trump let it be known that homosexuals and transsexuals were mainstream and welcome in the GOP? If you were a populist voter watching MAGA YMCA, you may have concluded that there was no discernable difference anymore between the GOP and the Democrats on LGBTQ issues and voted on the basis of other issues.
they don’t like being told that their vote isn’t wanted pic.twitter.com/FC0qZGbVdb— Racist Paperclip (@RacistClip) November 6, 2020
A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling "I'm not racist!" https://t.co/BJUuDWMzGo— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) December 8, 2020
Establishment Republicans are happier losing with more minorities than winning with the support of more white men https://t.co/k2Qv6boBlF— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) December 8, 2020
Rightwing homosexuals went mainstream under Donald Trump. This pointedly did not happen with ethnocentric White populist voters. There was “no place” for them in the GOP. Believe me, the message was received loud and clear in populist and nationalist circles.
Lets put this in perspective to see the scope of the problem:
15% of Whites say their racial identity is “extremely” or “very” important. Among the American Preservationists who were Trump’s base in the 2016 primary and general election, 67% of them said their race was “extremely” or “very important” to their identity. 47% of them say that being European is important to being truly American compared to 2% of Free Marketeers.
Among all Whites, 37% have strong feelings of White solidarity and over 25% report strong feelings of White discrimination and White identity. What do you suppose those numbers are among Republican and Republican-leaning Independent voters? Particularly White populist voters?
The numbers are clear: White populists have a far stronger sense of racial identity than any group on the Right. White populists are far more ethnocentric than conservatives. They are far less individualistic than Free Marketeers. They are also concentrated in the Center of the electorate, not the Right. The so-called “Far Right” vote is between the Left and the Republican base, not in libertarian land.
The salience of White racial identity to Republican and Republican-leaning voters is strongest among White populists and weakest among the True Cons who run organizations like Turning Point USA. The same is true of Christian identity and American identity. The Free Marketeers who control the GOP believe in classical liberalism, modernism, antiracism, cosmopolitanism, hyper individualism and especially in the “principles” of free-market capitalism whereas the White populists are much more moderate on economics and inclined to define their identity in more traditional racial and ethnocultural terms.
This blinkered perspective had devastating consequences for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign which was out of touch with White populist voters. Conservatives are cucked on race. White populists are not cucked on race. The latter noticed when he ran on the Platinum Plan and criminal justice reform and boasting about letting the “super predators” out of prison. The Trump administration went to great lengths not to acknowledge the existence of White populist voters who are a far larger swath of the Right-leaning electorate than any racial minority group and dwarf conservative LGBTQ voters.
In the 2016 election, Trump’s nativist message struck a chord with White populists who have a much sharper sense of White identity. He successfully heightened the salience of social identity issues. Trumpism 1.0 was going to build the wall, deport illegal aliens, ban Muslims, crush Black Lives Matter and lock up Hillary Clinton. Trumpism 2.0 was Lil’ Pimp and Lady MAGA and fell flat in the Rust Belt. The conservatives around Trump persuaded him to give up his high voltage appeal to White populist voters on social identity issues and economics that had worked in 2016. He ran on the GOP playbook.
After the death of George Floyd, the Left redefined the meaning of “racism” to mean basically all White people who are privileged and who benefit from systemic racism. Donald Trump and the GOP were unable to bring themselves to say a word in defense of White men. Cities were allowed to burn for months. If you were a White populist voter watching this, Trumpism 2.0 simply didn’t resonate with you.
Law and Order
In the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump ran as an authoritarian candidate. He ran on “law and order” and enforcing immigration laws. He was “God Emperor Donald Trump” in memes.
In the 2020 campaign, Blumpf was the candidate of the Department of Situation Monitoring. He was the candidate who impotently tweeted “Law and Order” while Antifa and Black Lives Matter ran wild and burned down cities. He was the guy who let the super predators out of prison. He was the candidate of the Platinum Plan and criminal justice reform. Joe Biden was the candidate who had supported the 1994 crime bill and the Defense of Marriage Act and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
If you were a White populist voter watching this who had voted for a strong man in 2016 to Make America Great Again, you were disappointed by your tough guy president.
In the 2016 campaign, immigration was Donald Trump’s hallmark issue. It is what set him apart from other candidates and won him the support the Hard-Pressed Skeptics who came into the GOP and voted for him. This is the reason why he won the 2016 election. He won over 25% of the DLWC vote (Democratic Leaning Working Class voters) and beat Hillary Clinton by a 3-to-1 margin among Populist voters. This is why the Democrats lost their minds about “white supremacy” too.
Fortunately for the Democrats, the conservatives in Donald Trump’s orbit persuaded him to spend his political capital on Paul Ryan’s agenda. In 2017, he backed Ryancare and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which were the two most unpopular policy initiatives of the last 25 years. They persuaded him that the Republican Congress would fund the border wall after he spent his political capital pushing their agenda. They persuaded him to walk back his harsh rhetoric on immigration to win suburbanites.
As we saw yesterday, the Trump that ran in 2020 didn’t have much to say about immigration or terrorism, which were two of the biggest issues that were on the minds of voters in the 2016 election. He didn’t deliver much on the issue either. The salience of the immigration issue declined.
What happens when cross-pressured White populist voters are not motivated to vote on the basis of immigration? They vote on the basis of economics which is what they did in the 2018 and 2020 elections. This is the reason why Nancy Pelosi runs the House of Representatives.
White populists are social conservatives.
They are not the Religious Right though. They are significantly less religious and less likely to attend church on a weekly basis than paleocons. They have mixed views about abortion, homosexuality and gun control. These are not issues which really motivate them, unify them and which bring them out to the polls.
White populists are identitarian voters who resent political correctness. They were drawn to Trump in 2016 because he seemed to be inclined to challenge these norms. He wasn’t seen as a cuckservative. No one in the United States is more opposed to political correctness or wokeness than White populists because this group retains the sharpest sense of traditional White American ethnic identity. White populists look at conservatives and see people who are weaker on racial and cultural issues.
Between 2016 and 2020, the SJW problem dramatically intensified among DILEs (Democratic Independent Liberal Elites) who are the core of the progressive Left. Political correctness mutated into wokeness. If memory serves, this group is about 13% of the population and 20% of politically active Democrats. It is overwhelmingly composed of upper middle class, college-educated, White professionals.
How did Donald Trump and the GOP react to the explosion in wokeness and leftwing violence? They did nothing about the problem except for fundraising off of it. Instead, Donald Trump spent the last month of the 2020 election disavowing “white supremacy” while running on the Platinum Plan. White populists drew the conclusion that having Trump as president was simply making the matter worse.
In the eyes of White populists, Donald Trump’s reaction to the George Floyd riots highlighted his weakness on law and order and political correctness which are two of their key issues.
Donald Trump was obsessed with delivering victories for a tiny group of ultra-Zionist Jewish billionaires. The fact that he ignored his White populist base while delivering victory after victory for his Jewish donors did not go unnoticed. No one cares about “fighting anti-Semitism” or Israel. In the end, the Jared Kushner strategy netted more of the Orthodox Jewish vote in New York City and a larger fundraising haul than in 2016 while losing key White male voters in the Rust Belt and Sunbelt states.
The 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville was about American Heritage which is an identity issue that strongly resonates with White populists. How do you think White populists took the destruction of hundreds of monuments by BLM and Antifa mobs? Did they take out their anger on the Left by voting for Trump in 2020 … or Trump for monitoring the situation and doing nothing about it?
Sex and Gender
In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won White men by historic margins. In the 2020 election, however, the gender gap shrunk because more White men voted for Joe Biden. Specifically, Donald Trump had much greater appeal to conservative men and Republican men and less ideological appeal to White moderate men and White Independent male voters. He didn’t win the same White men.
Joe Biden wasn’t as repulsive of a candidate to White men who are moderates, populists and Independent voters. Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign ignored the fact that Joe Biden was more popular with White men and less polarizing than Hillary Clinton who always had higher negatives. The same was true of Andrew Yang who attracted Trump supporters in his primary campaign. Instead of shoring up their White populist base in light of this crucial fact, the Trump campaign spent 100% of its time appealing to marginal non-White voters. Basically, they neglected the group of White men in the Center of the electorate who lean toward the GOP in favor of appealing to non-Whites who lean toward the Democrats.
Donald Trump’s appeal to White populist voters on social identity issues declined between the 2016 and 2020 elections. At the same time, the salience of issues that mattered to voters changed. Immigration and terrorism were on the minds of voters in 2016. Health care was on the mind of voters in 2018. Finally, COVID-19, economic recovery and the George Floyd riots were on the mind of voters in 2020. In light of the economic collapse, more White populist voters voted on the basis of economics in the 2020 election, which is the reason why Trump’s margin with them declined from 3-to-1 to 2-to-1. The fact that Congress was unable to send the second stimulus check likely played a big role in it.
Conservative populism failed because it simply lost traction with White populist voters on both social identity and economic issues. White populists support restricting immigration, law and order, raising taxes on corporations, sending out a second stimulus check, a single national government program to provide health insurance and a sensible response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The GOP wasn’t willing to acknowledge White identity, restrict immigration, maintain law and order or do anything about political correctness and in light of this pocketbook issues became more important.
The GOP is controlled by Free Marketeers who believe America is a proposition nation based on the “principles” of classical liberalism, hyper individualism and free-market capitalism. This faction of the Republican Party is radically out of touch with White populist voters and the wider electorate across a range of issues. The Republican Party will never become a majority party again until it ceases to be held back by this albatross which is out of alignment with both its own voters and moderate voters.
Note: I get at least three or four texts a day from these people … who want my money after doing nothing for me and losing the election.