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John Brownlow @JohnBrownlow
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I keep seeing head-scratching pieces about WWC Trump voters voting against their own self-interest. This is a canard. In voting for Trump they were absolutely voting FOR their own self-interest, and the left (and centre-right) need to understand this /1
The truth is they were voting against their own economic self-interest, but a vote for Trump was a vote FOR a much deeper kind of self-interest, which is quite simply racial hegemony. /2
That doesn't mean all Trumpers are overt racists. But ever since the election of @BarackObama, many WWC voters were confronted by seeing someone in power for the first time who didn't look like them /3
The power of that as a politically galvanising principle cannot be underestimated. It had its most over expression in Birtherism and nasty racist cartoons being passed around on email chains, but a much more powerful articulation was that in DC /4
the GOP felt they were no longer required to play by the rules. They could call Obama a liar, block his appointments, do whatever it took to destroy him, and the knew their base would be comfortable with this because 44 represented a disturbance in the Force of white hegemony /5
Fortunately for them there was a whole dog-whistle vocabulary of drug enforcement, voting rights, deficit hawkism and entitlement reform which could be used to fight back... and the Tea Party, their shock troops /6
Trump's much less coded rhetoric - MAGA, Take America Back, the Wall and so on was much less a political neologism than a continuation, and its appeal in rural and rustbelt white america had almost nothing to do with economic insecurity, or rather /7
the hoped-for economic payoff (coal jobs, manufacturing) was mostly an imagined bonus to the much more visceral goal of reasserting white hegemony in America. Everything in Trumpland is subservient to that goal. That is why /8
Trump dead-enders don't care about Russia, about jobs, about deficits, taxes, the economy or anything else so long as their own psychic racial dominance remains intact. The corollary being that a defeat of Trump represents a collapse of that (often unarticulated) ideology /9
So, anyway, let's not have any more think-pieces about why tax cuts for billionaires don't worry Mort and Vern sitting in a diner in Ohio. Mort and Vern don't think of themselves as racists, but the idea that white guys (and women) like them are the default humans is /10
tearingly hard to let go of, and whatever other promises 45 may have broken, he's one of them and by God he seems to agree with them. In short, self-interest takes many forms and economic self-interest is in many cases a very weak form of it /ends
by the way, I feel like @docrocktex26 (not surprisingly) said this much better than me a while back but I couldn't find it.
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