But just imagine trying to point that out in a public venue:
“You’re denying you were calling for blacks and Hispanics to be deported? Why would anyone believe you were referring to white people? They don’t have the highest illegitimacy rates, the highest incarceration rates, the worst test scores….”
As Steve pointed out a few years ago, noticing things is a problem. In this particular case, noticing Bret Stephens’ callous provincialism would cause far too many problems. Anyone who dared point out the obvious, if unintended, target of the slur would be risking media outrage–all the more so because the media wouldn’t want anyone wondering why they hadn’t noticed the attack on African American and Latino honor. That’s probably why Navaryan hastened to add that most of the outrage seemed to be from media outlets popular with “right-leaning whites”.
A Damon Knight intro to a 1967 Robert Heinlein collection that’s often proved illustrative:
People are still people: they read Time magazine, smoke Luckies, fight with their wives.
Knight, one of the great science fiction editors, wrote this essay two years before his wife Kate Wilhelm became one of the first female Nebula winners. Knight and Wilhelm led widely acclaimed writer’s workshops for years. (The great Kate is still writing and running workshops. Bow down.)
In short, Knight wasn’t particularly sexist. But when he wrote “people”, he meant “men”.
Bret Stephens and most of the mainstream media aren’t particularly racist. But when Bret wrote about deporting “Americans” and “people”, everyone read “whites”.
So this whole episode reminded me of the invisible Trump voter. Not the ones people usually mean, like the ones discussed in this article on journalism’s efforts to find Trump voters. Everyone talks about the downscale white voters, but they aren’t invisible anymore. Those white voters, many of them recently Democrats, finally turned on the party and put Trump over the top. I’m talking about the Trump voters still unseen.
Consider the Republican primary results by county:
That’s a lot of counties Trump won. New York and New Jersey went for Trump, as did Virginia and Massachussetts. He won California with 75% of the vote, after Kasich and Cruz had withdrawn but were still on the ballot. (Trump also had a commanding lead in the polls, for what they’re worth, when the race was still in play.)
Trump did very well in high immigration states during the primaries. At a time when Never Trumpers were attempting a convention coup, Californians could have given them ammunition by supporting Kasich or Cruz with a protest vote. Arnold Schwarzenegger put it about he was voting for Kasich. No dice. Trump won every county.
All these states that ultimately went commandingly blue, of course. But Trump voters are white voters. Hillary Clinton won thirteen of the states that had exit polls, but only won the white vote in four of them:
|Clinton state, Trump won white voters||Clinton state, Clinton won white voters|
|Virginia (59%)||Washington (51%)|
|Nevada (56%)||California (50%)|
|New Jersey (54%)||Oregon (49%)|
|New York (51%)|
|New Hampshire (48%)|
|New Mexico (47%)
These are the Clinton states that didn’t have exit polls, with her percentage of the votes and the state’s percentage of white non-Hispanics (not the percentage of white votes, which isn’t available):
Hard to see how Trump lost the white vote in Maryland, Connecticut, or Delaware. But if you give her all seven, she still only won the white vote in eleven states total. A more realistic guess is eight or nine. And for a liberal bastion, California’s white vote was surprisingly close. California has fewer working class whites than New York and New Jersey, but California’s white voters supported Romney in 2012 and Bush in 2004. Perhaps a lot of Republican voters stayed home rather than vote for Trump.
Why so much support? Well, in September 2016, a California poll showed whites were almost split on immigration–only 52% saying immigrants were a boon, 41% saying they were a drain on public services. I looked for similar polls for other blue states and couldn’t find any. But that’d certainly be an avenue to explore.
These are big states, and 30% of big states is a big ol’ number of voters. The LA Times observed that only Florida and Texas gave Trump more votes than California. Nearly a million people voted for Trump in Chicago and the “collar counties”, as many as the entire state of Okalama, The San Francisco Bay Area counties and Los Angeles County contributed roughly 600,000 each, slightly less than Kansas gave Trump or the combined Trump votes of Montana and Idaho. New York City counties kicked in close to half a million, slightly more than the combined vote of the Dakotas.
Consider, too, that these voters knew full well that their vote wouldn’t matter and they went out and voted for Trump anyway. If every Trump voter in California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois had simply stayed home, he’d still be President, most of the local races would have unchanged results, and Hillary’s popular vote margin would be four or five million more.
These voters pay too much rent to be hillbillies. They live in some of the most expensive real estate in America, so they’re not likely to be poor or unsuccessful. Vox’s condescending tripe about the home-town losers voting for Trump because they’re racist, sexist losers afraid of change doesn’t explain the millions of voters in high immigration areas who voted for Trump. Emily Ekins typology of Trump voters doesn’t seem to cover these voters, either. Why would Staunch Conservatives who could afford the high rents of blue states continue to live in places so at odds with their values? Free Marketers wouldn’t have voted so enthusiastically for Trump in the first place. I suspect Ekins has defined American Preservationists too narrowly.
How can anyone argue that Trump’s support in Deep Blue land is racist? Huge chunks of white Trump voters in blue states work, live, send their kids to school with a range of diversity in culture, race, and economics that elites like Bret Stephens can’t even begin to comprehend. They often live cheek and jowl with people who speak no English at allwho speak no English at all, and have to handle endless cultural issues that arise from having Russian, Chinese, Syrian, or/and Congolese neighbors, usually uninterested in assimilating and often with no visible means of support. They see schools struggling with policies designed for a much simpler bi- or tri-racial country, policies designed with the expectation that most students would be Americans. They see immigrants qualifying for tremendous educational expenditures, guaranteed by law, supported by a court that shrugged off the cost of guaranteeing all immigrants access to public schools. They see the maternity tourism that will allow yet anothe generation of Chinese natives gaining access to public universities while not speaking any English.
They see immigrants voting by race, supporting Democrats despite a generally tepid lack interest in most progressive causes, simply to assure themselves the ability to bring in relatives (or sell access through marriage or birth certificate fraud). They’re used to white progressives imposing near total rule on the government using the immigrant citizens voting strength to enact policies that the immigrants themselves will ignore or be unaffected by, but the white citizens, in particular, will pay for. These Trump voters watch immigrant enclaves form and slowly gather enough voters to vote in politicians by race and religion. They might worry that white progressive rule will give way to a future of a parliamentary style political system in which various immigrant political forces who don’t consider themselves American, but only citizens, combine to vote not for progressive or conservative values, but some form of values genuinely alien to Americans.
They think it’s hilarious, but not in a good way, when reporters earnestly reassure their readers that immigrants don’t qualify for benefits, or that non-citizens aren’t voting. They see tremendous fraud and illegal behavior go unpunished. They know of huge cash only malls run by immigrants, and know the authorities will never investigate. Fortunately, the authorities do find and prosecute all sorts of immigrant fraud rings, but that only makes them wonder why we bring in so many immigrants to begin with.
I suspect that between thirty and fifty percent of white people living in high immigration regions voted for Trump. But if they see the worst of intensive immigration, they also haven’t chosen to leave it. They don’t say “people” and mean “whites”, like Bret Stephens.
Ironically, Bret Stephens is furious at the downscale “losers” who voted for Trump–the voters who don’t usually vote Republican, or even vote at all. He’s too ignorant, too blind to realize he’d also have to deport millions of invisible Trump voters, the voters he might grudgingly concede are successful, who pay more in taxes than they cost the government, who start successful businesses, who have children they can support. The voters who have been voting Republican a long time without any real enthusiasm, who have always been less than enthused about the values he arrogantly assumes are universally held by Republicans. The white voters whose existence he doesn’t understand enough to write about.
These invisible Trump voters have a lot to risk by going public. But reporters should seek them out. How many of the Trump voters in Deep Blue Land, the ones making it in the high-rent, high-immigration, highly educated regions, how many made him their first choice? And why?
So c’mon into Blue Land, Salena, Chris. Talk to some of the invisible Trump voters that haven’t really been considered yet. Let them add to the story.