On Friday, a researcher with Gallup brought some much-needed data and clarity to this debate. Jonathan Rothwell, an economist who drew on eighty-seven thousand interviews in the organization’s polling database, expected to find that Trump’s strongest base of support existed in areas of America adversely affected by international free-trade agreements and lax immigration policy. He made a surprising discovery.
There are certainly people out there who have casted their lot in with Trump as an economic penny-in-a-fountain. Their stories are easy to find if you’re willing to read and/or listen enough (I have). But those people, unfortunately, are part of a group that also includes the type of people that Rothwell details here—folks who, consciously or not, see the Great in Trump’s infamous slogan as a synonym for White. And while I don’t think folks, who by no fault of their own, have found themselves staring down the barrel of a job market, an economy, that they no longer recognize, I’m reminded here of the chorus of an H2O song that I listened to as a teenager:
Guilty by association
Judged for who I know
Can’t keep all my friends out of trouble
When they got no place to go