Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Have No Numbers, But...

It's just an impression that occurred to me while walking around the block tonight.

The analysis of the Trump voters includes the general outrage many of them feel toward the GOP elite for not being real conservative warriors, not standing up to the Democrats, not defending real Americans.  This is rather like the abused children who carry more resentment toward the parent who did not defend them, even over and above the abuser. The cry goes out that they supported Romney, who wasn't a real conservative, they supported McCain, who wasn't a real conservative, they supported Bush, Dole, Bush 41 - and what have they got to show for it?  They have been betrayed.  Even conservative analysts, maybe even especially conservative analysts, are singing this tune.

I recalled tonight arguing with these people online 4 and 8 years ago. (And even 2000 and 2004, to a lesser extent.) I recall lots of them who were proudly stating they were sitting out because of their disapproval then.  In the post-election discussions, I think there was a lot of hand-wringing that those candidates had lost because they didn't excite that part of the Republican base, who didn't turn out for them.

Also, many Trump voters are young.

Also, there are reports that many Trump voters are crossover Democrats.

Or are infrequent voters.

I don't doubt there is something to this disillusionment explanation.  But I wonder how much of it is really true. Were they really go-along, hopeful, good-soldier Republicans then who are now fed up?  Or is "fed-up" a default position for some of them since fifth grade, now inspired by Trump?

9 comments:

Edith Hook said...

I'm not a Trump voter myself, but I am sympathetic to Trump supporters, who do seem to cross a lot of demographic lines: Indies, working Dems, middle class minorities, small business owners and tradesmen. Many have been left out of whatever passes for a recovery despite all the Happy Talk about how much better off they are. They aren't, and they know it, despite their betters trotting out all their statistics. They have no representation that doesn't offer more of the same.
It's understandable that Conservatives are indignant that the nuances of the Constitution aren't their priority. But, these abstractions don't mean much without stable, grow the pie, meaningful employment and a future for their children. I can't explain how Trump became their champion; I suspect that there is a lot of projection involved, like there was with Obama. Whatever comes of the Trump candidacy, I can't unsee the casual bigotry expressed toward regular working people and the deliberate misrepresentation of their motives.

james said...

It will cost money to find out. I doubt that the poll questions were designed for a change in political partitioning. If I were a big poll company I'd try to scrape up the money for in-depth interviews. Neutral territory, hours of interviewer time, something to induce people to hang around for a couple of hours, statistical significance, geographic/tribal variation--big bucks.

Sam L. said...

Could be both, could be completely different. So many choices these parlous days.

dmoelling said...

As usual no candidate asks for sacrifices from the voters (Except perhaps that Ted Cruz came out against Ethanol subsidies in Iowa). Ben Carson did propose a tax plan that required everyone to pay something. But in general, others will pay. This is usually hidden somehow or it's tax the rich which is always popular.

Trump in his histrionic vagueness exceeds them all BUT SOMEONE WILL PAY!!! It is sometimes the rich or the establishment, but they will pay!

The grievances in trump supporters are all over the place. Some want no-copays on insurance, some want their old jobs back. Since he offers no solid plan he can embrace them all without asking anything of them.

Texan99 said...

This very nearly describes my husband, who is thoroughly fed up with the GOPe leadership, won't take their calls, won't contribute to their funds, and doesn't trust them not to undermine a conservative candidate in the primaries. For us, though, the solution certainly is not to support Trump in the primaries; if we're upset about the failure of conservative leadership, why would we respond by voting for a man we consider little more than a closet Democrat? Nevertheless, if Trump takes the nomination I will vote for him over Clinton. My husband, on the other hand, for the first time is seriously considering sitting this one out, which I never thought I'd see.

Mark Anderson said...

Edith Hook eloquently writes (above): "I can't unsee the casual bigotry expressed toward regular working people and the deliberate misrepresentation of their motives."

I have to believe that many people are drawn to Trump not for what he offers but for what he denies--It's no longer business as usual and for the first time in their lives, Trump supporters have a voice. It's a rebuke to a system that has ignored them for decades.

Sam L. said...

" It's a rebuke to a system that has ignored them for decades. "

See also, Europe and Muslim Influx, USA and illegal aliens.

Edith Hook said...

"people are drawn to Trump not for what he offers but for what he denies-"

What is a working person to do? Dems offer condescension and paternalism, accompanied by"subsidies, handouts, and fake make work government jobs. Reps offer condescension and disdain coupled with the opportunity to work multiple parttime deadend jobs in the “vibrant” service sector while they cheerlead the devaluation of savings and labor (offshoring, open borders). Coupled with technology, it is a perfect storm for undermining the Middle Class.

Granted there are different kinds of working people, those for whom autonomy and self reliance aren’t a big deal, have the Dems. But the folks who were brain washed to value self actualization and all those middle class values like accomplishment, independence, self discipline, family life, fairness, accountability, saving, postponement of gratification, civic mindedness……….and contributing to the economic pie, have nowhere to go. Trump filled the vacuum by default.

Earl Wajenberg said...

I think Sanders is something of a mirror image on the Democratic side, offering an alternative to a Democratic elite that the Democrat and Democratish voters are very displeased with—again, often for symmetrical reasons: they have neither triumphed over nor made useful compromises with the opposition.