Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Winning In 2020-- Something Bold... Or More Status Quo?


King of Diamonds by Nancy Ohanian

University of Pennsylvania professor Diana Mutz published a study Monday that asserts that "Fear of losing their privileged status in America and the world motivated many 2016 voters, notably whites, men, and Christians. She calls into question the whole theory that it was anger rather than fear that motivatived Trump voters-- that the white working class, having faced job losses and stagnant wages under Obama, voted with their pocketbooks when they chose Señor Trumpanzee.

Mutz's point is "that many Trump voters are feeling left behind, but not for reasons related to personal financial problems or economic anxiety about the future. Based on survey data from a nationally representative panel of the same 1,200 American voters polled in both 2012 and 2016... Mutz found that traditionally high-status Americans, namely whites, feel their status in America and the world is threatened by America's growing racial diversity and a perceived loss of US global dominance. Under threat by these engines of change, America's socially dominant groups increased their support in 2016 for the candidate who most emphasised reestablishing status hierarchies of the past... [She] followed voters over a four-year period to assess their changing views of trade, the threat posed by China, their sense of group threat, and perceptions of their own personal finances, as well as experiences of unemployment and the economic conditions in their local communities. As in previous elections, most voters in 2016 simply supported the candidate of the same party that they voted for in 2012. But the key to understanding the 2016 outcome lies in what changed from 2012 to 2016 that predicted changing vote choice.
Trump's rhetoric during the 2016 election capitalised on the fears of Americans who currently enjoy dominant status in society, most notably those who were white, Christian, male, or some combination of the three. Many of those Americans, Mutz found, switched from voting for the Democrat in 2012 to the Republican in 2016. Particularly those who found societal changes threatening voted for Trump in an effort to maintain their perceived social dominance in the country and the world.

The status threat experienced by many Americans was not only about their place in American society. In contrast to the conventional wisdom in political science that "voting ends at the water's edge"-- that international affairs don't matter to how people vote-- Mutz found that Americans feel increasingly threatened by the interdependence of the United States with other countries.

  Their sense that America is no longer the dominant superpower it once was influenced their vote in 2016.

"Political uprisings are often about downtrodden groups rising up to assert their right to better treatment and more equal life conditions relative to high-status groups," Mutz writes. "The 2016 election, in contrast, was an effort by members of already dominant groups to assure their continued dominance and by those in an already powerful and wealthy country to assure its continued dominance."

Interestingly, Mutz found that Americans' own positions on issues such as trade, China, and immigration did not change dramatically between 2012 and 2016. In fact, Americans on the whole became more open to citizenship for undocumented immigrants than in 2012.

What did shift, however, were their perceptions of where the Republican candidate stood in 2016 relative to 2012, particularly on issues such as free trade and the threat posed by China. The greater the distance voters perceived between their own positions and those of the Democratic candidate on these issues, and the closer they were to the Republican candidate's position, the more likely they were to switch their votes from how they had voted in 2012.

Despite exhaustive data analysis, the study did not show any relationship between financial hardship and voting for Trump. In addition, those whose financial situations declined between 2012 and 2016 relative to others' economic well-being were no more likely to switch to Trump.

..."The 2016 election was a result of anxiety about dominant groups' future status rather than a result of being overlooked in the past," she writes. "In many ways, a sense of group threat is a much tougher opponent than an economic downturn, because it is a psychological mindset rather than an actual event or misfortune. Given current demographic trends within the United States, minority influence will only increase with time, thus heightening this source of perceived status threat."
Her findings help explain the large numbers of white voters nationally where counties didn't just pick Bernie over Hillary but picked Bernie (in the primaries) over Trump. Some examples:

In Boone County, West Virginia, Bernie beat Hillary 52% to 26.8% but he also beat Trump on primary day 24,410 to 1,388. It was very similar in many counties in the state, like Marion Co., where Bernie beat Hillary 52.4% to 35.0% and also beat Trump 5,324 to 4,035; Mingo Co., Bernie 48.3% and Hillary 23.7% and Bernie 2,425 votes to Trump's 1,161; Calhoun County, where Bernie beat Hillary 60.6% to 23.6% and beat Trump 803 to 480; Logan Co.-- Bernie 50.5% to Hillary 23.5% while Bernie took 3,201 votes to Trump's 1,665; Fayette Co., where it was 52.3% Bernie to 33.8% Hillary and 3,585 Bernie to 2,683 Trump; McDowell Co., where it was Bernie 55.5%, Hillary 29.9% and Bernie 1,453 to Trump's 760; and Monongalia Co., Bernie 57.6% to Hillary's 35.3% and Bernie 8,096 to Trump's 5,571. And, of course it wasn't just West Virginia:
Dupage, Illinois- Bernie 52%, Hillary 47%; Bernie beating Trump 65,159 to 45,1313
Kane, IL- Bernie 56%, Hillary 43%; Bernie beating Trump 31,085 to 21,605
Champaign, IL- Bernie 66%, Hillary 34%; Bernie beating Trump 20,581 to 7,645
Jackson, IL- Bernie 62%, Hillary 38%; Bernie beating Trump 4,656 to 2,215
DeKalb, IL- Bernie 66%, Hillary 31%; Bernie beating Trump 8,315 to 5,139
statewide in New Hampshire- Bernie 60%, Hillary 38%; Bernie beating Trump 151,584 to 100,405
Kalamazoo Co., Michigan- Bernie 61%, Hillary 38%; Bernie beating Trump 20,145 to 9,104
Ingham Co., MI- Bernie 55%, Hillary 44%; Bernie beating Trump 22,909 to 8,056
Isabella Co., MI- Bernie 66%, Hillary 33%; Bernie beating Trump 4,024 to 2,180
Kent, Co., MI- Bernie 62.5%, Hillary 37.3%; Bernie beating Trump 43,375 to 22,742
Grand Traverse Co., MI- Bernie 65%, Hillary 33%; Bernie beating Trump 8,091 to 5,891
Dane Co, Wisconsin- Bernie 62.6%, Hillary 37.3%; Bernie beating Trump 102,585 to 20,884
Los Crosse Co, WI- Bernie 63%, Hillary 37%; Bernie beating Trump 15,139 to 8,271
Bayfield, Co., WI- Bernie 63.5%, Hillary 36.2%; Bernie beating Trump 8,315 to 5,139
Rock, WI- Bernie 60%, Hillary 39%; Bernie beating Trump 17,337 to 10,264
Eau Claire Co., WI- Bernie 64%, Hillary 36%; Bernie beating Trump 13,058 to 6,505
Portage Co., WI- Bernie 65%, Hillary 35%; Bernie beating Trump 9,348 to 5,112
Kenosha Co., WI- Bernie 57%, Hillary 42%; Bernie beating Trump 14,612 to 11,139
That was just a sample where voters wanted change-- and preferred the kind of change Bernie was offering over the bullshit Trump was offering. We've been talking a lot here about Job Guarantee, a major plank in the Bernie platform for 2020. This week, Jeff Stein tried fleshing it out a bit for Washington Post readers. "Sanders's jobs guarantee," he wrote, "would fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, heath care, the environment, education and other goals. Under the job guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job under one of these projects or receive job training to be able to do so." Bernie's going to unveil his plan-- which, predictably, is opposed by Republicans and by Democrats from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- soon.
Job guarantee advocates say their plan would drive up wages by dramatically increasing competition for workers, ensuring corporations have to offer more generous salaries and benefits if they want to keep their employees from working for the government. Supporters say it would also reduce racial inequality, since black workers face unemployment at about twice the rates of white workers, as well as gender inequality, since many iterations of the plan call for the expansion of federal child-care work.

“The goal is to eliminate working poverty and involuntary unemployment altogether,” said Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School who has advocated for a jobs guarantee program along with Stony Brook University’s Stephanie Kelton and a group of left-leaning economists at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College. “This is an opportunity for something transformative, beyond the tinkering we’ve been doing for the last 40 years, where all the productivity gains have gone to the elite of society.”

...It’s not clear exactly what would happen to a worker who violated the terms of employment. The plan suggests creating a Division of Progress Investigation to “take disciplinary action if needed,” leaving authority to the head of the Labor Department. Aides to Sanders stress that the policy details remain in their initial stages.

Proponents trace the idea back to the New Deal Era, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pitched a “Second Bill of Rights” to Congress in 1944. First on the list: the “right to a useful and remunerative job.”

“This is not a radical idea,” Hamilton said. “It was well-couched in the Democratic platform that existed during its heyday. I’m glad Democrats are trending back to their roots.”

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At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just stupid white Christian men showing their hate/fear. What's new?

The Bernie votes had dick to do with that. It was totally a repudiation of the dominant religious dogma of the past 40 years -- trickle down -- imposed by both parties.

If you want the 'job guarantee' (myth, no way the money will allow it) to impel competition for jobs which raise wages and bennies, you'll have to disallow all work visas. No more Indians, Russians and anyone else being brought in to LOWER wages.
But, as I said, it won't happen unless we rid ourselves of that million ton democrap millstone we've been toting around for 4 decades. I think everyone knows this. Or should.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of snowflakes!

What would these self-appointed superior beings do if they found themselves kidnapped from the only homes they ever knew, chained into a ship, hauled across oceans, and put to work in horrible conditions for even more horrible people without any recompense whatsoever?

Just don't tell them that their champion is just as likely to do this to them as their ancestors did to the black population of the Americas. Life is all about his remuneration, after all. No one and nothing else matters.

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winning in 2020 won't do anything. They'll serve the money, try to bamboozle stupid voters and be voted out by 2022 anyway.

This is a repeat of the 2006-2008 gambit by Pelosi and reid to, hopefully, win both chambers and the WH in 2020.

But, as in 2008, they really are hobbled and hamstrung by the wishes of their corporate and billionaire owners as to what they can actually do. They certainly can't "do" JG or guaranteed income or MFA or stop wars or invoke Sherman wrt banks, telecoms or affect climate reforms... or anything else. So they really cannot do anything that we need them to do. So once that becomes plainly clear, in about 30 days after inauguration, they'll lose 15 million voters (possibly more this time) and we'll have a Nazi majority in congress in 2022 and then much worse than trump in 2024.

What was it that Santayana said??

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it'll become plainly clear when the 2020 pres starts naming corporate stooges in the cabinet and WH staff.

Yes, just like 2008.


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