IV. It’s not bad that white working class folks are getting some (sympathetic) attention from the press.
It is bad that it is mainly white working class folks who are getting the attention.
V. However much race and class are fused in the US, they are nonetheless separable. Those in the WWC who embrace Trump do so more in the name of their whiteness than their class.
Have their been breakdowns of union member support for the candidates? Do white union members put class before whiteness? What are the conditions under which white workers choose one candidate over the other?
Unionism is no barrier to racism—not by a long shot—but union membership, to the extent that it raises consciousness of one’s class status, might therefore blunt the primacy of whiteness.
VI. It’s worth pointing out, of course, that, during the primary season, the median income of Trump supporters was $72,000 while that for Clinton (and Sanders) was about 61 grand—in all cases, above the national median income of $56,000. And a Pew poll of general election preferences showed that Clinton did better both among $100,000+ voters (51 to 43%) and those making less than 30 grand (62 to 33%); they more-or-less tied in the two middle income categories.
Given how the Pew survey numbers are presented, however, it is difficult to draw any conclusions about the percentage of white working class voters who support Clinton or Trump. That overwhelming percentages of black and Hispanic voters support Clinton suggests that she’s drawing from all classes. And while Pew didn’t offer any numbers on Asian-American voters, 538 highlights a National Asian American Survey showing a clear movement of most groups away from Republicans and toward Democrats.
On thing that can be concluded is that Democrats are ethnically diverse and Republicans, increasingly, are not.
And that’s going to matter—although how, at this point, I can’t say.
I fear the possibilities.