A recently-released research study sheds light on the values of white working-class voters in the United States and the reasons these voters strongly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Three researchers from three different universities authored the study, titled “White Working-Class Views on Belonging, Change, Identity and Immigration.”
Open Society Foundations, a network of political organizations controlled by left-wing billionaire George Soros, funded the study.
The trio of researchers conducted the study by visiting four places between August 2016 and March 2017: Birmingham, Alabama; Dayton, Ohio; Tacoma, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona; and — for some reason — the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
The researchers spoke candidly with over 400 people who identify as members of the white working class.
They found that in 2016, Trump was the ‘hope and change’ candidate for white working-class voters and the participants in the study say they view Trump as “strong” and “hardworking.”
The Trump campaign “personified an insurgent, anti-establishment rage against ‘politics as normal,’” according to the study participants.
“In many ways, Trump was the hope and change candidate in 2016, as Obama had been in 2008, albeit representing different constituencies.”
Some Trump voters say they were “appalled by” some of Trump’s statements during the campaign but “they valued that he was a ‘straight talker’” who appeared “‘direct’ and ‘honest’ in contrast with his opponents during the Republican primaries and the presidential campaign.”
White working-class voters strongly favored Trump’s stance against illegal immigration and his promise to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement. They believe the NAFTA agreement has been the cause of factory closures across the nation.
These voters also say they appreciated Trump’s many symbolic economic gestures — “for example: Trump donning a miner’s safety helmet” at June 2016 rally in West Virginia to promote coal production.
Large swathes of Trump voters say they feel “disconnected and disrupted by the conflation of economic and cultural change,” according to the study.
“Trump’s message — ‘Make America Great Again’ — connected with white working-class communities who looked back at a golden past and hoped for a better future,” the authors of the study say.
The study found that Trump hit a very deep, very raw cultural and economic nerve when white working-class participants in the study spoke of living “pay check to pay check” as a permanent economic reality.
Trump was able to tap into the economic and cultural angst of white working-class voters by speaking in terms of their values. “The sense that at long last someone had decided to talk about sensitive issues such as the impact of immigration on communities provided a basis for Trump to access a deep well of grievances and concerns.”
At the same time, the study found that many Trump-supporting members of the white working class hate Hillary Clinton much more than they approve of Trump.
Many study participants describe Clinton as a duplicitous elitist who is “very much outside a core set of working-class values.”
The study also found that the common denominator among people who see themselves as members of the white working class is a shared set of values. These values include an ethic of hard work, honesty and charity. Also critically important is an ability to provide for your family without depending on welfare.
White working-class voters seemed to vote for Trump additionally because they are sick and tired of political correctness and identity politics.
White working-class Trump supporters “feel muzzled” by politically correct dogma. They see political correctness “not as preventing abusive language related to race or gender” but instead as “a government and media campaign that prevents people from speaking in a direct way.”
“We can’t even say what we feel,” says a Tacoma interviewee who voted for Trump because “he’s actually saying this stuff that many people across America are thinking.”
Furthermore, the study participants think “white privilege” is a bunch of nonsense and concludes that “the working class has been abandoned or exiled by the Democrats.”
If you voted for Trump, what were your reasons? Sound off in the comments below!
H/T The Daily Caller