Donald Trump has all but clinched the Republican nomination. Pundits, political analysts, and indeed sane people throughout the globe have been struggling to figure out how the hell his campaign has managed to be so successful. New research is shedding light on the Trump phenomenon and is proving what many of us already suspected: Trump supporters really are just a bunch of angry racists.
Researchers examined the American National Election Studies 2016 pilot study in an effort to better understand the attitudes of Trump supporters. Included in the dataset were feeling thermometer questions which allowed respondents to rate various political figures and ethnic groups on a scale from 1 to 100, with one being cold or unfavorable feelings, and 100 being very warm or favorable feelings.
The findings though sickening, were not particularly surprising.
Trump supporters are more likely than supporters of other Republican candidates to have negative feelings towards feminists, Muslims, Latinos, Gays and Lesbians, and Transgender people. In contrast, Trump supporters have far warmer feelings towards whites than supporters of other candidates.
Trump supporters are more likely to have unfavorable feelings towards these groups even after controlling for race, party identification, ideology, family income, education, and age. These findings also held true when compared to supporters of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. In contrast, Trump’s feelings towards whites were far more favorable than supporters of any other candidate.
The study also found that as feelings of racial identity, or ethnocentrism, increased in Trump supporters, unfavorable feelings towards Muslims and Latinos increased as well. However, this does not hold true for supporters of other Republican candidates. “This is strong evidence that white racial identity plays a more important role in how Trump supporters evaluate people of color compared to those who support other candidates.”
Analysts also found that 61 percent of Trump supporters said that being an American is “extremely” important to their identity, compared to 37 percent of non-Trump supporters. Only half of Republican respondents who did not support Trump said that being an American is “extremely” important to their identity. Among Trump supporters, feelings about their own racial group strongly correlated to attitudes of racial resentment and how they perceive their identity as Americans. “For white Trump supporters, positive feelings about white people increase dramatically as the importance of American identity increases.” Once again this did not hold true for conservatives who support other Republican candidates.
The ANES questionnaire also showed that a whopping 64 percent of Trump supporters believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim. This is in contrast to non-Trump supporters of which only 25 percent still think Obama is a Muslim. Among Republicans who do not back Trump, 42 percent are convinced that Obama is a Muslim.
Donald Trump has Made America Hate Again with his bigoted rhetoric. He is no longer speaking in the coded language of the past several decades, rather he spews his racist vitriol from the rooftops and encourages his supporters to do the same, under the guise of shunning political correctness, of course. He has taken the so-called “Southern Strategy” to an entirely new level. Lee Atwater explained this approach as follows:
You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”
This new research explains why Trump supporters continue to back to him even though he has no viable policies, has been caught in lie after lie, and in general is nothing more than a bigoted loudmouth that can barely string together a coherent sentence. As long as he continues in his xenophobic ways his supporters will continue to love him. They don’t want to Make America Great Again, they want to Make America White Again. And DOnald Trump is just the man for the job.
Featured image via Joe Raedle/Getty Images
April has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.