Why Trump Supporters Distrust Immigration and Diversity

But is he addressing legitimate interest-group concerns or is he pandering to racial fears? There is a rather one-sided debate over what motivates Mr. Trump and his supporters. A wave of new books and articles still invoke stereotypes trotted out on election night: Mr. Trump’s “angry white voters” were motivated by racism, resentment, “whitelash,” declining economic or social status, irrational fears of economic or demographic change, or all of the above. They are deluded, confused “Strangers in Their Own Land,” as suggested by the title of a book by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild.

.. “the diversity machine.” This powerful policy juggernaut has quietly and questionably blended together two trends that threaten working- and middle-class whites.

.. It’s the old story of costs and benefits of building America on the backs of cheap immigrant labor.

.. Economic competition fuels ethnic antagonism — and nativism, racism and the like.

.. There has been very little scholarly or public attention paid to a second policy trend that intensified the antagonism born of this ethnically split labor market. In the 1990s, affirmative action’s original mission to right past wrongs against African-Americans was transformed into an expanded list of preferences in the workplace and in higher education for immigrant subgroups (for example, Hispanics, Asians or Pacific Islanders).

.. from 2013 to 2016, medical schools in the United States accepted 94 percent of blacks, 83 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of whites and 58 percent of Asians with top MCAT scores of 30 to 32 and grade-point averages of 3.6 to 3.8;
.. The presidential candidates in 2016 were largely silent on affirmative action, but Mr. Trump said in 2015 that he was “fine with it” though “it’s coming to a time when maybe we don’t need it.”
.. Institutional racism remains a problem, as does immigration and the balancing of assimilation and pluralism. But identity politics and identity policies may have become too divisive and complicated in both theory and practice.

The Big Idea This Is What the Future of American Politics Looks Like

This year, we’re seeing the end of a partisan realignment, and the beginning of a policy one — and U.S. politics is about to change big-time.

What we’re seeing this year is the beginning of a policy realignment, when those new partisan coalitions decide which ideas and beliefs they stand for — when, in essence, the party platforms catch up to the shift in party voters that has already happened. The type of conservatism long championed by the Republican Party was destined to fall as soon as a candidate came along who could rally its voters without being beholden to its donors, experts and pundits.

.. During the Democratic primary, pundits who focused on the clash between Clinton and Sanders missed a story that illuminated this shift: The failure of Jim Webb’s brief campaign for the presidential nomination. Webb was the only candidate who represented the old-style Democratic Party of the mid-20th century — the party whose central appeal was among white Southerners and Northern white “ethnics.”

.. But by 2016, Webb lacked a constituency, and he was out of place among the politicians seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, which included one lifelong socialist (Bernie Sanders) and two candidates who had been raised as Republicans (Hillary Clinton and, briefly, Lincoln Chafee).

.. Like his brother, Jeb pushed a neo-Reaganite synthesis of support for a hawkish foreign policy, social conservatism, and cuts in middle-class entitlements to finance further tax cuts for the rich. From the Reagan era until recently, the GOP’s economic policies have been formulated by libertarians, whose views are at odds with those of most Republican voters.

.. If Trump is defeated, what is left of the GOP establishment might try to effect a restoration of the old economic dogma of free trade, mass immigration and entitlement cuts. But sooner or later, a Republican Party platform with policies that most of the party’s core voters reject will be revised or abandoned—over the objections of libertarian Republican party donors and allied think tanks and magazines, if necessary.


Why is this all happening now? Because the decades-long “culture war” between religious conservatives and secular liberals is largely over.

.. For a generation, the Democratic Party has included both free traders and protectionists — but support for abortion rights and, more recently, gay rights have been litmus tests for Democratic politicians with national ambitions.

.. For multicultural globalists, national boundaries are increasingly obsolete and perhaps even immoral. According to the emerging progressive orthodoxy, the identities that count are subnational (race, gender, orientation) and supranational (citizenship of the world). While not necessarily representative of Democratic voters, progressive pundits and journalists increasingly speak a dialect of ethical cosmopolitanism or globalism — the idea that it is unjust to discriminate in favor of one’s fellow nationals against citizens of foreign countries.

.. For the new, globally minded progressives, the mere well-being of American workers is not a good enough reason to oppose immigration or trade liberalization. It’s an argument that today’s progressive globalists have borrowed from libertarians: immigration or trade that depresses the wages of Americans is still justified if it makes immigrants or foreign workers better off.

.. Even progressives who campaign against trade deals feel obliged by the logic of ethical cosmopolitanism to justify their opposition in the name of the labor rights of foreign workers or the good of the global environment.


.. The Republicans will be a party of mostly working-class whites, based in the South and West and suburbs and exurbs everywhere. They will favor universal, contributory social insurance systems that benefit them and their families and reward work effort—programs like Social Security and Medicare. But they will tend to oppose means-tested programs for the poor whose benefits they and their families cannot enjoy.

They will oppose increases in both legal and illegal immigration, in some cases because of ethnic prejudice; in other cases, for fear of economic competition. The instinctive economic nationalism of tomorrow’s Republicans could be invoked to justify strategic trade as well as crude protectionism. They are likely to share Trump’s view of unproductive finance: “The hedge-fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”

The Democrats of the next generation will be even more of an alliance of upscale, progressive whites with blacks and Latinos, based in large and diverse cities. They will think of the U.S. as a version of their multicultural coalition of distinct racial and ethnic identity groups writ large. Many younger progressives will take it for granted that moral people are citizens of the world, equating nationalism and patriotism with racism and fascism.

The withering-away of industrial unions, thanks to automation as well as offshoring, will liberate the Democrats to embrace free trade along with mass immigration wholeheartedly. The emerging progressive ideology of post-national cosmopolitanism will fit nicely with urban economies which depend on finance, tech and other industries of global scope, and which benefit from a constant stream of immigrants, both skilled and unskilled.

.. In the expensive, hierarchical cities in which Democrats will be clustered, universal social insurance will make no sense. Payroll taxes on urban workers will be too low to fund universal social insurance, while universal social benefits will be too low to matter to the urban rich. So the well-to-do in expensive, unequal Democratic cities will agree to moderately redistributive taxes which pay for means-tested benefits—perhaps even a guaranteed basic income—for the disproportionately poor and foreign-born urban workforce. As populist labor liberalism declines within the Democratic party, employer-friendly and finance-friendly libertarianism will grow. The Democrats of 2030 may be more pro-market than the Republicans.

.. More important than unscientific Census classifications will be how the growing Latino population votes. Trump’s unpopularity among Latino voters is likely to help the Democrats in the short run. But Democrats cannot assume they’ll have a solid Latino voting bloc in the future.

Cruz, Rubio, and the Moral Bankruptcy of Progressive Identity Politics

Because white progressives have engineered a cultural system where black and Latino politicians deserve respect only if they get with the progressive program — the entire progressive program.

.. Just ask formerly pro-life Jesse Jackson. Not even marching with Martin Luther King Jr. could protect him from the intolerant demands of progressive sexual revolutionaries. He had to switch sides.

Republicans: Harsh Talk

“Republicans often seem to think if they could just get beyond immigration issues there’d be all kinds of opportunities for them with Latino voters,” John Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron, says. “That’s a little like saying if we could just get beyond civil rights we’d be good with black voters.”

.. Last month, at a candidates’ forum in Plano, Texas, the conservative activist Ralph Reed proposed a strategy that ignores the issue altogether: Republicans should just focus on the evangelical vote, which, he claimed, is “larger than the African-American vote, the Latino vote, the feminist vote, the gay vote, and the union vote combined.” He was resurrecting a popular G.O.P. theory that President Obama was reëlected only because millions of conservative, and especially evangelical, voters went “missing” in 2012. All the 2016 Republican nominee has to do is get those voters to return to the polls.

.. Before the start of last month’s debate, representatives from conservative Latino groups gathered in Boulder to issue some warnings about what would happen if the Party didn’t distance itself from extreme immigration politics. Their message was of a piece with the 2012 report, but even more blunt. Rosario Marin, who served as the U.S. Treasurer under President George W. Bush, said, “Don’t expect us to come to your side during the general election. You are not with us now, we will not be with you then. You don’t have our vote now, you won’t have it then. You insult us now, we will be deaf to you then.”