The idea that Racism is solely to blame for President-elect Donald Trump completely ignores the data available. It is true that racists, bigots, xenophobes, and Islamophobes voted for Donald Trump. But in addition are demographics which shifted away from politics-as-usual, likely because faith in government has fallen 23-17 percentage points since 2012.
Consider that Trump won a higher percentage of both black and Hispanic voters than Mitt Romney in 2012. The Pew Research Center also confirms that the number of women supporting Clinton over Trump was roughly the same as the number of women who supported Obama over Romney. Furthermore, Pew outlines that Trump won the white vote by almost the same margin as Romney over Obama. This creates the strong argument that the Obama coalition elected Donald Trump as their president.
It is easy to paint the results of this election with the “racism brush” and ignore the real driving factors behind Trump’s success. His constituents did not take Trump’s words literally, so they voted for the candidate they felt best capable of improving their economic lot in life. The consistent part of Trump’s appeal had more to do with “making America great again” (jobs), than it did with bigotry. People are angry because they make less money, not because of identity politics – the data backs this up.
If you live in NYC you might be inoculated from that anger. I moved here recently from Florida and I grew up in rural Michigan, both angry states that went to Trump. I have felt the anger that the “white working class” feels towards government. This anger is why Democrats did not just lose the Presidential election; the majority of governorships, state legislatures, senate races, and congressional races all skewed towards the Republicans – the elections were a slaughter. These results infer that rural Americans believe that Democrats no longer represent their interests or understand the difficulties they face.
Liberal elites live in a world in which they assume everyone is happy with the economic recovery. They think what they see in major metropolitan areas represents the rest of America. This assumption led Hillary Clinton to largely ignore Wisconsin and Michigan leading up to the election, and her strong criticisms of the coal industry likely alienated voters in Pennsylvania.
The “blue wall states” that Clinton was banking on, and thus the election, did not materialize because of the economy, not because of racism. Until the data says otherwise, it is irresponsible and arrogant to encourage Democrats to “double down” on identity politics, as opposed to a wider coalition of voters, as their way of recovering from a disastrous election.