Race, class and the election of Trump

Grey, Barry
Date Written:  2016-11-10
Publisher:  World Socialist Web Site (ICFI)
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20135

An analysis on the 2016 US presidential election.


Media pundits and Democratic Party operatives are presenting the electoral rout that gave Donald Trump the presidency as an expression of pervasive racism and sexism in the "white working class."

Typical of the post-election attempts to make race the central issue are the remarks of CNN commentator and former Obama aide Van Jones, who said of Trump's victory: "This was a white-lash against a changing country" and "against a black president."

The New York Times' Eduardo Porter wrote in Wednesday's edition that the collapse of Clinton and the Democrats "paints a troubling portrait of American society." It is, he declared, "one dominated by racial hostility, which stands above any other consideration…"


The interpretation of the 2016 election through the prism of race and, to a lesser extent, gender, stands in glaring contradiction to the facts. The electorate that defeated Clinton -- the multimillionaire personification of the political status quo -- had voted twice to put Barack Obama in the White House.


That economic issues were the central concern of working class voters is shown in the fact that eight years after the official end of the Great Recession, 62 percent of voters, according to exit polls, rated the economy’s condition negatively, rising to 85 percent of Trump voters.


Another expression of the deep anger expressed in the Trump vote is the number of states voting for the Republican candidate that had voted for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race, including Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Indiana and Idaho.

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