With an election somewhat behind us, there are always post-mortems. It is best to hold off on sweeping analysis until all votes are tabulated and posted. An early ’16 analysis was that Trump did not find any new voters, but once all votes rolled in, yes, he did in fact switch many Obama voters and dredged up many first time or long time no vote voters. While the investigations into fraud continue, one thing that appears to have happened is slippage in the white vote. This is like Trump’s slip of a percentage point versus Romney’s ’12 haul as Trump went for a more strategically valuable 56% rather than W’s 2004 coalition 57%. Rough estimates put the Biden white vote share at 43%, which is a rise from Clinton’s 39%. Who exactly are these white voters? Let us explore the subcultures.
First, we have the exploiters. Someone has to cut the checks for the second group. These are the higher earners and politically employed who make their money off of the current high-low arrangement. While they may not be highly paid, the bureaucrat with a good wage, fat pension and sinecure gig is an empowered exploiter. One thing pollsters have noticed since the 1990s is the drift to the left by the high earners in America. This is not just college indoctrination but the very makeup of the economic earning source of the class. The prior generations’ high earner class was a small proprietor class and high wage earner group interested in low taxation and deregulation. That class has been crowded by an increasing number of credentialed citizens who owe the system something for their high earner status. Even small businessmen have become dependent on government bids for their bottom line.
These voters know the score. This is pecuniary interest. Their financial dominance exists because of the party spinning a better story. Woke capital allows pushers of unhealthy food to immediately deflect any criticism or regulation because to do so is fat shaming or thinness is white supremacy. This is a superior message to the Reaganite idea of personal responsibility, which would still admit that the food or drink is unhealthy. One ends the conversation quickly while the other leaves the poison of the product out there to be debated. This class is savvy, but even they fall prey to short sighted idiocy a la New York state’s new paid leave program which in five years’ time has quadrupled in cost or the threats to public pensions coming (convenient greedy scapegoats).
The next bloc are the true believers. This is the activist bloc of voters. These are the indoctrinated. They know the religious texts. They know the articles of faith. They are the true vanguard of the new faith. These voters skew young and childless. You saw them in the streets this spring. They are losing some spots in the system because while the ‘80s or ‘90s left wing employed white people to advocate on behalf of non-whites, enough non-whites have gone through the university system to staff the advocacy organizations with members of the specific group.
These voters know the score. Woke beliefs are important for them as is voting for the party that will rain money down on their sinecures. They want to get into sinecures, which is why they are deftly wielding wokeism as a club on their elders in hierarchies and institutions. These people are part of the low but are rewarded with high status for having the proper beliefs. The cliché of a barista with $50,000 in college debt but flush with feelings of moral superiority due to having the correct opinions exists for this slice of the white Democrat voter contingent. They are unwavering in their belief no matter the evidence because in the activist, academic, media, ngo realm they live in, belief is currency. The proper beliefs are reality for status within the ecosystem.
There is another bloc though. They benefited from Trump’s policies. They are not woke true believers and not exploiters. Not fully committed but are they even sentient? These voters are getting nothing out of this and earn no real currency in the woke industrial ecosystem and do not earn rewards from government contracts. They will never earn enough to have a safe footing like the wealthy, nor are they on track to teach about gender subversion and coding in children’s literature. These people also can see the messaging from both parties to know that the left’s minions and their elite very clearly want to shake them down and then laugh as they die off slowly. These are generally the clueless.
What motivates these people? In contrast to the prior two blocs, these voters are out of touch with reality. Wokeism denies nature and reality, but the system of beliefs provides rewards to believers, therefore becomes their means of sustenance and well being. Democrats do demonize the white community, but if one makes enough money or has a pecuniary interest, voting for the party means a happy material reality. The clueless work middling jobs and are outside the woke status system. We have a secret ballot system, therefore there is no consequence to one’s vote.
Their payoff is to act in a way that remakes reality in a manner that provides them a reward. There is no sinecure. There is no government contract. There is rewarding the nightly figure on the screen that tells them they are a wonderful person if they vote correctly. There is the internal reward of doing the good deed like they always did in school or even at work to earn the striver B+ or 4.5% raise instead of a 2.2% raise. They are not really blowing the system down or seeing the rewards of true high achievers who ace tests or get the promotion instead of just a meager raise, but the differential in outcome makes them feel good. It’s the dopamine hit to know someone thinks you made the good choice and to hear it rather than know you made the bad choice and hear disapproval from others. There are also the white voters who want to think they are part of the good or cool crowd.
They believe that if they do what makes those around them calm, the party’s policies that explicitly attack them, their communities and their way of life won’t apply. There is a slice of Biden voters who still said he was moderate. The Biden of 1995 was moderate as was 1995 Bill Clinton. Every piece of evidence from debates, website policy lists and campaign statements should have clued them into the fact that the shell is Joe Biden but the policies are woke 2020. In 2020, we have seen this desperate reality rearrangement with videos of white BLM supporters having bricks thrown at their windows inspiring shouts of “but we’re on your side” or homeowners pointing to their Biden lawn signs and asking protestors to move along and be peaceful. These examples are people who have nothing to gain by siding with the party, yet still siding with the party because the social atmosphere and their desire to alter an uncomfortable reality.
There is always a question of will American whites vote in a 65% or 70% bloc someday. It is unknown. Jury is out on how much of Trump’s support and popularity was his well-developed, charismatic personality versus the substance of his three big ideas: the American nation is a nation, reorient economics in American workers’ favor and avoid wars. Some liberal pundits want to say it is the sui generis of Trump. This is possible. It is also possible that someone who espouses Trump’s policies, has Trump’s machismo and vitalism but avoids Trump’s self-sabotaging moves where he goes one step too far could retain the Trump bloc and pull in 2020 defectors, pushing that white voter share to 63% nationally.
There is a ceiling unless voters defect from the exploiter class, but how much depends on the clueless middle feeling the heat. That is a question for the ‘20s though. A Biden administration is likely to put the Obama woke capital mask back on, strangle Bernie style initiatives and provide America with two scoops of policies labeled big business consolidation and wokeism, which others call Occupy Main Street. Kenosha burned and swung 5% more to Trump. This will keep happening as there are no brakes on the woke train. It just might be the case that these dwindling whites outside the woke system and shut off from the spoils game will figure out that distorting reality for small dopamine bursts via the ballot is no better than a heroin user going back for one last hit.