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Trump voters are racist

Man, reading any website over the past week gives me the impression that 50% of Americans are really evil and racist.

There's a big unspoken myth that during the run-up to an election, everybody listens to the candidates and weighs the options and decides who to vote for. So when Trump gets almost half the vote, that half must really like him and his ideals!

But… so few people actually do this that it's not worth considering them. Almost everybody who votes knows who they're (not) going to vote for long before the candidates are announced. Maybe there are a few tenths of a percent wobbling between one of the major candidates and a third party, but I sincerely doubt more than a rounding error worth of voters were having a difficult time choosing between Clinton and Trump.

As I mentioned last time, there was no new surge in Republican voters who rushed out to racistly vote for Trump. Pretty much the same number of people voted Republican this time as did the previous 2 times. In fact, it was almost certainly the same people, give or take the new young voters and dead ex-voters.

Campaigning is 99.9% about motivating people who already agree with you to actually, you know, get out and vote. So Trump managed to get the same people who voted Republican last time to vote for him this time, partially through some people agreeing with him, and partially through the Republican voters not wanting a Democrat elected.

Clinton lost because far fewer people came out to vote for her than the previous 2 elections. The people who voted for Clinton were Barack Obama voters, but not all of the Barack Obama voters came out this time (see also: election lessons).


But, are the people who did vote for Trump racist? Obviously some are. Some are capital-R Racist, and it doesn't take much Googling to find them, but most are just the normal lowercase-r kind like most of us are, give or take. I personally know some of both. I won't say which, and I don't care to speculate on the ratio (and I know many Democratic voters who are as well, but usually more unconsciously).

But, I know that most of the people who voted for Trump would have voted Republican pretty much no matter who was running. I mean, if literal Hitler or literal Stalin was running they'd have switched, or at least stayed home, but short of that they'd have voted Republican. To them, Clinton was the embodiment of corruption, welfare-statism, elitism, and… well… evil.

To them, no matter how bad Trump seemed, Clinton was worse. That's what political beliefs are all about: The other side is always stupid and/or evil, always. (In 2008, I heard all about how Obama was going to ban all guns, form a domestic army of "brownshirts" to literally take over, and turn the US into a socialist dystopia. I'm no fan of the ACA ("Obamacare"), but it hardly makes him Trotsky. And I was assured a 2004 George Bush was going to lock up the Muslims.)

And Democrats are no exception: How many people voted against Donald, rather than for Hillary? How many would have voted that way no matter what? Honestly, a week before the election it could have come out that she personally held a Hooray For The Benghazi Attack! party, and her vote numbers would be nearly identical. Politics make people stupid.

People talk about Fox News and Breitbart spreading a dumb conservative version of the news, but I've been reading mostly liberal sources, so I know they have been spinning Trump news in the most ridiculous ways, too. Trump is a terrible person with terrible ideas who will most likely make a terrible president, but wow the reporting of him from "liberal" sources was, well, terrible.

Examples? Well, I'd been thinking about making a post like this since the election, but another article sparked and inspired me. So, for further reading, try: You are still crying wolf.

2016-11-18 #politics  

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