Progressives have stoked the flames of racial and cultural enmity for their own political gain over the entirety of President Barack Obama’s two terms in office. Elites of the progressive stripe twirl the butt of a pipe through their meek, uncalloused hands as they proclaim from the warmth of a posh metropolitan office that white people everywhere are the unknowing perpetrators of a system that genuflects before the altars of bigotry and racism. These elitist types, who sip slowly on venti lattes and wear scarves indoors, announce to the American people that white society at large ought to acknowledge with a burgeoning call amidst purgatorial pangs that they themselves have earned nothing. More so, the former call for white society to recognize that they are mere products of a racist structure that systematically disenfranchises all who are not heterosexual cisgender white men and therein lose themselves of their unconscious bigotry and prejudice. White folks are told by these same elites that they are so enveloped in their own privilege that they are unable to understand suffering, for their consolation in even the greatest of tragedies they face is that they aren’t of a minority identity.
The aforementioned, while remarkably haughty, preening and, most of all, supercilious, don’t serve as coverall for the sins of President-elect Donald Trump, who has tapped into a certain Alt-Right phenomenon that is pernicious and morally detestable. However, as someone who did not cast his vote for Trump, I challenge progressives to examine the ramifications of dividing the electorate into demographic subgroups who “ought” to think a certain way because of a supposed victim status.
The white steel mason from Wyoming who makes his living with his hands after losing both parents in a house fire as a child has little sympathy for the blithering of a cosmopolitan elite about his inability to know true pain. The white war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is sick of being told that because he voted Republican in the last three elections, he’s a covert racist bigot who is so unaware of his own moral blight that he is beyond reproach. The first-generation white college student from a rural community that turns out more farm hands than high school graduates is appalled to walk onto a college campus after tireless hours of both studying and field work throughout her childhood to be told in a mandatory “privilege walk” that she, by the mere fact of her skin color, could never know what it’s like to overcome obstacles, and her mere objection to such a claim is just further evidence of her unenviable privilege.
Trump’s win is not a “white-lash” as Van Jones of CNN described it. The majority of Trump voters, despite the cozy NowThis style narrative of some sort of white uprising of nativism, are men and women whose ideological inheritance that they wish to hand to their children was at stake with a vacant Supreme Court position. The position, if given to a liberal-leaning justice, could potentially nullify part of the First Amendment and the entirety of the Second Amendment by reversing the Citizen’s United case and the Heller decision, respectively.
However, for those who are typically politically apathetic, being told by someone who doesn’t know you and has assumedly never laid hands on anything resembling an instrument of manual labor in their lives that you’re a surreptitious racist is enough to evoke real anger, particularly if one is not a surreptitious racist. The Trump election signifies that people are sick of the paternalism of the intellectual elite and of the arrogance of ascribing ill-motives to entire subsets of the population because it serves as an excuse for a myriad of liberal thoughts in the blanket of tolerance.
Katrina Trinko of the Daily Signal — a multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation that includes conservative commentary and analysis — wrote a piece this week entitled “Donald Trump’s Win Wasn’t About Racism.” Trinko cites the following New York Magazine headline: “Trump Won a Lot of White Working-Class Voters Who Backed Obama.” Trinko explained her reaction to the piece and corroborating data from the Washington Post that “[makes] it almost certain some of Trump’s white voters were people who had voted for President Barack Obama — not exactly the hallmark trait of a racist.” Trump won more of the black and Hispanic vote than Romney did in 2012, according to NBC News Exit Polls. None of these numbers are to say that Trump did not say some virulent things on the campaign trail. However, it was America’s moment to tell the elites everywhere that they are sick of being divided along racial lines because it serves a particular political narrative. Moreover, progressive elites ought to take heed of their message.