Can we stop coddling some of them?
But in the immediate present the dominant narrative for explaining the rise of Donald Trump and his fascist movement has been centered upon the ‘white working class’ and its purported ‘economic anxiety’.
For a variety of reasons this is a compelling story for the American corporate news media – the pundits and other elite opinion leaders.
The white economic anxiety narrative is simplistic.
It is also the result of a type of ‘path dependence’ where the answers being offered about the 2016 election outcome are largely a function of the questions being asked – and where journalists look for answers.
The white economic anxiety thesis is also a way for a pundit class — the majority of whom are white and from a very narrow socioeconomic background — to ignore the enduring power of racism and sexism in American society.
Here a belief that it must be something other than racism (and sexism) that won Trump the election functions as a conceptual blinder for analysts and commentators who want to deny the ugly truth about the values and beliefs held by their fellow (white) Americans.
In all these factors are part of an effort – albeit a superficial one – to empathize with the supposed pain and anger of white working-class voters who feel ‘left behind’ and by doing so to normalize their egregious, irresponsible and hateful decision to support Donald Trump.
Most importantly the economic-anxiety thesis is in many ways incorrect.