Voting for your oppressor
Are you, like me, wondering why so many people have voted for four more years of Trump’s immoral and dangerous “leadership”? Black columnist Charles M. Blow thinks it’s because “some people who’ve been historically oppressed,” weirdly, want to be like their oppressors. In “Exit Polls Point to the Power of White Patriarchy,” published in today’s New York Times (11-5-20), Blow says, “It’s obscene that the presidential race is too close to call at the time this column is published: Wednesday at 6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. After all that Donald Trump’s done, all the misery he’s caused, all the racism he’s aroused, all the immigrant families he’s destroyed, all the people who’ve left this life because of his mismanagement of a pandemic, still roughly half of the country voted to extend his horror show.
White people – men and women – were the only group in which a majority voted for Trump, according to exit polls. Not only did a majority of white men vote for Trump this year, so did a majority of white women (more than in 2016), despite the fact that Trump has spent his first term, indeed his whole life, denigrating women. It’s unsettling that so many of our fellow countrymen and women are either racists or accommodate or acquiesce to racists. But, that’s only part of what was shocking to me about the preliminary exit polls (that don’t include people who voted early or by mail). Compared to 2016, a larger percentage of every racial minority voted for Trump this year. Among Blacks and Hispanics, this percentage grew among both men and women, although men were more likely to vote for Trump than women. Only 3 or 4% of Black women voted for the Republican candidate in 2008, 2012 and 2016. However, Donald Trump doubled that number this year, winning 8% of Black women’s votes. In 2008, 5% of Black men voted for John McCain; in 2012, 11% voted for Mitt Romney; in 2016, 13% voted for Trump; and, this year 18% voted for Trump.
The percentage of L.G.B.T. people voting for Trump doubled from 2016, moving from 14% to 28%. In Georgia the number was 33%. This for a president who’s attacked trans people in every way imaginable. As the Human Rights Campaign president, Alphonso David, pointed out in June, “The Trump-Pence administration is the most virulently anti-LGBTQ administration in decades.” This strong move toward Trump may be driven by men. In September, the gay social network Hornet published the result of a survey of 10,000 of its users that found that 45% of the gay men on it planned to vote for Trump. As the company wrote on its blog, ‘The idea that gay men, a demographic that typically skews left, would vote for Donald Trump at a higher percentage than U.S. citizens overall would no doubt be very surprising were it to happen. And another surprise: 10% of the American gay men who took Hornet’s survey say they “do not support [Donald Trump] at all,” but will vote for him nonetheless.’
All of this to me points to the power of the white patriarchy and the coattail it has for those who depend on or aspire to it. Trump’s privileged chest thumping, alpha-male dismissiveness, and in-your-face rudeness are aspirational to some men and appealing to some women. Some people who have historically been oppressed will stand with the oppressors, and will aspire to power by proximity.”
This is as sick as sick can be. I’m beginning to want to get away from this kind of insanity so much that I’d be willing to move to a another country (except that no countries will accept Americans right now because of Trump’s mishandling of the corona virus). Or, split the U.S. into two or more independent parts, so that I could live in a country dominated by sane, blue-state people, so that I’d never have to see another monster pickup truck flying Trump (or other fascist) flags again. I try not to be close-minded or discriminatory, but Trump and his supporters horrify and disgust me.