A Retort to: “Trump’s Army of Angry White Men”

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By Jack Edwards |

Epilogue:

“Yonder: mounting the crest of the hill, the red wave rises. A sea of disgruntled ‘angry white men’, donning MAGA caps—adorned in their ‘wifebeaters’ and ‘camo’ cargo shorts—and most importantly, burning crosses…

All seems lost, you stand divided, and you have only literally ‘everyone else’ on your side. A melancholic gloom sets on the battlefield.

Then… A glimmer of hope is spied amongst the keener eyed of you. The red mist dissipates as the night draws on, and Republican triumph turns to dismay.

Joe Biden gives a rousing victory speech, shouting into the ether, a slew of gibberish in the rain. Meanwhile, Kamala Harris steps up and proclaims victory for Americans everywhere. The menace is defeated, and all can go back to normal.”

| Darren Halstead/Unsplash

Charles M.Blow’s article foretells of a magnificent story. But now we know, that is not quite how it worked out. The major networks have called the election for Joe Biden, including the Associate Press, who called it at 11:25 (ET) on Saturday (7/11/2020). Victory lays fairly firmly in Democrat hands as of writing this, but we are seeing an undercurrent of resistance. To allude to the fantastical story we begun with, it is as if the Trump supporters upon being knocked down in this election play-fight, have suddenly sprung up again, claiming foul-play, and wailing at how the game is played. But is there reason for tears? It is now when the real game begins.

Cases are being handed out left right and centre in the major swing states, with calls of voter fraud on a scale not seen before. On the night of the election the President took to Twitter to vent his frustration. Perhaps the peak of this was when Trump claimed—“for Electoral Vote purposes”—“Pennsylvania… the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina”, all of which at the time had a large Trump lead. It’s most likely that Trump had seen the delayed call of Florida, and wanted to get some more states under his belt, but most can agree he was probably pushing his luck here. Even before this however, Twitter was censoring his statements, with allegations of misinformation, as well as those of many other conservative voices. This raised concern—of course from Republicans— but even certain Democrats were concerned with how ready Twitter was, to step in and shut down these outlets.

Little of Trump’s ramblings have come into fruition, but there have been a few small victories. His wish that “ANY VOTE THAT CAME IN AFTER ELECTION DAY WILL NOT BE COUNTED!”, has slightly come true with a case won in Pennsylvania. It has been decided that voters who failed to confirm their identity by six days after election-night would be disqualified, and this has lessened Biden’s lead slightly, but not enough. Trump has switched from pushing for re-counts to favouring an overall ‘vote audit’ which would truly discount fraudulent votes.

Since then, Trump has taken to burning Fox News to the ground, largely for calling Arizona early, and suggests people should go watch Newsmax instead. This might seem asinine, but brings us back to an important point in Blow’s article, that “The Republican Party… is now without question the Party of Trump”. On the contrary, this claim seems very questionable indeed, and mainstream conservatism is tearing at the seams.

PEOPLE ARE MOST CERTAINLY ANGRY, AND CHARLES BLOW’S OPINIONS ONLY ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE.”

Ignoring those Republicans who had never been on board with President Trump, such as Mitt Romney, or George Bush, the silence from a lot of Republican figureheads is deafening. Those such as Nikki Haley, or Mitch McConnell, or even Marco Rubio, have either been quietly biding their time, or have accepted defeat. The established GOP has retained their power in the senate, and frankly, they’re seemingly willing to drop Trump for the furtherment of their own careers. The Republican Party was only ever Trump’s party as far as he would bring them to new heights. All I can say is—if Trump—through some absurd cataclysmic upheaval of the election, does manage to hold onto office, it will be the GOP’s heads on the chopping block, especially considering the firing of Chris Krebs who had been lauded for his bipartisan approach. The Sun Tzu proverb rings true: as Trump finds himself surrounded by enemies, his artful war against the establishment begins.

The ‘angry white men’ however, are not so willing to let Trump take the fall. Let’s dispel this charade that Blow devises; Trump is not fuelled solely through white disenfranchisement, but disenfranchisement on the whole. In fact, Trump’s losses according to the polls showed his most significant loss to be with white college educated men, whereas his greatest gains stood with black men as a whole. His other losses were with non-college educated white men and women, and Asians as a whole. He received his projected gains with Hispanics, who in terms of voter demographics, are known for a more socially conservative approach. All of this seems to suggest that Blow’s perceived ‘army’, were a lot more diverse in their ranks, and the saviour complex expressed in his article is unnecessary, unhelpful, and unwelcome.  

This doesn’t stop him taking a snide jab at Trump supporters, making the unnecessary claim that a majority of them do not possess a college degree, as they occupy blue collar positions in the economy. He goes on to state that “Trump’s base of mostly white men, mostly without a college degree, see him as the ambassador of their anger, one who ministers to their fear, consoles their losses and champions their victimhood.”. While Trump supporters are most likely not victims, Blow is right in suggesting that they are scared, they have lost out, but most importantly, they are angry, and not unrightfully so. This is a scary time to be living in, with a global pandemic destroying the world over, and those in the blue-collar industries stand to lose the most. Then people like Blow come in, to wail hysterically from their New York city flat, echoes of objectively false claims about how Trump has failed to denounce white supremacy, all the while belittling the worker as “foolish” and uneducated, and saying to them , as they get laid off, and have their places of work closed down, that it is in fact they, that hold the power. People are most certainly angry, and Charles Blow’s opinions only add fuel to the fire.

This manifests itself, as we saw with the “Million MAGA March” a couple of days ago. This showcases the definite undercurrent of support rising for Trump in his time of need, and no matter how many of Trump’s cases get thrown out, his diehard supporters will always rally to him. The cult of personality tightens its grip on democracy, and is about to perform a ‘shake-down’ like we’ve never seen before.

| Mohamed Nohassi/Unsplash

And now, we sit in silence. Of course Trump has not yet conceded, and the word ‘coup’ is being thrown around very haphazardly. The important thing for the Trump administration has always been the pieces in play. Just as in 2016, there must always be corruption, there has to be scandal, and Trump has to play the ‘hero’ against this insurmountable challenge. None of these factors necessarily have to be true, but the fact that they are factors plays right into Trump’s hands.

All of this seems rather mad. It’s only an election after all. If Blow seriously thinks “that the country can be reunited and this period forgotten.”, he truly doesn’t understand the situation, or even himself. His entire article sets out to create a dichotomy between the ‘enlightened’ Democrat, and the ignorant Trump supporter. The Democratic Party has aimed to define themselves by exactly what they are not, and what they are not is Trump. Under the banner of Biden, a relatively confused and muddled wave of opinions wrestle for their voice to be heard, but in their cacophony they fail to hear the sycophantic chanting of a million red capped soldiers marching up Capitol Hill, and it doesn’t matter what they’re saying, it matters that they’re there. Biden may seemingly have won the battle, but he has not won the war.

This article is in our Opinions section. As such the views within are those of the contributor and do not represent an editorial stance.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Falmouth University, the University of Exeter or Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union.

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