By Rod Dreher
If you have a serious interest in politics, you should be reading columnist Thomas Edsall in The New York Times. He’s a liberal, but he’s much more interested in deep data analysis than in making ideological points. In his most recent column, he writes about research findings showing that liberals who are quick to call whites racist actually drive them into Trump’s arms.
It’s fascinating stuff. Excerpts:
“Our thing is to throw gasoline on the resistance,” Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to Trump, told Vanity Fair last December. “I love it. When they talk about identity politics, they’re playing into our hands.”
Trump and his allies are capitalizing on a decades-long fight over immigration policy that they believe will galvanize more voters on the right than on the left, generating sufficient enthusiasm among Trump’s supporters to counter an energized Democratic electorate. The unpleasant reality is that a number of recent analyses based on psychological, sociological and political research provide a logical basis for the incendiary Trump-Miller-Bannon strategy.
Here’s the gist of that strategy:
Trump’s rhetoric — migrants “infest” and “invade our country” — is intended not only to intensify the anti-immigrant views of his supporters, but also to encourage liberals and Democrats to accuse him and his supporters of bigotry. Trump’s tactics are based on the conviction of many of his voters that opposition to immigration is not a form of racism. They deeply resent being called racist for anti-immigrant views they consider patriotic and, indeed, principled.
Edsall cites results from a survey done by Eric Kauffman at the University of London. Study this chart:
I was astonished by the data. It confirmed my intuitions, but there it is, in black and white — or rather, in blue and red. To the overwhelming majority of liberals, wanting to limit immigration to preserve the cultural status quo is an act of evil. As racism, along with homophobia, is one of the sins that call out to liberal heaven to be avenged, well, no wonder Democratic candidates are now calling for the abolition of ICE, and open borders (either openly or cagily).
Edsall quotes Kauffman, one of the world’s leading political scientists studying this stuff, further:
Kaufmann contends that the racism charge has been a crucial factor in driving a rise in right-wing populism, in the United States and abroad:
Antiracist overreach on the immigration question arguably underlies the populist western backlash against elites. Cultural conservatives care deeply about the effects of immigration and resent being told their thoughts and voting behavior are racist. They hold elites responsible for enforcing antiracist norms — in the workplace, government and mainstream media — beyond the bounds of what they consider appropriate.
Kaufmann expanded on his views is an email:
I think liberal norm policing on immigration is a major contributing factor to right
Via:: American Conservative
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