The UVA-IASC survey highlighted the political and cultural gulf between upscale, predominately Democratic whites and downscale, predominately Republican whites.
The first group, “the Social Elite” in UVA-IASC’s terminology, is made up of whites with advanced degrees. They are 49 percent Democratic, 16.8 percent Republican. 87.5 percent say the Democratic Party represents their views very or fairly well, compared to zero percent who say the Republican Party represents them very well and 24.2 percent who say that it does so “fairly well.” They plan to vote for Clinton over Trump by 74.3 to 14.1 percent.
The second group, termed “the Disinherited” in the UVA-IASC survey, comprises religiously conservative whites without college degrees. Republicans outnumber Democrats 52.3 to 11.1, and 60.9 percent say the Republican Party represents their views very or fairly well. They plan to vote for Trump by 74.3 to 13.5 percent.
…More affluent and well-educated white voters have substantially different policy agendas from their less affluent and less well-educated fellow citizens.
First, the downscale whites.
Nearly half say they feel alienated from contemporary America (“a stranger in their own land”), that they have little or no power to change the course of events — 84.4 percent believe public officials do not care “what people like me think.” 83.5 percent agreed that “in general, Americans lived more moral and ethical lives 50 year ago.”
These voters are convinced (72.6 percent) that they can no longer get ahead in America through hard work, and that the government in Washington threatens the freedom of “ordinary Americans” (75.3 percent). In a nation where same-sex marriage has gained public acceptance and gays routinely appear in television and movies, 54.9 percent of these voters say their own “beliefs and values” are different from those of gays and lesbians, and 66.2 percent oppose requiring every state to permit same-sex marriages.
White evangelical Protestants have the bleakest view of all: “Nearly three-quarters (74%) say American culture has changed for the worse since the 1950s.”
The origins of this bleak evangelical view–a new anti-Americanism of the right–lie in the bitter social and cultural conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s my dad and I helped foment.
As long as the white underclass combines a belief in the Bible as “true” with the view that actual information is “rigged” and only alternative “information” be that about climate change, evolution or a “woman’s place” is reliable… no amount of job training will help.
The white underclass can’t be helped. They are prisoners of their own minds.
While most Americans head to college or a job, learn to use a new app or read a book, The Disinherited head to the Creation Museum or another gun show.
When floods rise and heat destroys they see God’s judgment or a foreshadowing of the End Times not a call to examine the science of human-caused environmental destruction. Meanwhile the rest of us have to cope with what amounts to the ravings of 30 million village idiots who have a nasty habit of vindictively engaging in society wide vandalism of our social fabric.
And these days the white underclass have been given a new voice by the world’s biggest Loser’s Loser. Call this a murder-suicide pact: Trump is murdering the last hope of a return to sanity for the white underclass, and they in turn are committing moral and intellectual suicide. A vote for Hillary Clinton is — therefore — a declaration that the rest of us aren’t willing to kill ourselves too.
P.S. If you want to know a little more about where I’m coming from and my perspective on politics, religion and the intersection of faith and life– here’s a new movie about me. (It’s below the poster on YouTube) scroll down and watch it for free…
WATCH “Let me be FRANK” HERE:
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Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Available now on Amazon
Please read about my journey through then out of the religious right and Republican Party.