If people who oppose Donald Trump’s bid for the Presidency want to sabotage their own position, the easiest way to do that is to mock and insult working-class whites who support him.
You have probably seen the memes are floating around social media. Trump supporters are white trash, inbred redneck know-nothings motivated by hate and bigotry. They are clueless about the facts. The memes are often accompanied by unflattering photographs along the lines of what you see on “The people of Wal-Mart” or other websites that exist to mock America’s favorite target group.
But let’s face a bit of reality: Trump has struck a chord with working-class white voters. In fact, Trump is dominating Hillary Clinton in polls among voters without a college education. Working-class whites feel they have been ignored while politicians – especially the elites of both parties – are looking out for everyone but them. Many of those people see Trump as their hero and the one candidate who will look out for them. Whether that support is justified or not, it is there and is a political reality.
So when working-class whites see Democrats, Libertarians, independents and #NeverTrump Republicans insulting Trump supporters as white trash, what do you think their reaction will be? Do you think they will rethink their support for Trump or that they will be hardened in their support of him? What about working-class whites who are on the fence but considering Trump? Do you really think insulting them will convince them Trump is a bad choice? It is much more likely that Trump will gain their votes.
I suspect the cultural antipathy toward working-class whites is at least some of what is driving the backlash against “political correctness” among those voters. They feel (and this is justified) that they are the only group that it is culturally acceptable to bash, ridicule, stereotype and mock. Working-class whites (especially white men working in industries like construction) took some of the hardest hits during the 2008 recession. It is not surprising when they embrace someone who positions himself as their hero. And again, it does not matter whether that support is justified. You have to deal with reality.
I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. I have expressed frustration with his voters during the primary election. But disagreements on ideological or strategic grounds is a far cry from the hateful rhetoric and stereotyping of working-class whites we are seeing from some on the anti-Trump side. That sort of attitude plays into Trump’s hands and he is a master at exploiting it. It is really simple, actually: Nobody likes a snob, except for other snobs. Embracing snobbery is the most effective way to support Trump that I can think of.