“Trump has bought them a future where the Party of Lincoln is going to become the party of pissed off 55-plus white guys with GEDs.” — Rick Wilson
I come from a white working-class background. So even though I was a “Never Trump” voter in 2016, the times when I came closest to voting for Donald Trump was when elitist snobs viciously attacked and insulted the white working class. If Democrats want to replace Trump, and if the more traditional conservatives want to wrest control of the party from Trump, they need to recognize how counterproductive their rhetoric was.
An example of this was when Mike Pence had dinner at Chili’s and was viciously personally attacked for it. How could you eat at a chain when there are so many wonderful gourmet restaurants around? But the white working class, many of whom like to go to sit-down chain restaurants, correctly saw this as an insult against them for being too simple and ignorant to enjoy the finer things in life.
Trump’s support among the white working class is based somewhat on policy, but is more based on a personal connection with Trump and a fondness for his pugilistic attitude. The white working class has been mocked, ridiculed, dismissed and smeared as a bunch of ignorant racist hicks, and Trump appealed directly to them. Even as one of the richest men in the world, Trump at heart “is a boy from Queens” who still eats at McDonald’s. Trump is also not shy about rhetorically punching the elite right in the face, which his base loves. They are tired of Republicans who never fight back, much less take the offensive.
Voting for Donald Trump was how people put two middle fingers in the face of the elite. When Democrats and the snobs in the Republican establishment belittled the white working class, it only increased their enthusiasm for Trump. They saw him as the one guy who would stick with them. This is also why Trump’s poll numbers are pretty much set in stone. His supporters are not going anywhere.