Claude Fischer writes: “But what about the voters who shifted from voting for Obama to voting for Trump?, some analysts ask. Do they not demonstrate the greater importance of economic complaints over racism? First, it is not clear that there were really that many such switchers, although they may well have been exquisitely located in the Great Lakes region. Second, the anomaly was not their Trump vote, but their Obama vote. Remember that in November, 2008 the economy seemed to be in free fall and fear of a crash moved some would-have-been McCain voters to Obama. In 2012, some of those stayed with the incumbent as the economy slowly rebounded. But the two Obama elections seemed to mask a longer, deeper trend–displayed in the rise of the Tea Party–of growing cultural grievances driving votes for the GOP. …
However gripping the story of the WWC, its members account for a minor portion of Trump's eventual 46 percent. One analysis estimates that WWC voters made up only about one-eighth of the 2016 electorate, a bit less than they did in 2012. The bigger story is that middle class Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Trump.”
A Hirschmanian analysis, by Eyal Press in the New Yorker: "Hirschman was aware that exit could be ineffectual, even counterproductive. In his book he noted that, because the first people to leave failing institutions were the ones most sensitive to signs of deterioration, and most likely to serve as “creative agents of voice” if they stuck around, their departure could have perverse consequences, accelerating mismanagement and decline. But he saw this mainly as a problem in the business world (where, unlike in government, the impulse of “quality conscious” customers was to resort to “exit” rather than to “voice”). In the past year, though, it has become apparent that it is no less of a problem in the political arena, both at agencies like the E.P.A. and in another institution from which people concerned about dysfunction have been leaving: the Republican Party."
Ryan Enos on Twitter: "we are looking for the wrong signs of the death of democracy. It will not die through fascism … Rather it will suffocate through legal means. Just in the last few days, the President and his supporters have threatened to use the courts to stop investigations and block critical writing. As Levitsky and Ziblatt show, this is a common pattern of late 20th century autocrats - using the institutions of government to make dissent, not illegal, but difficult. We should be very worried."
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