“Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.” — Source.
The decline of the American labor movement is one of the factors that has led liberals to lose touch with working class voters who have only a high school education, and to look down on them.
I remember my first impression of Barack Obama in 2007 when he gave a rather dry and uninspiring speech in North Carolina: he was an elitist egghead in the tradition of Adlai Stevenson.
He grew beyond that first impression, but in some sense it still remains.
Bill Clinton when he first ran for president talked about the intelligence, wisdom and generosity of his gas station attendant. The working class were his people, his neighbors, in Arkansas. “But for fate, we, the fortunate, and the unfortunate might have been each other,” he said in his first inaugural address.
Hillary grew up in a relatively affluent suburb of Chicago, Park Ridge. She did not have a natural affinity for working class people. It’s hard to imagine Hillary Clinton visiting with a gas station attendant outside of a campaign. She’s had a full-time chauffeur since at least 1992, and hasn’t driven a car since 1996.
No one, to my knowledge, asked her if she knew the price of milk and bread. This, and her overall lifestyle, might lead to a sense of isolation from the struggles of everyday Americans. However, she certainly had detailed policy proposals to address the economic limitations on everyday working people, and far better command of the issues than Donald Trump. Unfortunately, her policy positions were never much of a focus of media attention.
Liberals, especially liberal intellectuals, are not the only ones out of touch with or looking down on working class voters. The conservative National Review, which strongly resisted Trump, ran a scathing account of white working class “losers” during the 2016 campaign. “They failed themselves,” the author declared.
Emmett Rensin: “There is a smug style in American liberalism. It has been growing these past decades. It is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them.” Details.