It’s very quiet at our house. Karla and I don’t know what to say to one another. We are devastated and depressed.
There is more than Trump’s victory to be depressed about. It is widely assumed that time and demographics are on the Democrats’ side. The thought is that the shrinking proportions of white voters bodes well for the assembled minorities with somewhat liberal tendencies. But this election proved the impotence of the white voter is still in the future. And it may be a distant future.
After all, our voting turnout is still embarrassingly low. The white working class may be a shrinking subset of voters, but there are a lot them that don’t vote. Trump proved what can happen when they are energized to vote.
And there are still more of them who didn’t vote this year. Over the past three presidential elections a little less than 60% of working class whites voted, 40% did not. That means if a candidate can propel even a small percentage of those non-voter to the polls and win them handily, the rainbow coalition is in danger, even if the Democrat hits his or her numbers..
Which is exactly what Trump may have done. Early estimates are that voter turnout was near a record, up 4.7% over the last presidential race, according to USA Today or was lower than expected, according to unreliable exit polls. So even as that white working class demographic, which is also older, dies off, there are still more non-voters to attract to the polls.
And those angry working class white voters will be with us for a while. As the old ones die off, there will be new ones to take their place, as the underemployed working class continues to grow.