Some people still argue that economic uncertainty and Trump’s populism were main drivers of the 2016 result, but Trump has broken virtually every promise on that front and kept all the nativist ones and yet his support among his core has remained consistent. Hmm. My take is that Trump’s populism was mostly a sophisticated way to give the media a “legitimate” angle to cover what was, in fact, a hatemongering campaign in an unusually pure form, and one the media was desperate to have because both sides. (Trump’s an idiot but he does know how the media works, clearly.) This study confirms that yes, it was reactionary social attitudes all along that got him enough votes to win by a technicality. Not saying that nobody voted for Trump because they thought he’d be better on the economy–no doubt most of the people who did thought that–but the detail about how Clinton won white working class who feared for their finances kind of puts a pin in it. The detail about how these folks oppose college funding surprised me–both of my grandfathers were working-class high school-educated whites and revered going to college above all else–but it shows just how much mopiness and a lack of feeling special is what drove Trumpism. Of course, these people will pay most savagely for it.

Incidentally, I saw several of the Times’s infamous sympathy for a Trump voter pieces pop up in their main feed over the past day. It occurs to me that in D.C. and New York there probably are a good portion of anti-Trump Republicans–you know, fans of Jeb! and all that, GOP pros who can’t stand the orange one–but outside of those pockets I don’t think there are very many at all. In my neck of the woods there are Trumpsters and Democrats and that’s just about it. Hiring Bret Stephens, then, was ultimately just the Times staying safely in the bubble. And those pieces smack of trying to get out of it in a not terribly convincing way.

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