Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Could German-Americans install Trump as President?
Some interesting speculation from Germany below. My translation. Trump himself has German ancestry
46 million people of German descent live in the US - the majority of them supporting Donald Trump. Many live in the swing states that could tip the scales in the presumably narrow election.
The "German belt", ranges from Pennsylvania in the Eastern United States to Oregon in the far West. Although Germans have left a deep impact in everyday life (kindergarten, Pretzels), they have no clear political profile.
Sandra Bullock. Kevin Costner. Kirsten Dunst. David Letterman. Uma Thurman. Christopher Walken. Bruce Willis. They all have two things in common: They are Americans. And they have German ancestors.
And they are not alone. Every seventh American has at least partly German roots: When asked by the Census Bureau, where their family is from, 14 percent of US citizens give Germany in either first or second place.
In elections this group has been because of their sheer size of great potential. And in the upcoming presidential election this weight could actually come to fruition: According to a survey, German Americans are conspicuously strongly Donald Trump inclined. Over half preferred the Republican candidate - and only a third prefers Hillary Clinton.
46 million people of German ancestry live in the United States. There are more German Americans than Americans of English, Irish or Italian descent. There are even more German Americans than blacks (43 million) or Mexican Americans (36 million) in the USA.
Is this the last majority white election?
According to a WalletHub survey on the impact of minorities in America, 2016 is the last chance Republicans stand to win the White House… until 2060:
"The study used two models based on population projections and matched to the overwhelming 65 percent minority turnout for President Obama in 2012 and the underwhelming 50 percent response for George W. Bush in 2004.
The bottom line: In no presidential election from 2020-60 do the Republicans win. The closest the Republicans come is 2020 when the Democratic vote under the 2004 model reaches 50.48 percent, WalletHub said. The widest gap is projected for 2060, when the minority population will be its biggest, delivering the Democrats 58.8 percent of the vote."
The analysis pretty much states the obvious: that the growth of liberal-leaning minorities is outpacing the growth of both minority and white Republicans. It’s unclear, however, whether WalletHub’s survey accounted for voter fraud, or even acknowledges that it’s a real problem.
Why Trump could really win this
A comment from Australia
AS AMERICANS go to the polls in hours, one of the most respected pollsters in the United States, Nate Silver, is giving Donald Trump a 34.6% chance of being elected. That’s about the same chance of tossing a coin three times and getting heads twice. It’s close.
The question is why. To Australian ears, many of the things that Trump supporters say are outside the boundaries of common experience. The anger and resentment they express towards their entire political system is something that has no real equivalent in the Australian political system.
The idea that the whole election is rigged — which so many of them believe — sounds absurd. In Australia, even outliers like Pauline Hanson respect the basic tenet of the democratic system: That the umpire’s decision is to be respected.
Trump has repeatedly said he won’t necessarily respect the results of the election — unless he wins.
The key that helped me understand the Trump phenomenon is that — contrary to the impression that you receive from much of the Australian coverage — Trump supporters are, on average, richer than Clinton supporters.
The first time this was put to me, I was sceptical. We were talking to a merchandise salesperson at a rally for Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, in Wilmington, North Carolina. Proudly wearing multiple Trump badges, a “Make America Great” cap and a “Hillary for Prison” T-shirt, the salesperson looked like a Trump partisan, but the truth was much better. He was simply a capitalist who knew his market.
He was there to make a buck out of, as he put it, “anyone who is looking to get rid of their money”. That afternoon, he was driving an hour across the state to attend a Clinton rally, presumably while proudly wearing his “I’m With Her” badge.
The salesperson explained that in his experience Trump supporters had a lot more money. He said that Trump supporters were crazy for caps, bumper stickers and T-shirts, while Clinton supporters tended to stick to badges.
The idea that Trump supporters were richer ran contrary to all my expectations. Donald Trump sells himself on being the candidate for low-paid white battlers, living in the America’s vast rust-belt: The eastern and mid-Western states that used to manufacture America’s cars, fridges, airconditioners and anything else made of steel, but had, according to legend, become vast wastelands.
Isn’t that the reason that even on election eve, Michigan — once a union-dominated Democratic stronghold — is in the balance, and could provide Trump with one of the oddest paths to victory for a Republican candidate?
I mean, Detroit, right? It’s byword for urban decay. Right?
But from a logical perspective, it makes sense that Clinton supporters are poorer. Trump’s main supporters are white men. From a statistical perspective, that’s a double whammy for prosperity.
In the US, men enjoy 23% more pay on average than women. And white workers tend to be higher paid than black or Latino workers.
But it still runs contrary to Trump’s rhetoric. What about the fabled rust belt that Trump is drawing his support from?
I’m not saying that the rust belt doesn’t exist, but in our travels through two of the biggest rust belt areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio, it was something that people we met talked about in the past tense.
Take Wooster, Ohio, a town of about 30,000 people, that until the early 1980s, had an economy that centred almost entirely around steel. Steel for car doors, steel for washing machines, steel for old-style American-made toys.
At the beginning of the 1980s, it lost seven thousand jobs directly involved in steel manufacturing at one plant alone, and then tens of thousands more that had supported those industries. Crime soared. The rust set in.
This is Trump territory. For a start, it’s white. Very white. City-Data.com puts its whiteness at over 96%. Our hosts in Wooster claimed it was more like 98%.
At a state level, the Democrats have all but conceded the space to the Republican machine. They aren’t even running a state senatorial candidate in this election. But it’s not because people there are poor and dejected.
Today, unemployment runs at less than 3%. And the new jobs aren’t some race-to-the-bottom Wal-Martification of America that you might expect if you listened to Donald Trump. They’re steel jobs.
But instead of just making steel, Wooster now imports it from China, and then crafts it into high-precision goods. They manufacture 85% of the world’s jet blades in Wooster, and VW now makes its steel drive trains for Audi in the city.
It’s a perfect case-study for Economics 101. Low-value manufacturing got replaced by higher-value manufacturing.
Unfortunately, whereas in the textbook, it happens overnight, it’s taken the better part of four decades for Wooster to rebuild. If you were 30 in 1980, then chances are that even though you’re employed now, you spent much of the second part of your career underemployed, waiting for Economics 101 to kick in.
During that time, the promises that politicians, corporations, and even unions made, bred cynicism — for the entire system.
The life lesson was that you can go from being utterly embedded in “the system”, with all the expectations of suburban stability, to being completely abandoned by the very same system: By the corporations and the government who allowed it to happen. Even if you were a white man.
What Trump delivers is a way to explain and put in context that jolting reality, without threatening the idea that there is nothing really that special about being a white man.
He could blame it on Ronald Reagan — who was in charge when it happened. Or he could place the blame on the companies who fled to first Japan, and then Mexico and later, China. And in some senses he does. But mostly he points to a far more tangible threat: Multicultural America.
If you were a white man who just wasted the best years of your life waiting for the next steel boom, it’s not your fault. It’s someone else’s fault — the ones who look different to you, and whose presence has boomed in the past four decades.
Of course, in Wooster, you don’t see many Latinos or blacks at all. But you do see them on TV, and it kind of makes sense. By some estimates, 2016 is the year that whites become a minority in America, in that they now make up less than 50% of the population (they are still the biggest race, by a long margin).
But this is why that for all the crazies that Trump rallies throw together, who seem utterly foreign to the Australian experience, there is an underlying logic that makes Trump such a potent force, and brings out many sensible people.
Sure, his plan — to return America to a pre-1980s world of protectionism and steel manufacturing without the pesky presence of 11 million illegal immigrants — is an unrealistic journey into nostalgia, but it speaks to a very real experience that millions of Americans have lived through (or who’ve watched their parents live through).
Once you understand that, all the policies that may sound absurd at first glance, start to make more sense. A wall between the US and Mexico is a visual metaphor for stanching the flow of jobs south.
His foreign policy is to “make America safe again,” is about trying to find a way to get America to a place where 9/11 never happened.
If stopping Muslims at the border sounds absurd to us, it works for his supporters, because many of them wouldn’t have even met a Muslim in their life.
And if cutting taxes for those on high incomes sounds like a policy that wouldn’t be popular in the rust-belt, think again: His core base are richer than you’d think.
Annual income is one of the best predictors of whether you’ll turn up on election day. Indeed, one of the main reasons that Donald Trump still has a good chance at the Presidency is that his supporters aren’t that poor. If they were, they would be less likely to turn out.
Which, given his rhetoric, is kind of ironic, really.
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Posted by JR at 1:26 AM