1. Changing Demographics and Economy:
When I first arrived in the United States in late 1970s, America had very different demographics. It was about 85% white. Most Americans with just a high school diploma enjoyed middle class living standards. They had good jobs in manufacturing industries like auto and steel. These jobs paid them well enough to buy a decent new home and drive late-model American-made cars.
The US demographics and economy have both changed dramatically in the last four decades. Minorities now account for about 30% of the US population. Low birth rate among whites and increasing immigration have both contributed to this reality. Meanwhile, unrelenting forces of globalization and continuing creative destruction have replaced the bulk of auto and steel manufacturing industries with new, high-tech industries. The high-tech sector in the United States is booming. It's creating a lot of new jobs. But most of these new jobs require at least a college degree and higher level skills, the kind of skills many middle-aged non-college-educated white Americans do not have.
2. Social Impact of Changes:
A combination economic and demographic changes has taken its greatest toll on middle-aged white Americans without college education. They are disillusioned and angry. And they are lashing out at the "establishment" politicians on both ends of the political spectrum, but mainly on the GOP side. Donald Trump has successfully exploited this anger by blaming immigrants, religious minorities and other nations for their problems.
In a paper titled "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century" published last year, Princeton economists Anne Case and Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton have shown that over the last 15 years, white middle-aged Americans have been dying at unusually high rates. Most of those deaths have been concentrated among people with only a high-school diploma, or less. Polls say that these older, less-educated whites form the core pf support for Donald Trump.
|Source: New York Times|
3. Voting Patterns By Race:
Will Trump Become the Next President? It appears unlikely given his support base. Here's why: John McCain and Mitt Romney, the last two Republican candidates since 2008, won the majority of white votes but failed to win the general election. Each of them got 60% of the 70% white votes that add up to 42% of the overall electorate. In addition, each of them got only 6% of Black votes and about 26% of the Asian and Hispanic votes that prevented them from gaining the overall majority needed to win. Trump's campaign rhetoric has managed to anger all minority groups, particularly Mexicans and Muslims. He will get even fewer minority votes than McCain and Romney polled in the last two general elections.
Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses the Trump Phenomenon with panelists Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).
Pakistan VIP Culture's Young Victim; Trump's Muslim Ban; PTI's Lodhran Win from WBT Productions on Vimeo.
Pakistan VIP Culture's Young Victim; Trump's... by ViewpointFromOverseas
The Trump phenomenon appears to be linked to the changing US economy that has left many middle-aged non-college-educated white Americans behind. Like many other demagogues before him, Donald J. Trump is exploiting their deep dis-satisfaction and rising anger by blaming minorities and immigrants for their problems. Even if Trump wins the Republican nomination, the chances of his success in 2016 general elections are remote.
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