Rich Lowry, editor of National Review:
Trump is, for better or worse, the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide that has swept along the media, academia, corporate America, Hollywood, professional sports, the big foundations, and almost everything in between.
To put it in blunt terms, for many people, he’s the only middle finger available — to brandish against the people who’ve assumed they have the whip hand in American culture. This may not be a very good reason to vote for a president, and it doesn’t excuse Trump’s abysmal conduct and maladministration.
Even though Joe Biden emphasized his working-class roots and sympathies, the Democratic Party continues to be more identified with professional elites and college-educated voters than with the blue-collar voters who once constituted its base. Even so epochal an event as a pandemic, bungled by Trump, did not change this.
Democrats need to ask themselves: Why do many working people embrace a plutocrat-populist whose policies do little to help them? Democrats need to address the sense of humiliation felt by working people who feel the economy has left them behind and that credentialed elites look down on them.
Emma Fitzsimmons on Republican resurgence in the NY suburbs:
While some Republican candidates sought to distance themselves from President Trump, whose popularity was thought to be waning, they still clung to a Trump-like law-and-order message.
They tied Democratic candidates to defunding the police and progressive radicalism in the party, a strategy that seemed to work in many parts of the nation, as Republicans sought to maintain control of the Senate and claw back some House seats. . . .
In particular, many Republican candidates centered their campaigns on accusations that Democrats were undermining public safety, with many citing a bail reform law passed by state lawmakers last year.
“There is a very fine line that separates Republican and Democratic voters in the suburbs, but it seems that bail reform and a general denouncement of law enforcement was the final straw in 2020,” Joseph Borelli, a Republican city councilman from Staten Island, said in an interview on Wednesday.
Indeed, in Central New York, Claudia Tenney, a former Republican congresswoman and close ally of Mr. Trump running to reclaim her seat, harped on that theme in an election night speech; she was leading against Mr. Brindisi, a moderate Democrat who narrowly upset her in 2018.
“We are going to stand up against socialism, against chaos, against looting,” she told her supporters on Tuesday night. “We’re going to defend our police.”
From a Washington Post story on the young black men voting for Trump. There is, first of all, a sense that for all its promises the Democratic establishment just hasn't delivered for black people, and you couldn't find a clearer contrast to the black establishment than Trump:
Trump supporters argue that a vote for Biden is just another vote for a Democrat who talks grandly of helping the Black community but fails to deliver.
I mean, if you grew up in Baltimore and saw one Democratic mayor after another indicted for corruption while nothing around you ever got better, why would you give the party your unqualified support? And then there is Trump's macho swagger, and the way he stands up so boldly to attacks:
Williams, the comedian and actor, said some Black men are attracted to Trump’s defiance of his critics.
“Barack Obama, when he became president, he showed the world that no matter what color you are, you can become president,” Williams said. “But President Trump, he showed the world that you can be you. You can talk how you want to talk, walk how you want to walk. You don’t have to fit in a box and you can still be the president of the United States of America.”
I agree that Trump's ability to withstand a constant barrage of angry attacks and keep on fighting are a big part of his appeal. Americans love that narrative; think how many celebrity biographies and so on start with "they all tried to put me down but I kept on going and look at me now."
And don't forget that Trump's biggest supporters are evangelical Christians, some of whom admit he is a scumbag but are terrified that liberals are coming for them. This is Rod Dreher a few years ago, explaining why he believed every word Michael Cohen said about Trump but planned to vote for Trump anyway:
The Republicans on the Committee are ripping into Cohen hard on his credibility, or lack thereof. It’s interesting to consider that the Republicans are attacking Cohen for being a scum-sucker for the things he did during the years he was working for Trump. It is certainly true: Michael Cohen is a sleaze. He essentially admits it in testimony, says he’s going to jail, and deserves to. You can say: Why should we believe him now?
Well, read his testimony. It’s 100 percent believable, 100 percent consonant with what we know about Donald Trump’s character. Seriously, read the testimony. Say with a straight face that that doesn’t sound like the Donald we know. Seriously. Come on.
So, you are asking, how could you possibly vote for a man like Trump? The answer is: the moral and political cost of giving power to the other side is even greater. You know why I say that; I’m not going to go into it any further here. We talk about this in some form all the time. It is possible that everything Michael Cohen says today is 100 percent true, and it is still a more moral choice to vote for this immoral man, Trump, rather than for a leader of the party of infanticide, left-wing identity politics, and the rest.
And of course race. Tom Friedman:
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the middle of this year, nonwhites will constitute a majority of the nation’s 74 million children. And it is estimated that by sometime in the 2040s, whites will make up 49 percent of the U.S. population, and Latinos, Blacks, Asians and multiracial populations 51 percent.
Among many whites, particularly white working-class males without college degrees, there is clearly a discomfort with the fact, and even a resistance to it, that our nation is in a steady process of becoming “minority white.” They see Trump as a bulwark against the social, cultural and economic implications of that change.
What many Democrats see as a good trend — a country reckoning with structural racism and learning to embrace and celebrate increasing diversity — many white people see as a fundamental cultural threat.
The liberal establishment has gotten wrapped up in a narrative of openness, internationalism, sexual tolerance, anti-racism, and the moral superiority of all of this. But many people are not on board with any of this, and simply pretending that everyone agrees with it, to the point of "de-platforming" contrary voices, is not helping the cause.