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Trump voters

trumpland

(Photo: Getty Images)

Trump voters (2015- ) are those who have voted for Donald Trump for US president – or say they will in opinion polls. Because they are mainly written about by White liberals, they have been stereotyped as White working-class men with high school educations who have been thrown out of work by US free trade policies. That is misleading.

Median household income: $72,000 according to exit polls during the state primaries. Compare that to $62,000 for Whites and $56,000 for Americans. Nor do they suffer from high unemployment, whether from free trade, immigration or other causes.

Education: 54% do not have a university degree, according to exit polls during the state primaries, But neither do most Americans (71%) or even most Whites (67%). If anything, Trump voters are on average more educated.

Race: 87% White, 5% Hispanic, 1% Black, like they come from some lily-White suburb. In fact, they do tend to live in the Whitest places within their commuting zone. Most live far from Mexico in places with few Hispanics.

Religion: Trump polls above 50% only among White Evangelical Protestants (63%). But even they are more against Hillary Clinton than they are for him.

Gender: 58% male. Trump polls at 30% among women – almost as bad as among Hispanics (26%).

Age: 63% are 50 or older. Trump polls under 30% among those under 50, who make up nearly half of all registered voters.

Party: 69% are Republicans.

Loyalty: 53% are not so much voting for Trump as against Hillary Clinton.

Opinions: What most Trump voters think:

  • 87% There is a a big chance Clinton would make major mistakes that would hurt the country.
  • 81% Compared with 50 years ago, life for people like me in America is worse.
  • 79% Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good.
  • 78% Clinton would continue Obama’s policies and that would be bad.
  • 76% Government should not raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
  • 72% Clinton would be a terrible president.
  • 71% Government cannot afford to do much to help the needy.
  • 68% Trump would be a good or great president.
  • 68% Free trade agreements have been a bad thing for the US.
  • 68% Free trade agreements have hurt my family financially.
  • 68% The future of the next generation of Americans will be worse compared with life today.
  • 66% Immigration is a very big problem.
  • 65% Terrorism is a very big problem.
  • 58% There is some chance Trump would make major mistakes that would hurt the country.
  • 57% To fight terrorism, the government should subject Muslims to more scrutiny.
  • 52% Crime is a very big problem.
  • 51% Relations between racial and ethnic groups is a very big problem.

Xenophobia: Terrorism, immigration and free trade mainly seem to function as dog whistles for xenophobia. Most Trump voters do not live in places with high immigration, nor do they suffer from high unemployment. Places with the worst terrorist attacks by Muslims (New York, Virginia, California, Florida) are hardly hotbeds of Trumpism.

White mortality rates: There does seem to be some truth, though, to the bit about life getting worse: Trump voters tend to live in commuting zones where White people, particular the middle aged, are dying at high rates.

– Abagond, 2016.

Sources: mainly Pew Research (August 18th 2016), Vox (August 12th), FiveThirtyEight (May 3rd), Christianity Today (July 13th).

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541

Janet Jackson: I Want You

Remarks:

In 2004 this went to #18 on the US R&B charts and #19 in Britain. It probably would have gone higher, but coming out in the wake of her Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, CBS and Viacom would not play it.

Written by Burt Bacharach, Kanye West, John Legend and others. Produced by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Kanye West. It sounds like a John Legend song to me.

In the video Los Angeles plays Brooklyn.

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Lyrics:

Feels like going in circles
You’re like a maze I can’t get through
Should I go left should I go right
Should I let you stay for the night
It’s like a see-saw when it comes to your love
Boy when you’re up this girl is down and I just can’t figure it out

[Chorus:]
Cause you know that I want ya
And you know that I need ya
Is that any way to be
Just have your way with me
My body is cryin
These tears can you wipe’em
Is that any way to be
Jus have your way with me

I’m goin out with guys I don’t wanna go
Places that I’ve been before
(they pitchen the same game)
Boy it’s a dam shame
(how I wish it was you) callin’ me
(I want it to be you) holdin’ me
(boy it needs to be you) kissin me

Cause it’s like a see-saw when it comes to your love
Boy when you’re up
This girl is down
And I just can’t figure it out

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
(have your way) have your way with me
Anytime anywhere
However I don’t care
Have your way with me
Cause tonight
Boy tonight
Tonight…………….

[Chorus]

[Ad libs]
Cause you know that I want you
And you know that I need you
Huh huh huh
My body is cryin
These tears can you wipe them
Is it any way to be
Baby have your way with with me
Cause you know that I want ya baby
And you know that I need ya baby
In my life I need you
I want you
Right here
Cryin for you baby
Boo hoo hoo hoo
Boo hoo hoo hoo
Shoo doop doo doop doop do doooooo

Source: A-Z Lyrics.

Simone Biles

simone-biles-photo-ian-macnicol -getty-images

Simone Biles, 2015. (Photo: Ian MacNicol / Getty Images)

Simone Biles (1997- ), an American gynmast, won four gold medals and one bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is not just the first Black American female gymnast to win four gold medals at a single Olympics, she is the first American female gymnast period.

siome-and-gabby

Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas, 2015. (Photo: Ian MacNicol / Getty Images)

Some mix her up with Gabby Douglas, but Biles is way better. At the 2015 World Championship (pictured above), Douglas won the all-round silver medal while Biles won the gold. But where others win by hundredths of point, Biles made two costly mistakes and still beat Douglas by more than a whole point! You did not see Biles at the 2012 Olympics because she was too young.

Mary Lou Retton, the top American female gymnast at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, says Biles is the “most talented gymnast I’ve seen in my life.”

Where Nadia Comaneci flipped once off the balance beam, Biles flips twice. (Part of why the US and Biles herself have become huge in gymnastics is because Comaneci’s trainers defected to the US. This will be their last Olympics.)

She has a stronger run and can jump higher, which means she is in the air longer and can do more. She can spin faster and land more firmly – and make it look easy and natural. Some top gymnast count to themselves when they are in the air to know where they are – she just knows. She can learn in days what it takes others months if not years.

Biles: “I kind of blow my own mind.”

She has even invented a move of her own, the Biles: a double backward somersault, followed by a half twist and a blind landing.

It helps that she has not grown much taller since 13 and has suffered no grave injuries, things that have sidelined other gymnasts.

Her style of gymnastics is more athletic or acrobatic-looking than the Soviet style common 30 to 40 years ago that was more like ballet. That comes from changes in scoring that take into account how hard a move is.

Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio. When she was two, her mother was sunk in drink and drugs and could no longer take care of her. She went into foster care. She grew up in Texas, where her grandfather and his second wife became her new father and mother. He is a retired air traffic controller, she is a nurse who is part owner of a chain of 14 nursing homes in Texas.

simone-biles

At age six Biles started to learn gymnastics. In 2013, some ten years later, she became world champion. Having outgrown her old gym, her parents built her a new one the size of a megachurch.

She now makes about $2 million a year and stands to make way more now that she has signed enorsement deals with Nike, United Airlines, Fanta, Special K Red Berries (not Wheaties) and others. She is charming and apolitical.

She wants to go to university at some point – and grow and inch or two! She is four foot eight inches tall (1.42m).

Thanks to MinnMom for suggesting this post.

– Abagond, 2016.

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562

Can Trump win?

A large crowd gathered at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Friday night for Donald Trump's rally. LOREN ELLIOTT Times 2016-02-12

Donald Trump at the USF Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, February 12th 2016. (Photo: LOREN ELLIOTT | Tampa Bay Times)

Republican Donald Trump is now down by 7.5 percentage points behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in opinion polls of those likely to vote in the 2016 US election for president. It is now the middle of August 2016. The party conventions were three weeks ago and the election is three months from now. Trump needs a comeback.

Comebacks past: Since 1952, only one person was behind in the polls this late in the game and still won: Bush in 2000. He was down 5.5 points. He gained 5.0 and lost the popular vote, but made up for it in Florida, the Land of the Hanging Chads where his brother, Jeb Bush, was governor.

Comebacks present: Still, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog currently gives Trump a 23.8% chance of winning. That is based on state polls, the economy and historical data fed into his statistical model. Some of that 23.8% is due to polls not being a perfect measure, especially three months before an election, but some of it is due to a possible comeback, like through scandal or some other surprise event.

Skewed polls: Some polls do favour Democrats or Republicans or have other biases. Some are even fake. But Nate Silver accounts for that in his model by weighting polls according to how well they have done in the past.

Southern Strategy: Since the 1960s, Republicans have appealed to the racism of Whites to get their vote. At first their appeals were naked. That did not work – but racist dog whistles like “law and order” did. By 2012, though, there were no longer enough White voters for Romney to win. Whites have been having too few babies.

In 2016 Republicans could either:

  1. Change their message to appeal to enough non-White voters, or
  2. Double down on their racism to turn out more White voters.

The trouble is, becoming president is a two-step process: first you must win party support in state primaries (January to June) and then win broad public support nationwide in the general election (November). The Republican Party is full of White racists but has few non-Whites. That favours #2.

During the primaries, Trump was, in effect, #2, while Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were #1. Trump won. Racism won.

Human whistles: Trump did not just double down, he made nakedly racist appeals. The received wisdom among Republican media advisers is that that loses you more White votes than it gains. Maybe that will change in time when Whites become fewer and more desperate, but so far in 2016 the received wisdom still seems to hold true: Trump is polling at only 51% of the White vote in a two-way race, compared to Romney’s 56%.

Low propensity voters: Trump could still make up for that if enough White racists turn out to vote. He has been trying to get out “low propensity voters” but, so far, he has not been more successful at it than Hillary Clinton: during the state primaries they both got 88% of their vote from those who had voted in the 2012 general election.

nate-silver-polls-plus-2016-08-18

Nate Silver’s polls-plus prediction of the likely outcome as of August 18th 2016: Clinton wins all the Obama states of 2012 and picks up the Romney state of North Carolina. Click on the map to get the latest.

– Abagond, 2016.

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571

John Carlos

john-carlosJohn Carlos (1945- ), a Black American runner, won the bronze medal for the 200m dash at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. It was he and gold-medal winner Tommie Smith who held up their black-gloved fists in a Black Power salute as the US national anthem played.

That was Plan C. Plan A was a boycott, but they killed Martin Luther King, Jr. Plan B was to meet with the Mexican students protesting the Olympics. But they killed the Mexican students. As they stood there doing Plan C, they were both listening for a gunshot.

Why he did it:

“I thought about how humiliating and difficult it was for a black man to get a decent job to support his family. At the same time, while education was hard to find, the pusher man wasn’t. I thought about the way drugs were as easy to find as a bottle of soda pop in any ghetto in America. I thought about Harlem when I was growing up and how people overnight would become junkies, shells of people, zombies before my young eyes. I thought about all the greatness that black people had brought to the table for America, how we built this country from the sweat of our brows and arches of our backs, and then, in turn, we were always second-class citizens. We could go out and win medals. We could go out and win wars. We could break all the world records, and we could be heroes as long as we stayed between the lines. But once we got off the field, we were just regular old nothings. I was very saddened by that, and felt that somebody needed to get up and make a statement and to the planet Earth and say, ‘Hey, world, the United States is not like you might think it is for blacks and other people of color. Just because we have USA on our chest does not mean everything is peachy keen and we are living large.’ I remember when we started to make noise about the boycott, a rising snarl started to rise from people who said, ‘You should be happy that we allowed you to go represent America in the Olympic Games.’ I would always think to myself, “Happy? Happy to not be able to feed our families? Happy to live in ghettoes with more drugs than hope? Happy to graduate as a people from slavery to athletics and second-class citizenship? Walk in my shoes and see if you smile.'”

Malcolm X told him be true to himself even when it hurts.

Martin Luther King Jr told him he should stand for those who “couldn’t or wouldn’t stand for themselves.”

Jackie Robinson told him he was on the right side of history.

Jesse Owens – tried to talk him out of it.

The FBI followed Carlos for five years after that. No one would give him a coaching job. It took 40 years to go from villain to hero in the eyes of most Americans.

John Carlos portrait Dec 12

– Abagond, 2016.

Source: “The John Carlos Story” (2011) by John Carlos with David Zirin.

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568

Sylville Smith

sylville-smith

Sylville Smith (c. 1993-2016) was a Black American man gunned down by police in Milwaukee on Saturday August 13th 2016. It has led to two nights of violent protests so far: businesses burned, police cars destroyed, rocks thrown at police, guns fired, etc. There have been some injuries and arrests, but no one killed.

milwaukee-2016-08-14

milwaukee-police1469128_1280x720

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a city 90 miles (150 km) north of Chicago, is the most racially segregated city in the US. Most Black men are out of work, and most of those in their 30s and 40s have been to prison. The state of Wisconsin locks up more Black men than any other state in the nation. It has the worst Black reading scores, worse than even Mississippi or Alabama. Four out of five Black children live in poverty. Easily one of the worst places to be Black in America.

Milwaukee has its own litany of Black men killed by police: Derek Williams, James Perry, Corey Stingley, Brandon Johnson, Dontre Hamilton – and now Sylville Smith.

milwaukee-sheriff-David-Clarke-fox-news

And, its county sheriff is none other than David Clarke, that Black sheriff you see sometimes on Fox News. He says “there is no police brutality in America”, not since the 1960s, and sees Black Lives Matter as an enemy of the rule of law.

The police say they stopped Smith’s car Saturday afternoon after they “saw suspicious activity” (of an unnamed sort). It was near where three people had been shot dead the night before. Smith and his passenger ran. When they caught up with Smith they say Smith turned and had a gun in his hand. The police say they repeatedly ordered him to put the gun down. When he refused, they shot him in the arm and the chest, killing him.

The police say a Black officer killed him. He is so far unnamed.

Smith’s sister Sherelle said her brother and the officer knew each other from high school, that maybe he killed him out of jealousy. She cannot imagine her brother pulling a gun on police without shooting.

His mother said he got a concealed-carry licence for a gun because he had been shot twice and robbed four times. She can see him running, but not pulling a gun on police.

The police were quick to tell of his “lengthy arrest record”, but apart from traffic charges, the only thing he has been found guilty of was carrying a concealed weapon. He was fined $443 and served a day in jail. Not a felony.

What the police do not tell you is that Smith took the police to court and won. Like Korryn Gaines, he felt harassed by the police.

Video: there is body camera video of the shooting. It has yet to be made public for reasons unnamed. They say it has no sound – so you will not hear the police ordering Smith to put the gun down. But they say it does show the gun in his hand.

The investigation is being done by Wisconsin’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

– Abagond, 2016.

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521

RFK’s funeral train

Senator Robert F. Kennedy Funeral Train Philadelphia

On June 8th 1968, after Robert Kennedy’s funeral in New York, a train carried his body at half speed 226 miles to Arlington Cemetery.

From Thurston Clarke’s account:

Passengers stared out the windows and saw men in undershirts, sport shirts, uniforms, and suits: crying, saluting, standing at attention, and holding their hard hats over their hearts. They saw women in madras shorts, house dresses, and Sunday dresses: weeping, kneeling, covering their faces, and holding up children as if telling them, “You look at Robert Kennedy, and that’s the way you should lead your life.” They saw people who were also mourning Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, although they may not have known it, and people who were weeping because they sensed that this signified the end of something, although they were not sure what. They saw some of the same derelict factories, creaky tenements, shuttered stores, and crime-battered neighborhoods that anyone traveling this route today still sees, but might not be seeing had Robert Kennedy lived. …

Because anyone who owned an American flag had flown it or brought it, they saw flags flying at half-staff in front of factories and schools, dipped by American Legion honor guards, and waved by Cub Scouts. Because anyone owning a uniform had worn it, they saw policemen in gold braid and white gloves, fire companies standing at attention next to their trucks, and veterans in Eisenhower jackets and overseas caps snapping salutes.

They saw the kind of white working-class backlash voters who had supported former Alabama governor George Wallace’s 1964 candidacy for the Democratic nomination, and would vote again for Wallace or Republican Richard Nixon in November, although until four days before many had planned to vote for Robert Kennedy. Today, these whites had not only turned out to mourn a politician who was an acknowledged champion of black Americans, and who had condemned an American war as “deeply wrong”; they had decided that the most fitting way to do this was to wear a uniform and wave a flag. …

Richard Harwood of the Washington Post saw “trembling nuns” and “adoring children,” reported that blacks cried most, and concluded, “It may not have had the grandeur of the last train ride Abraham Lincoln took through the weeping countryside a century ago. But no one could be sure of that.”

Not since Lincoln had black Americans embraced a white politician as passionately and completely. They, as well as many whites, feared that Robert Kennedy’s assassination, like Lincoln’s, had eliminated the only leader who could heal and unify a wounded nation. …

They saw a long-haired girl on a horse, five nuns standing on tiptoes in a yellow pickup truck, a crowd of young black militants with Afros holding up clenched fists, white policemen cradling black children in their arms, a family with a sign reading THE GEBHARTS ARE SAD, and five black boys in church clothes, each holding a rose. …  a black woman in Baltimore clutching a hand-lettered sign that said HOPE.

USA. Bristol, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Bristol, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Torresdale, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Torresdale, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Tacony, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Tacony, PA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Philadelphia, PA. 1968. Robert Kennedy funeral train.

USA. Philadelphia, PA. 1968. Robert Kennedy funeral train.

USA. Baltimore, Maryland. 1968. Robert Kennedy funeral train.

USA. Baltimore, Maryland. 1968. Robert Kennedy funeral train.

USA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Harmans, MD. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

USA. Harmans, MD. 1968. Robert KENNEDY funeral train.

– Abagond, 2016.

Sources: “The Last Campaign” (2008) by Thurston Clarke; History News Network;

Images: Magnum/Paul Fusco (2014); Google Images (2016).

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573

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