Obama's Legacy and the Rise of Trump
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21511
So much has been written about why Donald Trump won the presidency and the anger of the white working class. White supremacists are overjoyed by his victory. Much less is written or discussed about the failures of liberalism and the Obama presidency for Blacks and other minorities who voted for Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil.
"Make America Great Again" is a clarion call to retake more of those gains - a political counterrevolution. But the right wing's goal is not a return to legal discrimination. That's not winnable, and the Black middle class and wealthy layers are not seen as a threat.
Furthermore, Barack Obama won the previous two elections. Along with 95% Black support and majority support from Latinos, Asians and Native peoples, some 40% of whites also voted for Obama.
Why the white backlash? Liberals assumed that Obama marked a future that could not be stopped because of evolving demographics. That may eventually be the case, but eight years of stagnant wages and fear of a worse future for working-class families were central factors in a white backlash and a stronger conservative movement.
The liberals' answer was that Obama got the country out of the recession and unemployment is much lower. They, including Obama, downplayed the institutional racism - dog whistles - used by Trump and his supporters.