Cross Post with AAD
This will be incoherent but just some thoughts I think should be worth sharing
I guess the development and trends that the 2016 election were inevitable, everything has pointed in this direction for a while but it required a candidate like Trump to massively swing the small market and industrial towns and cities of the Midwest to make things, well, even more
than they were before. That is clearly that the main division in US politics - other than race and ethnicity, above which thousands of PhDs theses have already been written and I have no desire here to add to the verbiage - is areas where the local elite industries are dominated by Mental and 'Intellectual' work (New York, California, Virginia) and those where the Military, the 'carceral state' and natural resources are main elite industries (Texas, the Ranching states). It's not a perfect explanation - Utah would be a lot 'bluer' if it were - but it's a much more obvious and correct analysis than most out there. Within
these spheres class differences diminished - at least for the 2016 election - the difference between Clinton's result in Manhattan and that in Bronx was a mere 2 percentage points. She won a lot of elite - really
elite - suburbs. She managed to win Orange County, CA but lose the election. We all know what happened in the Rust Belt, but also Oil Boom North Dakota was one of the states most strongly to swing to Trump, despite long being a 'red state' (I'm using normal colours for my sins). In the reddest states, class distinctions have long been an irrelevance (except when it is confounded by ethnicity) at least at the level of voting patterns
. Of course, the thing about natural resource industry as well as the Military and Police industries is that they are much more 'manly' than banks, or IT, or Government bureaucracy. I suspect this explains a lot about the vote two weeks ago - and the appeal of 'reviving the factories', beyond the appeal of just having a job, but the job that is a suitable for a man
, with one's hands, rather than effeminate office work. Of course this relies on the fantasy that a man who works in accounts at an oil firm is not a bureaucrat, but since when has that stopped suburban reactionaries?
Connected, this map seems important:
It's not an election map - the anomaly of Washington state gives it away - but rather it is a map of the median age of women on the first wedding day, Red is 26 or over, Blue is under 26. The lowest is Idaho at 23.2 and the highest is DC at 29.7 (of the states MA is highest: 28.5). Now consider what I mentioned about manliness above and consider this map, I'll leave you to your own conclusion. Oh, btw, in Europe pretty much every country on such a map would be deep red (and Washington just fails the cut: the median age is 25.9, probably lowered significantly I'd imagine by the east of the state, the same is true in Oregon except it just makes it: 26.0)
A fact that has crossed my mind in the last few weeks is that when the 16th Amendment was in the process of being ratified its biggest champions were frequently in the Deep South. This seems counter-intuitive to us now, so we must asked 'why?' And the reason is simple, under the conditions that the original income tax was proposed (i.e. the low rates and high thresholds) the Southern states would pay almost nothing. Meanwhile under the first Revenue Act of 1913 something like 40% of the entire federal income tax came from just one state: New York. This though was to change as the state grew massively in size under Wilson and then FDR and successors, as well as the changes in American political economy during this period.
So the Future under Trump and beyond? Endless funnels of resources to the Midwest and the South to fund jobs that the local GOP supporters feel are appropriate to their station. This though is hardly the future, it is present except it will be more so - this has effectively been the policy of the GOP for years, what Trump has done has removed the pretenses that Cold War politics required ('liberty', 'Small Government'). The question then needs to be asked: What happens if New York or California tell flyover country to off?