WaPo Claims America Has a ‘White Voter Problem,’ Warns Country ‘in Trouble’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: People visit a voting site at a YMCA on Election Day, No
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America has a “white voter problem,” according to a recent Washington Post essay arguing the U.S. is “in trouble” because white people “are likely to be the majority of voters for at least two more decades,” and “keep backing the Republican Party.”

The Thursday article by Post columnist Perry Bacon Jr., titled “America’s problem is White people keep backing the Republican Party,” begins by accusing the GOP of “embracing terrible and at times antidemocratic policies and rhetoric,” while lamenting that a “clear majority of White Americans keeps backing [it].” 

“The alliance between Republicans and White Americans is by far the most important and problematic dynamic in American politics today,” Bacon writes, as he notes that non-Hispanic white Americans “were about 85 percent of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020.” 

“That was similar to 2016, when White voters were about 88 percent of Trump backers,” he adds.

Bacon, a Louisville native, expressed concern that the current U.S. political discourse “continues to ignore or play down the Whiteness of the Republican coalition,” while claiming terms like “Middle America” and “the working class” were used in the past to describe Trump’s supporters, “as though the overwhelming Whiteness of the group was not a central part of the story.”

The author, noting that Republicans win the majority of white voters in most elections, cites numbers from several post-election surveys and analyses:

Republican voters are not just White people without four-year college degrees (a group Trump won by 32 percentage points in 2020), though that has been the common framing in much political commentary. The Republican Party is the preferred choice of White people who describe themselves as evangelical Christians (whom Trump won by 69 points in 2020), White people in rural areas (Trump by 43 points), White people in the South (29 points), White men (17), White Catholics (15), White Protestants who don’t describe themselves as evangelicals (14), White people in the Midwest (13), White women (7) and White people who live in the suburbs (4). 

He then lists two “huge advantages” Republicans benefit from by “being the party of White Americans.” 

First, white Americans “are about 72 percent of the U.S. electorate, about 13 percentage points more than their share in the overall population,” with white adults “more likely than Asian and Hispanic adults to be citizens (not recent immigrants) and therefore are eligible to vote.”

In addition, the median age for white Americans is “higher than that for Asian, Black or Latino Americans,” with older Americans tending to vote at higher rates. 

Second, both the electoral college and Senate “give outsize power to less populated states — which in America today tend to be disproportionately White.”

According to Bacon, an “alliance” between white Americans and the GOP has “existed for decades.”

Though, after decades, the Republican Party had been distancing itself from “courting White Americans, in part, by casting Democrats as too tied to the causes of minorities, particularly Black people and Latino immigrants,” the author claims “[former President Donald] Trump and his allies have brought anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiments and a focus on White identity back to the center of the Republican Party’s electoral strategy.”

“Even when Republican politicians are not campaigning directly on racial issues, the party is organized around defending the status quo in America, which is weighted toward White Americans,” Bacon writes.

By opposing policies such as enacting tax increases on high-income individuals and providing free college education, the author argues, Republicans in effect “protect White advantages.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally at the Aero Center Wilmington on September 23, 2022 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The "Save America" rally was a continuation of Donald Trumps effort to advance the Republican agenda by energizing voters and highlighting candidates and causes. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally at the Aero Center Wilmington on September 23, 2022 in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

As a result of such a “successful strategy,” he posits, “it’s no accident that Republicans are winning the majority of White voters.” 

“It’s not that Trumpism brought White voters as a bloc to the Republican Party (they were already voting Republican) — but rather that it hasn’t scared many of them off,” he writes.

In response, Bacon claims, Democrats are involved in “a lot of White appeasement to address this Republican tilt,” including the nomination of white candidates in key races, “moving right/White on racialized issues such as policing and immigration,” and attempting to “boost the economy particularly in heavily White areas where the party has declined electorally.”

With white people “likely to be the majority of voters for at least two more decades,” Bacon warns that “America is in trouble.”

“Across the country, GOP officials are banning books from public libraries, making it harder for non-Republicans to vote, stripping away Black political power, aggressively gerrymandering, censoring teachers and professors and, most important, denying the results of legitimate elections,” he claims.

Consequently, he blames the majority of America’s white voters for “enabling and encouraging the GOP’s radical, antidemocratic turn by continuing to back the party in elections.”

Bacon concludes that “America has a White voter problem” that offers no sign of “going away anytime soon.”

The essay comes as conservatives frequently face accusations of racism and bigotry while many on the left continue to depict the U.S. as a systemically racist country.

Last month, a Washington Post essay claimed terms such as “woke” and “CRT” are mere euphemisms used by conservatives to express their “racism” in a socially acceptable manner.

In June, a Post article suggested black Americans may need to “flee” the country in the face of an apparently growing population of “crazy White people” who are “not to be trifled with.”

The previous month, a Washington Post essay called on Black Americans “tired” of American hostility to consider relocating to Ghana to be “free from White America’s psychic violence.”

Earlier this year, a Post piece accused many Americans of denying and downplaying rampant racism nationwide, stating that the killers of Ahmaud Arbery “stand in for millions of Americans” throughout the country who believe that skin color deems one “less worthy.” 

Another Post essay blamed current math curriculums for “enshrin[ing] the names of White men” while “blurring” the contributions of others, demanding formulas with supposedly “racist” origins be removed from math textbooks.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.


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