The way the Others voted: Candidate Biden had a good line during Campaign 2008.
It dealt with Rudy Giuliani. "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence," Biden would say. "A noun, a verb and 9/11."
According to Biden, that was pretty much all Giuliani knew how to say. We modern liberals are like that. In our case, there are only two things we need in an essay—the name of a group we want to loathe, and any one word from the following list:
"Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it."
That's basically all we know how to say! You saw that formula play out in Jay Newton-Small's piece in Sunday's Washington Post. She called white working-class women "sexist," then wandered about the countryside, making little sense.
Very few things she said made sense at any point. But she had the S-bomb right up front, dropped on a group of people we finer people don't like.
How little sense did her essay make on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis? Consider the passage shown below.
In this passage, Newton-Small seems to be supporting her earlier claim that non-college-educated white women were "the only demographic that moved back and forth dramatically" during the campaign. We don't think the effort goes well:
NEWTON-SMALL (5/19/19): By the first general-election debate, Trump was just 2.3 points behind Clinton in the RealClearPolitics average. Then came the “Access Hollywood” recording on Oct. 7, and by their second debate on Oct. 9, Clinton was ahead by 4.6 points. An Atlantic/PRRI poll found that among non-college-educated white women, Clinton and Trump were even at 40-40. If Clinton had held steady among this group, she probably would have won.How poorly reasoned is that passage? Let us count the ways:
Non-college-educated white women picked George W. Bush by 18 points in 2004. They chose John McCain by 17 points and Mitt Romney by 20. The idea that they’d swing 20 points from 2012 to 2016 was wild. And then FBI Director James Comey reopened the investigation into Clinton’s email in the final weeks of the campaign. Non-college-educated white women ended up voting for Trump by a historic margin of 27 percentage points.
At the heart of it was the perception that Clinton considered herself above it all...
Newton-Small starts by citing a single poll which had the race tied at 40-40 among non-college-educated white women at one particular point. She says Candidate Clinton probably would have won the election if this group had split down the middle this way.
In her next breath, she notes that this same demographic had supported Candidate Romney by 20 points back in 2012. She says "the idea that they’d swing 20 points from 2012 to 2016 was wild."
We're then told that the group ended up supporting Trump by 27 points. After that, Newton-Small mind-reads "the heart of" the reason why these millions of people cast their millions of votes as they did.
In this passage, Newton-Small seems to be supporting her earlier claim, in which she said the allegiance of this group jumped all around during Campaign 2016. It doesn't seem to occur to her that the one 40/40 poll she cites may simply have been an outlier—a statistical misrepresentation of the actual state of play.
She presents no other evidence in support of her claim that the allegiance of this demographic was jumping all around during the campaign. Nor does the following question seem to have entered her head:
If the members of this group are sexist, why would they have considered voting for Clinton in the first place? Why wouldn't they have been strongly opposed to Clinton all the way through the campaign?
Simply put, Newton-Small's essay is basically a novel outfitted with the word "sexist." Basically, this is the way our deeply unimpressive liberal tribe now plays the game.
We bring almost nothing else to the table. We're skilled at naming some group of Others, then making a sweeping statement about their very bad motives. This helps explain why we're now a nation of two tribes waiting for Mister Trump's War.
In case you're interested, this is the way non-college-educated white women have voted since Campaign 2000, according to Newton-Small:
Campaign 2000: For Bush, by 7 pointsWarning! As best we can tell, those numbers come from the nation's exit polls, which are far from exact. We aren't real sure where the numbers come from because Newton-Small doesn't specifically say, and the link she provides in the paragraph we've posted above leads to her own 2016 Time magazine piece, in which she call Candidate Clinton a "hectoring housewife" but doesn't present those data.
Campaign 2004: For Bush, by 18 points
Campaign 2008: For McCain, by 17 points
Campaign 2012: For Romney, by 20 points
Campaign 2016: For Trump, by 27 points
Newton-Small's links are persistently useless in this ridiculous way. Under current arrangements, this sort of thing is apparently "close enough for Washington Post Outlook section work." We spent a long time on Sunday with Newton-Small's essay, but we never found a link to any data set which presented those data.
For Molly Ball's discussion of the problem with the exit polls (also in Time), you can just click here. Her headline:
"Donald Trump Didn't Really Win 52% of White Women in 2016"
According to Pew's more exacting analysis of Campaign 2016, non-college-educated white women actually favored Trump by a substantially smaller margin than Newton-Small reports. Using the exit polls, Newton-Small has this group favoring Trump, 61-34. According to Ball, Pew's more exacting analysis found that only 56% of this demographic actually voted for Trump. On the bright side, that's a whole lot fewer sexists!
Newton-Small's essay was journalistically awful. Basically, you learn one thing—we liberals are supposed to deride a large group of Others as sexist.
According to future anthropologists, this is the way our war-inclined species was functioning in the years before Mister Trump's Sudden War. According to those same despondent scholars, this ugly, unintelligent behavior by our vastly self-impressed tribe helped produce the miseries of that profoundly dispositive war.