This is rough. Very rough, kinda stream of consciousness, so keep that in mind.
I was looking at this map, and I had something of an epiphany regarding how so many voters could be OK with Trumps pretty naked racism & sexism. I’m sure some percentage of his voters just blew it off as un-serious, but the evidence of his attitudes was stark enough I figure a person would have to be working that lie pretty hard. So why did so many find it OK enough to vote for him? I think the answer lies in the demographics.
I grew up in the late 70’s/80’s, in very rural WI. While I did witness some hardcore racism & sexism, for the most part, everyone was pretty tolerant. But there was a lot of low level racism & sexism; call it ‘-ism-light’. Enough that I was steeped in that undercurrent as I grew up. It’s surprising how deeply it embeds, and sticks with you.
I left rural WI, joined the Navy, got educated in Madison, and live near Seattle, so I’ve had time & experience to work past the -isms, but even now, seeing ‘-ism-light’ doesn’t cause a reaction. I have to parse it, process it, and then I recognize it and decide it’s not OK. That filter I grew up with isn’t gone, I’ve just got a second filter on top of it, courtesy of diverse exposure & experience.
But if you never left those places, even if the environment is not so steeped in -isms anymore, people my age, who don’t have that second filter, they will have a strong tolerance for such things. They probably wouldn’t accept it in themselves, or their immediate family and friends, but the more removed an offensive person is, the better the ability to tolerate it to a degree.
So Uncle Ned who can’t stop making racist & sexist jokes, he doesn’t get invited to family gatherings very often. But Trump? He’s so far removed…
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