20 February 2016

Understanding the Trump Voter

In 2004, Mark Ames wrote about the "Spite Voter", and it is the best explanation of the Trump appeal.

Here is a sample paragraph:
Spite voting is not just an American problem; it’s a flaw in democracies everywhere. When I lived in Kosovo in the late summer of 2000, I asked my Serb friends there if they thought Milosevic was going to win the upcoming Serbian presidential elections. Most were pessimistic. They told me of friends, young people even, who voted for Milosevic “just out of spite.” The Serbian spite voters believed that if the opposition got their way and Serbia became as tame and civilized as Luxembourg, all those college-educated Otpor protestors and pro-Western intellectuals would simply take the privileges enjoyed by Milosevic’s cronies for themselves. They didn’t want caste-based happiness and its accompanying propaganda, so they voted for Milosevic precisely because he was wrong, because he was a vote against hope. Under Milosevic, nearly every Serb was f%$#ed equally, and that suited some people, particularly some Serbian males, just fine. But if you’re a failure under two completely different regimes, then the inescapable conclusion would be that it’s your own damn fault. Better to keep the villain in, and the young ambitious go-getters out.
(%$# mine)

Read the rest.  It's long, but well worth reading.


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