The Economist ran, “Angry white men,” in 2010. Harper’s Magazine ran an article with the exact same title in 2012. And the always reprehensible Sally Kohn wrote a column titled, “The Old White Man’s Last Hurrah,” in February of this year.
Angry White Man is a slur in the mouths of the media. And many people rejoice in his (supposed) impending demise. Yet perhaps the most spot-on analysis of him came in 2008 when Gary Hubbell wrote, “In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man,” at the Aspen Times.
Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.
There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.
Time seemed to have proved Hubbell wrong up until this year. But perhaps that was only because of who ran on the party tickets in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Here again is Hubbell in 2008.
He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves. . . .
He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.
Of course, it wasn’t just Angry White Man who propelled Donald Trump to victory in 2016. A significant number of non-whites and non-males did too.
And perhaps that is the biggest overlooked thing to come out of the 2016 election. America has long accepted (indeed, promoted) tribalism among non-whites and women. And politicians who have pandered to non-white groups and female groups have been rewarded spectacularly for it. Is it now possible that politicians can openly court white men as a group and not only gain their support, but not lose the support of non-white groups and females as well?
In other words, has the 2016 election proven that Americans of both sexes and all races not only don’t object to Angry White Man, but that they will gladly side with him (and he with them) even as they continue clinging to their own groups and identities?
The world has long accepted tribalism for everyone else. Does the Trump election mark the point where it now accepts tribalism for Angry White Man too?