osxmatt Posted July 31, 2018 Share Posted July 31, 2018 Quote In 2016, Donald Trump wielded that same sense of change as a threat; he was the revanchist voice of those who yearned to make America the way it was before, to make it great again. That was the impulse that connected the wall to keep Mexicans out, the ban to keep Muslims away, the birtherism meant to prove Obama couldn’t possibly be a legitimate president. An America that would elect Donald Trump president was an America in which a future was being written that could read thrillingly similar to our past. This is the core cleavage of our politics, and it reflects the fundamental reality of our era: America is changing, and fast. According to the Census Bureau, 2013 marked the first yearthat a majority of US infants under the age of 1 were nonwhite. The announcement, made during the second term of the nation’s first African-American president, was not a surprise. Demographers had been predicting such a tipping point for years, and they foresaw more to come. Another way to say that is it’s often our perception of race and power that matters. In that case, though, most Americans feel the browning of America is happening even faster than the demographers report. Back in 2013, the Center for American Progress, PolicyLink, and the Rockefeller Foundation surveyed Americans and found that the median participant believed the country was 49 percent nonwhite; the correct answer was 37 percent. You might assume, seeing all this, that the reason for the racialization of American politics under Obama’s presidency was that Obama, being African American, discussed racial issues and put forward race-conscious policies more often than past president. You’d be wrong. “According to content analyses conducted by political and communication scientists, Barack Obama actually discussed race less in his first term than any other Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt,” writes Tesler. Obama’s presidency didn’t force race to the forefront of American politics through rhetoric or action but through symbolism: Obama himself was a symbol of a changing America, of white America’s loss of power, of the fact that the country was changing and new groups were gaining power. That perception wasn’t incorrect: In his 2012 reelection campaign, Obama won merely 39 percent of the white vote — a smaller share than Michael Dukakis had commanded in 1988. That is to say, a few decades ago, the multiracial Obama coalition couldn’t drive American politics; by 2012, it could. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/30/17505406/trump-obama-race-politics-immigration Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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