Silencing and Delegitimizing the Right will not Fix the Political Divide

There is a sense of victory on the left after tech giants effectively cut off communication between President Trump and supporters on Twitter and Facebook last week, and Parler went dark after being removed from AWS early Monday. While there is justification for removing specific content that may have played a role in planning the violence at the Capitol last week, cutting off communication that rings of dissatisfaction with government does not solve anything, it merely silences those voices temporarily.

It is easy to take the side that once speech that criticizes the current power structures is censored, we as a nation are on our way to healing. But censoring, de-platforming and writing off Trump supporters is a temporary band-aid that ignores the years of growing political unrest experienced by millions of Americans who feel disenfranchised in their own country.

What do the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump want to change? Are the requests of most Trump supporters unreasonable? Or are their requests those of a group of Americans standing up to an exploitative regime they have, repeatedly, made it clear they do not want to be a part of?

White working-class Americans were the first low propensity group Market Research Foundation recognized as pivotal back in 2013, and in 2016 these White Non-college voters were finally recognized by the mainstream when they delivered President Trump a victory most never saw coming.

White Non-college Americans are not a monolith. While they did turn out to deliver Trump a surprise victory in 2016, this is largely due to the fact that disenfranchised Americans represent the largest share of males without a college degree. MRF identified these Non-college males as an influential group within the low propensity segment in Virginia back in 2013. Our research team concluded there are four distinct groups within the White-Non-College male demographic, and disenfranchised Non-College males represented the largest sub-group.

As Market Research Foundation pointed out in early January, there is an increasing divide on the right between Trump loyalists and the establishment GOP.  We noted that, “Men, Hispanics, lower-income voters, and those from the Midwest are disproportionately loyal to Trump and critical of the GOP.”  We also noted that by greater than a two-to-one margin Trump voters say they support the President over the GOP. Forty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are more supporters of Trump than the GOP, while just 19% say they are more supporters of the GOP, according to a new YouGov/Huffington Post poll. Support for the GOP over Trump is lowest among households who make less than 50K (19%) and rises for those making over 50K.

Men as a group are more likely to be upset about the incoming Biden administration than they are to be enthusiastic or satisfied. A recent YouGov survey found just 21% of men are enthusiastic about a Biden administration. Among white men without a college degree, a full 42% are upset about a Biden administration, but a quarter of white men with a college degree are also upset.

Wealthier voters are more enthusiastic about a Biden administration, with 33% of those with income greater than 100K stating enthusiasm, compared to just 25% of those with income between 50K and 100K and 23% of those with income below 50K. Enthusiasm for Biden is lowest in the Midwest, with just 23% of Midwesterners saying they are enthusiastic about a Biden administration, while 30% say they are upset.

Voters 65 and older are significantly more upset about a Biden administration than younger voters – a full 39% say they are upset, compared to between 12% and 32% of all younger age cohorts. Enthusiasm is lowest overall among Millennials and younger Gen Xers (age 30 to 44), only 17% of whom are excited about a Biden administration.

The narrative the left has peddled for the last four years has been that bitter, uneducated bigots for some inexplicable reason, oppose ‘progress’, and the joys of globalism, free trade, open borders, heavy-handed international policy, and a steady deconstruction of traditional family values.

The left continuously fails to understand the fundamental human needs reflected in the views of many Trump supporters. Trump’s most avid supporters are working class individuals who want the freedom to earn a living without being undercut by globalist policies. They want the Constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and to bear arms. They want the freedom to live their own values separate from the increasingly left-wing culture pervading academia, the media, and government. They unapologetically demand border security that prioritizes the needs of American citizens and ensures the law is followed. They call for an end to foreign occupations that waste American blood and treasure, and they seek a renewed focus on fixing domestic issues. Many want the freedom to their own opinions on cultural issues without suffering ‘cancel culture’.

The millions of citizens across this nation who oppose the medley of internationalism, globalism, and liberalism, are not some radical new fringe group with a set of views completely detached from our nation’s history. They are almost half the country – and no amount of censoring and de-platforming is going to erase these views, because they are innately American values.