If you’re one of the many millions watching the news, watching GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump maintain a large lead in the Republican voters polls, and wondering just how so many people can be so uninformed and downright dimwitted as to waste a vote on the reality show businessman, it might very well be just that — they’re uninformed and downright dimwitted. That is to say, Trump supporters, statistics show, are less educated than other Republican voters.
Janell Ross, writing for “The Fix” at The Washington Post on August 27, posited that Donald Trump’s surge in the polls that put him atop the horde of Republican Party contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination had more to do with his appeal to people lacking in education than any other factor. Being more ignorant apparently lends itself to being more susceptible to fear-driven demagoguery with racist undertones, something that Trump presents in abundance during his rallies. And it has been established for decades that the less educated an individual tends to be, the more likely they are to be in a lower socio-economic bracket. This only stands to reason as their options for employment are generally more limited.
To put it a bit more bluntly, Donald Trump’s supporters, those who keep his poll numbers far above the other GOP contenders, are less educated, more likely to have blue collar or service industry jobs, and are more likely to entertain prejudicial thoughts towards those they do not understand — like immigrants. The ignorance, overall job situation and its inherent instabilities, and the fear of the outsider are all factors easily employed by someone like Trump, who appears to be a plain-spoken businessman simply telling it like it is with lines about Mexicans being rapists and the Chinese always trying to undermine the American economy. But that isn’t what he’s doing at all. While his supporters blindly listen to him reinforce their petty insecurities, he manipulates them by appealing to their baser natures, a state produced by their own self-limiting circumstances, the aforementioned lack of options of the lesser educated.
atombash.com’s Tyrone James took exception to the Janell Ross article, saying that the reporter had labeled Donald Trump’s supporters as “dumber, poorer, and bigoted.” He slanted his article in an attempt to disparage Ross’ piece, calling it “borderline heretical.” (Heresy? Really? No, it is not heresy.) James wrote: “The piece, written by an African American reporter, was a stunning indictment of the intelligence, race, political affiliation and moral fiber of Donald Trump supporters.”
James was correct in that it was an indictment, although “stunning” many have been an adjective misused. Sadly, Ross’ article only underscored the stereotypical perceptions of the Republican Party. (And she never called them “dumber,” just less educated, although the connotation of “less educated” could easily be downgraded to mean “dumber” in its common use form.) If any good could be taken from the article’s stance, which James noted used polling data and statistical analysis to bolster her position, it was that, since Donald Trump seems to be polling in the 25 percent neighborhood, that would mean that roughly 75 percent aren’t being taken in by his hollow nativist grandstanding and fear-driven distractions. (Unless, of course, the New York Times’ Paul Krugman was correct in his statement in July that Trump was just as racist as the rest of the GOP field, just more blunt.)
James attempted to paint Ross as a black blue-collar poor-person basher (and why was Ross’ race mentioned at all?) even going so far as to provide an email quote from Ross — sent to James — that merely reinforced her use of poll data (not to mention Washington Post’s publicist Molly Gannon telling him the story spoke for itself). He even provided a voter’s critique of the Ross article, which noted that there was an apparent agenda and the Post would do well to report the news rather than shape it. (The same can easily be said of James’ article.)
To be fair, the Ross article does paint a dismal picture of those that support Donald Trump, which is approximately a quarter of the GOP voters. And that very well could have been the reporter’s intent. But at least in doing so, she supported her argument with statistical data. As for being “heretical,” writing with statistical data from polls might not be the most accurate measurement of a demographic, but heresy it isn’t. (Look it up.) And attempting to call her on her reporting with opinionated distractions and misdirections does not in any way refute the fact that the data used, unfortunately for those Republicans among Trump’s supporters, seems to indicate (because it is self-identifying information provided by poll respondents) that they are indeed less educated, poorer, and — given that they’re following a man constantly mouthing racist comments — more bigoted.