I never thought there was a chance this could happen. When Mr. Trump announced his bid I said it would never go anywhere. When he surged to the top of the pack a few months later I thought he would be out by the time of the Iowa caucuses. When he won big on Super Tuesday, I was certain the Republican National Convention would find a way to cheat him the nomination. After he lost the Wisconsin primary, I was even more certain that a “convention coup” would leave him powerless.
Next thing I knew, he was the nominee, and I was regularly donating to the campaign and knocking on doors for him every weekend. But even then, I thought it impossible. I even wrote a column called “Summoning the Ghost of Ralph Nader,” in which I claimed the best thing Trump supporters could do was encourage as many leftists to support Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein, so as to tip the election to Mr. Trump just as Ralph Nader tipped it to President Bush in 2000. I encouraged white advocates to go onto leftist websites and stump for Dr. Stein, and recommended they use anti-Clinton articles from the Marxian website Jacobin. I also supported putting up yard signs for Dr. Stein in liberal neighborhoods of swing states.
Between that column and the night of the election, I also wrote still unpublished articles anticipating Mrs. Clinton’s triumph. We should get ready for legal battles over new restrictions on free speech, homeschooling, and gun rights by donating and becoming members to advocacy groups that defend those rights. The Friday night before the election, I wrote a letter to my future child. It was a letter asking for forgiveness for my first failure as a parent: not doing enough to get Mr. Trump elected. A selection:
Mr. Trump promised me something I had thought out of reach. A president who might keep the rising tide of color at bay. . . . It was inspirational and I thought of you. I thought that with enough hard work, I could get you there.
The hardest thing about my job was knocking on the doors of literal millionaires who sneered at me and belittled Mr. Trump. I will never forgive the people who can afford to live in a safe, white neighborhood, but deny the same to us by voting fashionably. Right now I wonder how I could have explained to them that they needn’t even share what they have; just give others a chance. None would ever admit the real truth behind what makes their neighborhoods so good. Folks in million-dollar homes in all-white neighborhoods stared at your sweaty father and laughed at him and told him they would never vote for Mr. Trump in a million years. And they didn’t.
Getting rich isn’t in the cards for us. So if you are reading this, I am sorry. I tried my hardest. I donated over and over again. I argued over and over again. Your mother and I lost friends because we supported him. She worried she might lose her job, or be denied a future job. She got terribly anxious and wanted me to make it all better, but all I could do was knock on more doors and donate more money. It wasn’t enough, and I’m so sorry.
When I finished writing that letter, I went to bed depressed and woke up angry. Between that Saturday morning and Election Day afternoon, I knocked on almost a thousand doors. Not for one second did I think Mr. Trump had a chance, but I knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t try. I’ve always thought knowing you are going to lose is a stupid reason not to fight.
Well, God helps those who help themselves. I admit that the swing state I went door-knocking in did not go to Mr. Trump. Nor does it appear that the Green Party cost the Democrats this election, though it may have cost them Michigan and Wisconsin. All the same, I was part of the great white uprising. Whites just like me, across the nation, knocked on doors, donated, argued, and voted in their interests. People just like me made all the difference in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and it mattered. After the Tea Party sweep in 2010, American Renaissance’s Stephen Webster wrote:
The left knows that for the time being, whites still have the power to take their country back–if they are willing to use that power. For now, whites have chosen the Republican Party to express their interests, but as the Tea Party movement shows, whites can build other organizations. Whether whites will ever build mass movements that express their interests as whites remains to be seen.
It no longer remains to be seen. Whites, to the surprise of many people, do not want to die. My prior dread and doubt now seem absurd, even pitiful. In 2008 Michelle Obama said, “Let me tell you something. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” It took me eight years, but I finally agree with her.