Posted on June 11, 2024

A New Look at the Cultural Insecurity of Trump Supporters

Philip Bump, Washington Post, June 6, 2024

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On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released an extensive report looking at Americans’ views on race, gender and cultural issues. It included questions that help delineate the unique ways in which Trump supporters view those issues and the extent to which insecurity about the status of White men, in particular, is elemental to the movement.

Take a question about whether the diversity of America’s population strengthens the country. Overall, Americans were more likely to say that diversity strengthened society than they were to say that it weakened society by a 54-point margin. Among Biden supporters, the gap was 78 points. Among Trump supporters? Only 30. Less than half of Trump supporters said that America’s diversity strengthened society.

That was just one question. The research included several similar queries, ones aimed at elucidating how comfortable Americans are with different aspects of that diversity.

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Perhaps Pew’s most pointed question on this subject centered on the increase in racial diversity in the United States over time, largely a function of the increase in immigration since the end of the baby boom. Most Americans, including most supporters of Biden and Trump, see the decline in the percentage of Whites in the population as neither good nor bad. But Trump supporters are 35 points more likely to say “bad” than “good,” compared with a 14-point gap overall.

Nearly 1 in 5 Trump supporters views the increased diversity in the United States as very bad for society.

There is research that shows that White Republicans are more triggered by reports of the decline in the density of the White population in America and that the idea of hard lines of racial identity is overly simplistic. Pew’s research makes obvious how the former concern manifests on the right.

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