Once white progressives disabuse themselves of the notion that purely economic appeals will win their fellow whites — whites steeped as they’ve been in fifty years of the GOP’s Southern Strategy that tells them that Big Government exists only to help nonwhites and non-Christians — then we’ll be getting somewhere.
As we’ve seen again and again and again, most whites vote according to their racial, religious, and cultural fears, not their economic interests. (Kentucky’s gubernatorial election last year is a classic example thereof. White voters chose a Republican who’d promised to kill their very popular and well-run Kynect healthcare insurance program and make it harder for people to get Medicaid and Medicare. Why? Because he’d embraced anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis, and poking LGBTQ in their collective eyes was more important to them than having good healthcare.)
But of course the whole idea that Trump’s supporters are all the downtrodden white poor or working class (and thus driven by economic anxiety) is a myth anyway. Trump primary supporter households had an average median income of $72,000 a year, $10,000 more than other non-Hispanic whites. These are not poor angry whites; these are the former city people who moved (or whose parents moved) to the suburbs or exurbs the second a black family moved into their city neighborhood.