In his otherwise excellent article, “Black Lives Matter” (October SR), Brian Richardson repeats a fallacy promoted by the American mass media — that the “more than 19 million white Americans” who “fall below the poverty line” form the “cohort of justifiably angry Americans that the billionaire Donald Trump has pitched his bellicose appeal.” The facts do not concur.
Exit polls in early primary voting show that the median household income of a Trump voter is about $72,000, well above the national median of about $56,000. Also, 44 percent of Trump supporters have college degrees compared with 29 percent of all American adults.
Trump voters are also more likely than the average American to be employed. A recent Gallup poll confirmed these findings, concluding that “Trump’s popularity cannot be neatly linked to economic hardship.”
Trump’s popularity is rooted in the increasing polarisation of US society, where many people who expected to rise in social and economic status through hard work and education have fallen instead.
They may not be the disaffected middle class which forms the base for fascist movements; but they are closer to that than they are to “the ground-down poor” who are falsely blamed for his popularity.