45 and Local Ravanchism

I’m starting to think a lot of support for 45 has to do with the diminishing political power of local elites, which used to determine most elections and porkbarrel spending in their districts. Exit polling suggests that the election result was due to white people and people making over $50k/yr (two groups that heavily overlap, since white households are worth, on average, something like 16 times what black households are worth). At the same time, Republicans have so heavily gerrymandered districts throughout the midwest and south that these states are essentially one-party states. As the RNC sought an agenda that would increase wealth for the 1%, who are tied to global trends much more than local trends, the local 1% in these areas, who are wealthy in local terms (these states also being the poorest), but left out of macrotrends globally started to get mad.

I’ve been thinking about this in relation, too, to the devastation of local news media and the centrality of national news media. Local news media used to be the way that local elites kept control of their voters, but now they have no direct means. This might explain why investigative journalists have found that supporters of 45 don’t read the news, like at all, and continue to support someone whose grasp of political economy is as small-scale and limited as their own.

A friend asked me how national right-wing news media (Breitbart, Drudge Report, Fox News) plays into this. I don’t have answers for that yet, but I’m betting that it has something to do with the conspiratorial worldview that “will convince you the world is terrible” combined with how President Bannon’s apocalyptic worldview appeal to an elite that feels it should be or used to be more important than it is.


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