Tl;dr: White Americans exposed to more diversity are more likely to support Trump, anti-PC speech and anti-immigration policies while showing less support and positivity towards Democratic candidates. In the racial shift group, whites with low racial identity, ethnic replacement didn’t seem to care about ethnic replacement and showed stronger support for Democratic candidates. To wake up more whites to anti-immigration sentiments and white identity politics, you need to show them the effects of diversity in the social context as well as what a demographic replacement will mean in the next two decades.
Why did so many white Americans support Donald Trump’s Presidency? The reasons are numerous, though there are some key reasons why he won. To look at the exact reasons why, we need to look at some evolutionary psychology as well as political psychology. I came across a paper today titled The threat of increasing diversity: Why many White Americans support Trump in the 2016 presidential election, it has many thought provoking things in it and pretty much confirms what the altright says about an increase in white identity occurring. An ‘ethnic awakening’ if you will. The authors state that white Americans high in racial identity will be more likely to derogate out-groups when white Americans realize they are becoming replaced in their own country.
Major, Blojorn and Blascovich (2016) state that reminding white Americans who are ‘high in ethnic identification’ (i.e., a white identitarian, an altrighters) that non-white populations will soon outnumber whites caused them to be more concerned about the future of whites in America, pushing them towards Trump and his anti-immigration policies. This also led to an increase in being politically incorrect. Moreover, whites low in ethnic identification (say, a progressive leftist) showed no greater chance in voting for Trump nor his anti-immigration policies. This did, however, decrease positivity towards Trump as well as decreased their opposition towards political correctness. The authors write:
The U.S. Census Bureau (2012) projects that the national population of non-White racial groups will exceed that of Whites before the middle of this century. Many White Americans in the US view race relations as “zero-sum,” in which status gains for minorities means status loss for Whites (Wilkins & Kaiser, 2014) and less bias against minorities means more bias against Whites (Norton & Sommers, 2011). The belief that Whites are losing out to ethnic minorities is particularly prevalent among Trump supporters (De Jonge, 2016).
This is noticed, anecdotally speaking and you can follow the citations to get more information. From an evolutionary perspective, this does make sense. Competition for resources between groups trigger evolutionary instincts. More non-whites in America will decrease the white population who has the lowest birth rate by ethnicity in the country and this will trigger more anti-immigration sentiments in whites high in ethnic identification. This ‘zero-sum game’, the ‘if your ethnic group has more than mine has less’ game will start to take hold in America in the next coming years if this paper is any indication of the future. The one particularly interesting point the authors bring up is that if there is “less ‘bias against minorities, there will be more minorities against whites”, and that, in turn, increased anti-immigration sentiments as well as drove people towards Trump and his anti-immigration views.
The more minorities that come into the country, the more whites in America will start to band together for their own ethnic genetic interests, move towards more conservative policies and begin to show more derogation towards the out-group.
The authors use the term ‘group status threat’, which is when one “worries that his group’s status, influence, and position in the hierarchy is under threat.” This threat then predicts out-group derogation. I wonder if oxytocin (a brain peptide that increases out-group derogation) increases when diversity occurs in the social context. I’d like to see that looked into one day.
There is also ‘integrated threat theory’ where increased diversity poses a threat to white Americans’ resources and American values. They also state, using social cognition theory, that increases in diversity will be ‘frightening’ and ‘confusing’ to whites, causing “uncertainty and fear”, which then drove whites towards more conservative anti-immigration policies.
When whites high in ethnic identification were shown a newspaper article stating that whites would be a minority by 2042, it led whites to be more concerned about whites’ social status in the country, leading them towards more conservative views and policies. It’s important to note that their views changed along with their policy recommendations.
In this study, the authors tested experimentally whether reminding white Americans that of the increasing diversity in the US affects their political leanings, whether or not group status is the cause of the political leanings when one hears about ethnic replacements, and whether or not ethnic identification or political alignment moderated the effects. They expected that reminding whites of ethnic replacement will cause them to lean towards conservative views and politicians (Trump, Kasich, Cruz) while decreasing support for Democrats (Clinton and Sanders).
People who experience ‘group status threat’ will be more likely to vote for Trump since he has more anti-immigration, antidiversity views than all politicians who ran for President. This, the researchers hypothesized, would come to fruition in their study. They also predicted that reminding white Americans of ethnic replacement would cause them to support more anti-immigration policies and be more resistant to political correctness, i.e., they would be more likely to be against positive policies for the out-group. They would become intolerant towards the out-group upon exposure to the reality of ethnic replacement in the country.
We also tested ethnic identification and political affiliation as potential moderators of the predicted effect of condition.1 Drawing on social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986), we expected that reminders of increasing ethnic diversity would be especially threatening to Whites whose race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity. Thus we expected them to report greater support for Republican candidates, anti-immigrant policies, and opposition to political correctness in response to reminders of the racial shift compared to Whites low in ethnic identification. In contrast, based on Craig and Richeson’s (2014b) finding that reminders of the racial shift increased support for conservative ideology irrespective of political leanings, we did not expect political affiliation to moderate effects.
Whites whose ‘race/ethnicity is a central aspect of their identity’, i.e. altrighters were predicted to be especially threatened at the reminder of ethnic replacement in their country of birth. However, as expected and what is seen in anecdotal accounts, whites low in ethnic identification, i.e., progressive leftists, antifas, etc, showed the opposite.
The researchers had a sample consisting of 450 white Americans with the following political beliefs: 262 Democrats, 114 Republicans, 50 Independents and 24 ‘other’. After removing the Independents and ‘others’ from the sample they had 376 white American participants (51.1 percent female).
They were given articles and were given two minutes to read them. One was an article talking about the ethnic replacement of whites and whites’ minority status in America that’s projected to occur by 2042 (aptly called ‘racial shift’) while the other article used “similar language to indicate geographic mobility is increasing (control condition).” It’s interesting to note that it seems like the only difference between the two articles is the wording. After reading the articles, they then completed tasks assessing group status threat, support for the current candidates running for office, anti-immigration sentiments, ethnic identification, and opposition to political correctness. After the completion of the tasks, they were then told the reason for the study and compensated their one dollar.
White Americans exposed to ‘racial shift condition’ reported greater group status threat than those in the control condition. This shows that white Americans who live in a diverse neighborhood will be more likely to be affected by the ‘racial shift condition’, leading them towards anti-immigration sentiment, a strong feeling towards white identity, and be more likely to hold more right-wing views. Whites high in ethnic identification showed greater group status threat than the control (.29) in the racial shift condition while whites low in ethnic identification did not. So, white identitarians showed a greater feeling of threat towards the group than did progressive leftists and antifas. Can’t say I’m too surprised. I did theorize in my article on the rise of the altright that either leftists have less oxytocin and altrighters have more, or that since political beliefs are heritable that high amounts of oxytocin will have one gravitate towards using their altruistic tendencies for the out-group or the in-group. This seems to be some evidence for my theory. For both right-wingers and left-wingers, ethnic identification was positively related to group status threat, but it was stronger in right-wingers. Even more evidence for my oxytocin/political beliefs theory.
White identitarians (whites high in ethnic identification) reported moderately greater positivity towards Trump as well as an even greater chance of voting for him in the racial shift scenario compared to the geographic movement scenario. Conversely, whites low in ethnic identification (progressive leftists, antifas, etc) showed less positivity towards Trump in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement (control) condition,. However, in the racial shift condition, when one had high ethnic identification it led to increased positivity and a higher chance of voting for Trump. However, in the geographic condition, ethnic identification was unrelated to positivity towards Trump as well as voting for him.
Whites who showed less identification showed somewhat less support towards Sanders, being somewhat less likely to vote for him in the racial shift condition than in the geographic movement condition. In whites low in ethnic identity, neither condition (racial shift or geographic movement) had any effect on voting for Sanders or positivity towards him. Now here’s the good part: in the racial shift condition, whites high in ethnic identity showed somewhat less support and positivity towards Sanders in the racial shift condition compared to the geographic shift condition. Moreover, in the racial shift condition, ethnic identification was negatively correlated with positivity and chance of voting for Sanders, whereas in the control condition ethnic identification showed no effect.
In the racial shift condition, white identitarians were more supportive of anti-immigration policies than progressive leftists, while whites low in ethnic identification showed no difference, regardless of the condition. Ethnic identification was related to anti-immigration policies in both the racial shift and geographic movement conditions, but it was stronger in the racial shift condition.
White identitarians did not differ in outlook on political correctness by condition, while whites who show less ethnic identity reported less opposition to political correctness. Ethnic identification and anti-PC views were positively related in the racial shift condition but unrelated in the geographic shift condition.
Exposure to the racial shift condition vs. the geographic movement condition elicits different responses based on one’s political alignment and ethnic identification. Exposure to the racial shift condition increased group status threat, support for Trump and support for anti-immigration policies while somewhat decreasing support for Sanders, but only among whites high in ethnic identification. Conversely, for whites low in ethnic identification in exposure to the racial shift, there was no effect on group status threat, support for Sanders or anti-immigration sentiments and actually led to a decrease in positivity for Trump. That’s pretty powerful right there.
The support and election of Donald Trump is showing a paradigm shift in this country as ethnies in America start voting on racial lines. As diversity continues to increase and as more white Americans begin to realize the ethnic replacement will begin to impede on how many resources they have access to as well as the ‘racism being flipped on them’ with ‘less bias on minorities being more bias towards whites’, more and more whites will start voting not on party lines, but ethnic lines like all other ethnies in this country do. In the racial shift group, whites high in ethnic identification showed increased support for Trump and anti-immigration policies, increased opposition towards political correctness and decreased Sanders support through group status threat. Conversely, in the racial shift group, reminders of ethnic replacement in whites low in ethnic identification showed decreased Trump support and his policies and did not lead to group status threat. This can be termed ‘ethnic suicide’. Clearly, increased diversity is a threat to some but not all white Americans.
What boggles my mind is that when whites low in ethnic identification were reminded of the projected ethnic replacement by 2042, they decreased support for Trump and increased support for anti-immigration policies and their support for norms that prohibit bias in hate speech, which was not mediated by the group status threat. The authors put forth one theory why this may be the case. They say that whites low in ethnic identification were thinking of the changing racial demographics on the country as a whole, not just on their own ethnic group which may have led them to support a candidate who is tolerant of diversity and antibias norms. Reminding Americans high in racial identity of ethnic replacement increasingly shifted support to Trump and away from Sanders. Though this effect was not seen in relation to other candidates, the authors attributed this to Trump’s stance on immigration and political correctness relative to the other Republican candidates. To those white Americans with a high racial identity who experience group status threat, they would be drawn to Trump and his anti-immigration, anti-PC speech. The authors state:
Of all of the candidates, Trump has been most vocal in his opposition to “outsiders” such as Muslims and illegal immigrants from Latin America, and most openly critical of “political correctness” in both his rhetoric and his behavior. Trump’s rhetoric and policies thus appear to hold special appeal for White Americans highly in racial/ethnic identification who are concerned about the declining position of Whites in American society and who often perceive reverse discrimination as prevalent. In contrast, Sanders may have been perceived as the most inclusive candidate and thus most likely to exacerbate threats to White’s status as a group.
This sums up the 2016 election in one paragraph. White Americans high in racial identity showed a greater chance to vote for Trump, greater opposition to political correctness and were more likely to espouse anti-immigration sentiments.
Political leaning affiliation had a large and expected effect on candidate choice as well as policy preferences. Compared to Dems, Republicans reported much stronger support for Republican candidates than Democratic candidates while being more supportive of anti-immigration and “more un-PC attitudes”. However, when reminded of ethnic replacement, both Democrats and Republicans who showed high racial identification were more likely to lean right and vote Trump. This study shows important implications about group identity and intergroup process to voting preferences. In whites high in racial identity, increased racial diversity affects voting preferences amongst whites, with the strength of the racial/ethnic identity moderating the effect. I.e., the stronger a racial identity one has the more likely they are to support Trump and anti-immigration policies, irrespective of political leaning. Due to this study, psychologists and political scientists need to begin to pay attention to the increasing concerns of whites high in racial identification, while traditionally thinking that white Americans’ politics weren’t driven by white identity, deeming them to be unimportant to whites’ political outlooks. For example, one study showed that “racial identification, perceptions of discrimination, and linked fate were only weak predictors of White Americans’ attitudes on policies related to race and immigration. This led them to conclude that “Whites’ whiteness is usually likely to be no more noteworthy to them than is breathing the air around them” (Sears and Savelli, 2006, p. 901).
However, the current political climate shows that this no longer is the case. As more non-whites immigrate into America, whites who have high racial identity, irrespective of political leaning, will become more open to supporting Trump (or people like him) as well as anti-immigration policies. As the white majority in America shrinks, more and more white Americans will be open to white identity politics to get back their rightful resources in the country as well as the demographic majority. Eventually, with more and more unchecked immigration, white identity will start to become a central part in white American politics and voting blocks. White Americans who regard their identity as ‘white’ and an important part of their identity, future white American political preferences will be molded by group status threat as well as opposition to diversity. Trump has ‘tapped into’ the demographic of white Americans who feel looked down on in their own home country from mass immigration from the South (and soon from MENA countries). White Americans who feel that their numerical advantage is threatened are more likely to vote for Trump and support anti-immigration policies that will begin to benefit American whites.
It is, however, important to note that Trump may not be who he says he is (like most politicians). On election night last month I blogged on Donald Trump and Ethnic Genetic Interests. I showed that contrary to the average perception of him, his interests lie with Israel, not with his own racial group (due to his children marrying Jews). Moreover, he has already reneged on his wall, deporting illegals and his supposed moratorium on Muslim immigration into the US from threat countries. If anything, Trump is just a stepping stone towards more nationalistic attitudes in the US for whites. With the increased diversity, whites will start to see that they are becoming replaced by other ethnies and in whites with high racial identity, it will trigger nationalistic attitudes and responses to the impending threat on their unique genetic code. This will help to foster the awakening of more whites to identity politics, voting in their own ethnic interests and not for the interest of other ethnies.
I personally hope this leads to a renaissance of race-realism in America, but I may be aiming the bar too high. The conclusion of this study is hopeful for the status of whites in America, however. The more whites that get exposed to diversity AND have high racial identity will then lean more towards Trumpian policies. As whites decrease in number in the US, more and more whites will begin to vote for themselves and, in my opinion, once these nationalistic attitudes appear in the white consciousness in America, this demographic replacement can begin to be reversed. If it were not for the increased immigration, however, this would not have happened. The increased immigration is a main driver of these feelings towards political correctness and anti-immigration. The more anti-white sentiment that is heard in America, the more whites high in racial identity will move towards the right while leftists will continue to commit ‘ethnic suicide’.
The takeaway from this paper is this: Whites exposed to the racial shift high in racial identity were more likely to support Trump, anti-immigration policies and be anti-PC. Whites in the racial shift condition who showed low racial identity showed the opposite and were more likely to vote for Democratic candidates. This paper shows good news in the future for whites in America and voting in their interests. Whites in America are beginning to vote for their ethnic genetic interests and this is largely due to genetic similarity theory as immigration from MENA countries and South of the border increase into America. Moreover, with Trump’s allegiance to Israel, Trump is just a man to awaken more people to the realities of immigration. So Trump himself won’t do anything, but his anti-immigration rhetoric is having people notice the realities of immigration and ethnic replacement in America.