Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

Donald Trump and the death of identity politics

Wow, for a white supremacist Donald Trump has done very well among black and Latino voters. Literally Hitler, as some woke agitators loved to call him after he won the election in 2016, seems to have boosted his support among black men and black women and, most strikingly, among Latinos, who appear to be swinging things for Trump in some areas. Not bad for a president who, as the correct-thinking section of society constantly insisted, cares only about white folks.

The results from the US are still unclear. Joe Biden might very well end up in the White House. But the stronger-than-expected showing for Trump has delivered an almighty body blow to pollsters and pundits who predicted a Biden landslide and to those who had been praying this election would repudiate Trumpism once and for all. Whatever else the election might do, it hasn’t repudiated Trumpism. But it is very possible that it will repudiate identity politics.

According to one exit poll, white men were the only social group to shift significantly to the Democrats compared with 2016. Among other social groups — including white women, black men and Latinos — there appears to have been a shift towards Trump. I look forward to the myriad op-ed pieces claiming that Joe Biden has been the beneficiary of a ‘whitelash’, of nasty white men defending their own narrow political and social interests. After all, that’s what the chattering classes said when Trump won large numbers of white male votes in 2016, remember?

According to early analysis by CNN, Trump picked up significantly more Latino votes in key battleground states this time round than he did in 2016. In Florida, one of the most stunning results of the night, almost half of Latinos voted for Trump, up from 35 per cent in 2016.

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