Sunday, November 26, 2017

Which Came First?

There's an ongoing chicken-and-egg argument about Donald J. Trump among the pundit class. Is his rise to power the effect of years of Republican rhetoric and Fox News propaganda, based on white people's fear of a changing country? Or is Trump himself the cause of our current moment?

While I think the answer is "both" (he's reinforcing but also building and normalizing the rhetoric, playing on white fears like a musician who plays by ear rather than by learning music), here's an interesting graph from a recent Washington Post story called Elitists, crybabies, and junky degrees: A Trump supporter explains rising conservative anger at American universities:

The topic of the story relates directly to my recent post about Billy's Mule and the death of expertise; but the graph shows that while there's been an ongoing gap between Democrats and Republicans on the value of higher education, it grew by a lot, rapidly, starting in 2015.

What happened in 2015? Well, gee. Trump spent half the year publicly pushing his Idiocracy campaign. So once again, is it cause and effect? Or just correlation?

I can't think of anything else that happened in 2015 and 2016 (that wasn't also happening in 2014 and earlier) that could have caused this. Can you?

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

I found that article one of the most depressing things I’ve read recently. Ignorance is strength, as someone once wrote.