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The story "fake" news media would prefer you did not see
June 18, 2017

Chronicle opinion

(SEATTLE, WA.) -- You probably won't see this story as a headline feature item anytime soon on Fox "Fixed" News or pumped on the radio by all the right-wing extremist schlock jocks.

But it is news (real news) and it is interesting because it says something, profoundly perhaps, about a dark, not-so-nice underbelly of a portion of white America. How big a portion, hard to say.

We missed this story when it was published a few days ago by the Seattle Times. A reader turned us on to it. We asked around a bit to see if anyone else had missed it. None of the eight people we queried had heard of the story.

It's a long piece so here's the short take on it.

A man named Christopher Parker, a political-science professor at the University of Washington for the past 11 years says, "“Nobody in the media has called me up and said ‘you were right.’ ”

Right about what? Parker is one of the few people in America who correctly foresaw in September of 2015 that Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination for president, eight long months before that actually happened and then last September predicted that the fully unqualified, barely literate Trump -- now the subject of a federal criminal investigation according to Mr. Trump himself -- could very well win the Presidency.

That was during a time when many Americans were sure Hillary Clinton would crush Trump in the race for the White House and the polls were indicating that outcome.

Why was Parker of such a contrary mindset when so many others were not? He says he saw that outcome a long time ago in "the data" and it was a no-brainer.

On Monday June 12th researchers released "the most comprehensive survey data yet aimed at understanding what actually went down in Election 2016," according to the Times piece and in that report is the data Parker mentions.

That research is called "The Voter Study Group" and it is, as it turns out, the nation’s largest, longest running (legit) political focus group because it tracked "the attitudes and votes of the same 8,000 adults since before the 2012 election, and then throughout the 2016 election."

And here's the big surprise to many people. That Voter Study Group report released this month flies in the face of what much of the news media has told us about why Donald Trump won the presidency.

The running/working story line has been this one: working-class white folks, angry because they'd been "left behind" by a changing economy, changing times and world trade deals flocked to vote for Trump due to worries over jobs and their futures -- in other words, an economic survival move.

They were willing to grasp at any populist savior who promised them what they wanted to hear: jobs coming back, manufacturing coming back, coal industry coming back, kill the NAFTA deal, etc.

But the Voter Study Group research suggests those reasons are not the overriding reason Trump won.

From the research and Times report:

“What stands out most...is the attitudes that became more strongly related to the vote in 2016: attitudes about immigration, feelings toward black people, and feelings toward Muslims,” writes George Washington University professor John Sides. He notes that the media focused on less-educated whites, but negative racial attitudes fueled by Trump were a big motivator for college-educated whites, too. And a substantial share of Trump voters “appeared to embrace a conception of American identity predicated on birthplace and especially Christian faith."

According to the Times story, Parker has been talking about this angle for years and that a 2013 book he co-authored about the Tea Party, "Change They Can't Believe In," used survey data to show it was NOT "a 'small government' movement as advertised.

The Tea Party movement was more about whites feeling America had been stolen from “real Americans” — "a reaction triggered by the election of President Obama."

To that Parker says he has three words for you: "Scared white people. Every period of racial progress in this country is followed by a period of retrenchment. That’s what the 2016 election was about, and it was plain as it was happening.”

A fascinating read found here and that one that you should not pass up if you desire real news in place of fake Fox Fixed News and fake Alex Jones news.



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