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Climate Hustle

President Trump would Make America Deplorable Again

Posted on 7 November 2016 by dana1981

In September, Hillary Clinton came under fire for suggesting that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belonged in “a basket of deplorables” consisting of “the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.” 

Labeling people in such a disparaging manner is not a constructive approach. However, research has shown it’s true that Donald Trump brings out the worst characteristics in Americans. Only about half of Trump supporters think global warming is real, and twice as many Republicans are unsure about the evidence as they were a year ago. Hostility towards women and racial resentment correlate with Trump support almost as strongly as party affiliation. Xenophobiamisogyny, and denial of science and facts are the defining characteristics of Donald Trump’s candidacy.

How did we get here?

Journalists have struggled to treat Donald Trump as something other than a standard presidential candidate. Because he constantly spawns new scandals and is lacking in the policy department, to normalize Trump and abnormalize Clinton, network evening news programs have devoted three times more coverage to Hillary Clinton’s emails than all policies combined, as accurately satirized by Saturday Night Live:

The nightly news programs have devoted zero time to discussing the candidates’ climate plans. Media false balance has struck again.

It’s important to realize that Donald Trump does have a few policy positions. For example, he wants to burn coal indefinitely because he denies the climate change consequences. Trump also wants to eliminate government spending on clean energy and climate researchcut taxes predominantly for the most wealthy, build a costly and pointless border wall, engage in expensive mass deportations, and deregulate the financial industry. Hillary Clinton’s extensive policy plans are effectively the opposite of Trump’s.

Many are puzzled that a candidate with such generally unpopular policy plans and who has been endorsed by the KKK could be supported by over 40% of Americans and have a chance at winning the presidency of the United States. Unfortunately we seem to have entered a post-truth era in which facts simply don’t matter. 

The two American political parties have become so different that swing voters have virtually gone extinct and most conservatives would vote for Mister Ed, were he the Republican Party nominee. Political ideology trumps facts, truth, and reality. And Trump’s support comes heavily from a single demographic: white men, mostly older and without a college degree.

Trump wants to regress to the white male-dominated 1950s

The Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” suggests that he wants to return the country to some bygone era. Based on the candidate’s words and his supporters’ feelings about science, women, and minorities, that era resembles the 1950s.

In the 1950s, only about one-third of women participated in the American work force, and African-Americans were still fighting for equality in the Civil Rights Movement. The tobacco industry created the playbook followed by the fossil fuel industry today: spread misinformation and sow doubt to keep the public consuming its deadly products. Nearly half of Americans smoked cigarettes in the 1950s (as compared to under 17% today). The tobacco industry already knew that smoking caused cancer, but used the denial playbook to keep Americans puffing.

These characteristics fit the era that Trump and his supporters appear to yearn for – an era in which white men dominated American society. Older, white male Americans who comprise the core of Donald Trump’s base are also the predominant climate science-denying group in the country. Social scientists theorize this is due to the group’s historical societal advantages. They have benefited from the societal status quo, and hence are least concerned with risks, especially when addressing those risks would mean changing the status quo from which they benefited.

Like it or not, the status quo is changing

White, male Americans are in the process of losing those historical societal advantages. As minority populations grow, they’re losing their grip on the American majority. The first racial minority president was elected and re-elected. Women are approaching even footing with men in the labor force. Even social norms are changing, for example with gay marriage becoming legal.

And of course the Earth’s climate itself is changing rapidly due to human-caused global warming, which is causing all sorts of negative consequences. Climate scientists are pleading with American voters not to make a choice our children will regret:

You have a fateful choice to make. The policies of candidates and parties on climate change could hardly be more different. Hillary Clinton would continue to work with the international community to tackle the global warming crisis and help the transition to modern clean and renewable energies. Donald Trump denies that the problem even exists and has promised to go back to coal and to undo the Paris Agreement

Donald Trump would be the only world leader to deny human-caused global warming and the tremendous risks it poses. His threats to undo the progress made to tackle climate change have elicited widespread condemnation from the international community, most recently from the Chinese government. When asked how his country would work with a Trump administration on climate change, China’s climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said:

If they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected. I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends

Americans: don’t vote to reverse half a century of progress

Donald Trump’s goal is to make America Mad Men again by reversing the progress we’ve made over the past half century and returning the country to a 1950s era-style society dominated by white men.

While progress toward racial and gender equality could hypothetically be reversed in a Trump presidency, climate change can’t be.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 19:

  1. I have posted the following comment elsewhere but am reposting as this is a more relevent thread. Ireceived a partial reply, but seek further opinions:

    If Trump wins the presidencey we know he's going to srew up the climate, but additionally I am also wondering what will happen to the funding of climate science and also the independence of the main scientific institutions and organisations seeing as they are all supposed to be involved in some socialist conspiricy to get people to pay more tax? Are we likely to see climate scientists face prosecution? Any guesses?

    Also, as a Uk citizen, I've already started to think about what can be done if Trump wins and goes about implemnenting his denialist policies. I think there should be a call to boycott all American owned businesses - McDonalds, Starbucks etc and to have ongoing demonstrations outside of these places in every town and city.

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  2. JonBo69: I personally believe that your questions/concerns about what Trump will do as President on the climate change front will be rendered moot after the votes are tallied tomorrow and Hillary Clinton is declared to be the "President-elect." 

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  3. Excellent article, and I couldn't agree more. Trump is in complete denial about climate change. Lets just hope sanity prevails tomorrow.

    How did we get to the current sad state of environmental, political and economic affairs in the western world? I think its historical process that has basically crashed (almost like a computer crash) as follows.

    During the post war period from 1945 - 1985 approximately western economies were protectionist and embraced welfare states, and this did work well in many regards. However the post war period became "top heavy" and hit a brick wall.

    As a result we had the neoliberal market orientated reforms of the 1980s, financial deregulation, and embrace of free trade and very high levels of immigration. Some of this was definitely wise, but it essentially swung too far in some regards, and became a sort of economic religion that has lost touch with reality and ordinary folk.

    Free trade has considerable merit, but has created some big losers in western economies, blue collar workers in particular.

    We have failed to look after the casualties of globalisation with sensible government policies, and so people like Trump have tapped into their frustrations. However Trumps policies will just make things even worse. Brexit is a similar phenomenon.

    The failure to mitigate the downsides of neoliberalism have allowed the crazy people to gain control, or get close to it.

    And crazy people, fascists, demagogues, conspiracy theorists, and haters of liberalism and government programmes will be likely to be climate change sceptics. It goes hand in hand.

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  4. @JonBo69,

    If Trump wins the presidencey we know he's going to srew up the climate, but additionally I am also wondering what will happen to the funding of climate science and also the independence of the main scientific institutions and organisations seeing as they are all supposed to be involved in some socialist conspiricy to get people to pay more tax? Are we likely to see climate scientists face prosecution? Any guesses?

    It is Republican senators and house members who want to do that and they will be emboldened by Trump who would facilitate them in any way possible. They most definitely will defund as much as they can and continue persecuting climatologists.

    Also, as a Uk citizen, I've already started to think about what can be done if Trump wins and goes about implemnenting his denialist policies. I think there should be a call to boycott all American owned businesses - McDonalds, Starbucks etc and to have ongoing demonstrations outside of these places in every town and city.

    I don't believe that either the governments of the UK or Europe will have the desire or the will to do those things. They will simply view the horror show from afar and hope it doesn't come their way.

    Deities help us all!

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  5. @villabolo,

    Hi,

    I didn't mean European governments, they won't do jack; I meant a call from the people to the people to boycott American businesses and goods produced by American firms, and for climate activists to have ongoing campaigns outside American owned businesses. Anyway, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

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  6. Sadly this whole debacle can be sheeted home to Obama.  At the beginning of his presidency, because of a lack of experience he pursued the very laudable goal of getting the GOP on side to run America for the benefit of her citizens.  He had a stary eyed view of his ability to create consenses as any reasonable man would.  Arguably, as a result he lost his majority in the first mid terms because of his innefectiveness.  He couldn't even shut down Guantanamo. Now, in his final major act he behaved as a politician instead of as a statesman and supported Hillary instead of Bernie.  If Bernie had been the Dem candidate, Trump would have been history already and Bernie would have been on the way to the largest majority that any president has ever had.  The only appeal that Trump has is his shared distain of the beltway with the American people.  That is the total base of his success.  Now Hillary will be president and that is not a pretty prospect.  Whichever candidate wins today, America will have dodged a bullet.

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  7. William @6, you are right when Obama was first elected he sought consensus, and probably alienated some of his supporters. But if he had taken a more combative approach at day one, he would have alienated the Republicans in congress and got even less legislation passed. So he was caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Obama also doesn't decide between Hillary or Bernie Saunders.This is decided by the super delegates who clearly favour Hilary. I doubt if Obamas opinion would have persuaded them otherwise, so its probably unfair to blame Obama too much.

    Remember The Democrats are not a left leaning party like Labour in Britain. The Democrats are liberals and would be seen as almost mildly centre right in many countries. They are mildly left leaning on some issues. So I assume Sanders would be a lot for them to support.

    This is just my understanding of the situation. I'm personaly sympathetic to Sanders and he did have a good level of public support.

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  8. OK, so the American people have spoken; fair enough. It looks as if the US is going to go rogue on climate. Our politicians will do nothing so, for those of us living outside of the US, at some point in the near future there needs to be a call from the people to the people to boycott goods produced by American companies, incuding the ones we all love - coke, pepsi, perhaps even going as far as not watching movies made in Hollywood, and to not use American owned businesses - Starbucks, McDonalds etc. Simple as!

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  9. Well it's all over bar the shocked horror of those so confidently predicting  a Clinton victory, much like the shocked horror of those predicting the UK would remain in the EU.  In reality though I suspect the rhetoric of Trump the campaigner may not be his language now he is President.  This unexpected result  does show however, that the world's journalists are not very good at predicting the future.  Will this result have an impact on the world's actions on climate change especially as the Republicans now control the Senate and Congress `as well as the Presidency?  Personally I think having so much control is not a good thing

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  10. John Hartz@2 "I personally believe that your questions/concerns about what Trump will do as President on the climate change front will be rendered moot after the votes are tallied tomorrow and Hillary Clinton is declared to be the "President-elect."

    What now as the questions about what Trump will do are clearly no longer "rendered moot"?

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  11. Haze@10,

    Do you really want to drill on the consequences of that sad morning of a new 9/11 (as 9th of Nov is written by the rest of the world)? What's the point?

    Just re-read the OP replacing "would" with "will". As I mentioned somewhere else, climate mitigation will be the very first casualty under the new administration because there is not opposition in Congress to the raving of the irresponssible man, particularly in thsat area of policies. This is especially sad. The only good news is that Paris agreement signed by Obama administration thankfuly went into force Nov 4 for the next 4 years, so the irresponsible administration will not be able to withdraw US from it, at least not immediately...

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  12. The whole 'Climate Change' thing is over. Trump will pull the funding, funding to the UN, withdraw from the Paris agreement. The UK have already closed down the Dept of Energy and Climate Change, Malcolm Roberts is precipitating change in the Australian Government. The whole thing will collapse like a house of cards.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Sloganeering is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  13. Haze @10: My new crystal ball has not yet arrived. My old one disintegrated as the election results came in..

    Seriously, I am as concerned as you are about what a Trump Presidency means for international and national efforts to mitigate manmade climate change. In fact, I have been posting links to numerous articles about this topic on the SkS Facebook page over the past few days and will continue to do so.

    Here are the ones I have posted to date:

    US election: Climate scientists react to Donald Trump’s victory by Carbon Brief Staff, Carbon Brief, Nov 9, 2016

    Trump Victory in Presidential Race Stuns Climate World by Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News, Nov 9, 2016

    The Paris Agreement will survive President Trump by Thomas Hale, Climate Home, Nov 9, 2016

    What it would really mean if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Nov 8, 2016

    What Trump's Surprise Victory Could Mean for Science by Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Scientific American, Nov 9, 2016

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  14. @Haze,

    What now as the questions about what Trump will do are clearly no longer "rendered moot"?

    Sharpen your pencils and come up with a mitigation plan that is acceptable to conservatives. I highly recommend you don't use the word "tax" anywhere in the plan, but something similar could be in there somewhere.

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  15. JonBo 69 @#1: You asked:

    Are we likely to see climate scientists face prosecution?

    If you mean criminal prosecution, I sincerely doubt that would occur in the US.

    For a more detail explanation of what might actually happen, see:

    What Trump's Surprise Victory Could Mean for Science by Ryan F. Mandelbaum, Scientific American, Nov 9, 2016

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  16. ABloke #12: You would do well to read:

    Physics Doesn’t Really Care Who Was Elected by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, Nov 9, 2016

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  17. Well I must confess to being slighly bemused Mr or Ms Moderator, having read you comments policy. 'On Topic' well everyone seemed to be discussing the effects of Donald Trumps presidency on 'Climate change'. My comment were appropriate to the thread, not repetitive, No sloganeering, unless you count 'collapse like a deck of cards'?!!! No link, no picture, no accusations of deception, no attacks. Political rants? No, bearing in mind the whole thread is tiled the 'President Trump would make America deplorable again' (a bit political and ranty, no?). All caps? No. Profanity/inflammatory? No. Dogpiling? No. Multiple identities? Not even mild schizophrenia. Copy/pasting? No. Spamming? No. Valid email address? Yes. So dear moderator exactly where have I transgressed 'policy'? I was merely expressing an opinion, as are others in this thread, as to the future of AGW now Trump is in the white house.

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    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Moderation complaint.

    [PS] Sloganeering is making statements/assertions, without providing evidence to back them up. Shooting the messenger will not make a problem disappear.

  18. Sorry, ABloke, but there is nothing about a Trump presidency that changes basic physics. 

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  19. Well said Rob and moderator (@12), but, what are the chances that ABloke will allow that to soak in.

    Though the reason I'm showing up here is to alter folks to what's happening in the United States, unfortunately it remains to be seen if the Democratic limp noodles will be able to do anything with it.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    POLITICS Obama Is Now Looking Into Trump’s Ties To Russia That FBI Ignored
    By Grant Stern
    http://occupydemocrats.com/2016/11/11/obama-now-looking-trumps-ties-russia-fbi-ignored/
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Text of Dworkin Report
    https://www.scribd.com/document/330757147/The-Dworkin-Report-by-The-Democratic-Coalition
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Trump’s Ties to Russia Uncovered in “The Dworkin Report,” Submitted to White House and Democratic Leadership
    http://www.keepamericagreat.us/thedworkinreport
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    http://liberalsociety.com/president-obama-takes-trump-matters-into-his-own-hands-launches-this-investigation/
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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