by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A lot of ink has been spilled (or should I say pixels generated) speculating about why a critical mass of the U.S. electorate, strategically located, decided to stun the planet in November 2016 and put Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Zito and Todd took an unconventional approach: They talked to voters from places like Ashtabula, Ohio and Freeland, Pennsylvania who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. They took what they learned, and categorized these voters into seven “archetypes,” from “Red-Blooded and Blue-Collared” to “Silent Suburban Moms.”
Yet the factor that weaves these disparate archetypes together is the idea of community. Put simply, the voters interviewed explained – albeit in different ways — that they cast their 2016 ballots in the way they thought would best sustain their communities.
How did these voters define their communities? Clearly their idea of community included the local town or city in which they lived. But these voters also saw themselves as part of the American community. They often expressed pride in the vote for Trump in terms of feeling that they had done something special for their country.
What they didn’t identify with was what elites sometimes call the “international community.”