A few days ago the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a national study on the 2016 presidential election. In it, the authors sought to understand the reasons behind the decisions of a prominent group of mostly white Christian male voters that had voted Democratic in 2012, but then switched to Republican in 2016. The mainstream media narrative has largely been that this group was motivated by economic anxiety, anger at the past, and felt that Hillary Clinton did not address their economic woes and needs. The study debunks that narrative. Using several national survey data sets, the authors showed the following:
"[The study found that] losing a job or income between 2012 and 2016 did not make a person any more likely to support Mr. Trump... neither did the mere perception that one's financial situation had worsened. A person's opinion on how trade affected personal finances had little bearing on political preferences. Neither did unemployment or the density of manufacturing jobs in one's area.... [further data study] showed that anxieties about retirement, education and medical bills also had little impact on whether a person supported Mr. Trump."
"White, Christian and male voters, the study suggests, turned to Mr. Trump because they felt their status was at risk. It's not a threat to their own economic well-being; it's a threat to their group's dominance in our country over all." This is the second national study of its kind, the first found the top reasons for support for Mr. Trump were adherence to the Republican party, fear of cultural displacement and supporting deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally.
And a few days later, Alek Minassian drove a van onto a sidewalk in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring around 14 more - the Toronto Police has confirmed that those killed and injured were predominantly women. Minutes before the deadly attack, Mr. Minassian posted on Facebook about his hatred of women and praised Elliot Rodger, who, in 2014, declared he wanted to 'punish women for rejecting him' and did so by going on a murderous rampage, killing 3 women and 3 men and wounding 13 more. Mr. Minassian seemingly identifies as an involuntary celibate, or 'incel' - groups of young men who rail against feminism and promote hate towards women (especially the ones who refuse them sexually) and see themselves as victims of a society moving toward equality. Since the attack in Toronto, online communities of young men have praised Mr. Minassian, calling him a hero, a saint, and celebrated with beers every woman he murdered.
If only women had paid him attention, dated him, had sex with him, given him what he was owed, none of this might have happened.