Just when you thought you’ve heard all the crazy.  The perpetually outraged, feverishly joyless progressive left is never happy.  America is always in crisis, people are always in crisis, the whole world is always in crisis.  And plastic straws!

Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw the following headline at progressive outlet Mother Jones:  “Racial Resentment Is Down Since 2016.” That’s great, I thought!  We want that, don’t we?  All of us:  left, right, center?

Not so fast, apparently.  This admitted decrease in racial resentment is a crisis in the making.  After all, if racial resentment is down under President Trump, something is wrong with the left’s narrative that Trump is causing racial divisions and is personally responsible for every real and imagined racist word, thought, and deed.

Among white Republicans in the pre-Obama years, the number who felt that the biggest problem among blacks was lack of willpower (LOW) was pretty steady at around 50 percent. But when Obama was elected president, LOW suddenly shot up by ten points. The mere fact of having a black man in the White House was enough to trigger feelings of racial resentment.

This faded out a bit over the next six years, but in 2016 LOW was still five points higher than it had been before Obama was elected. This is one of the things that helped Donald Trump get elected.

But look what’s happened since. With Obama gone, LOW plummeted 11 points. It’s now precisely where it would be if it had followed the pre-Obama trendline for another ten years.

This suggests that racial resentment among white Republicans has been on a steady downward trend for more than 20 years, interrupted only by the election of Barack Obama. But with Obama now out of the picture, racial resentment is way down from 2016 . . . .

Instead of being happy with a clear socio-cultural good, Mother Jones somehow manages to spin this into an indictment of President Trump.

But with Obama now out of the picture, racial resentment is way down from 2016, which means that Donald Trump has far less raw racial material to work with than he did four years ago. This doesn’t mean that Democrats can go hog-wild in the wokeness sweepstakes, but it does mean that Trump’s increasingly vitriolic racism is probably having less of an effect than we fear.

The most likely outcome of all this is that Trump will feel like he needs to go further and further to get the same response he did in 2016, and that will eventually force him to go too far.

It’s often said that if Trump cured cancer the left would be upset that related jobs would dry up.  Usually, I think this is amusing because it cuts to the heart of the left’s irrational view of the president in a colorful and seemingly hyperbolic way.  Perhaps it’s not so hyperbolic, after all.

Somewhere, Trump’s 2020 campaign team is smiling.

 
 
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