Donald Trump Does His Best Joe McCarthy

In How We Behave On

Underlying it all is a broad and unspoken fear of the looming loss of white dominance in American society. Increased diversity, notably the rapidly growing Hispanic population in the United States, is leading to a broader fear of all minority groups and foreigners, analysts believe.

“White working-class voters who say they often feel like a stranger in their own land and who believe the U.S. needs protecting against foreign influence were 3.5 times more likely to favor Trump than those who did not share those concerns,” concluded a study released in May by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic magazine.

Recent studies by psychologists have found that when they talk to white Americans about a future in which they are in the minority, that drives them to express more conservative views. “You see a pretty reliable shift to the right” when you emphasize the projected change in the demographics of the United States, says Jennifer Richeson, a professor of psychology at Yale University and one of the researchers involved with the studies. “Once you activate the fear of a threat to group status, then anybody who is seen as not part of that group is seen as more of a threat.”

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