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Anthropological journalism as denial


The NYT’s editorial board’s decision to print fourteen letters from Trump supporters explaining why they still support him represents a sort of budget version of the anthropological journalism we’ve been getting from Even the Liberal Media on this particular topic.

Anthropological journalism consists of sending a reporter out to some “exotic” locale in flyover country, to interview Racist Fuckhead (not his real name) and his friends about their decision to vote for Trump. The very structure of these stories asserts that the fact that the American political system excreted the Trump presidency requires some special explanation, hence the investment in continual Kurtz-like journeys into the Heart of Darkness, to explore why white people ordinary Americans voted as they did.

The methods employed are unsound. They are unsound, because they make a mystery out of something that is in no way mysterious. Donald Trump got elected because he represents the ideology of the modern Republican party, as first unveiled in Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign, then refined by Richard Nixon’s southern strategy, then perfected by Ronald Reagan.

This ideology can be reduced to the following proposition: America was a great nation when it recognized the natural superiority of the following things:

The white race

The male gender

Rich people

America (this entity is a reification of the first three).

America will be great again when we get back to recognizing these things again. This is what being opposed to “the liberal elites,” “political correctness,” and “identity politics” means.

Trump says the quiet parts loud, and that is the only significant difference between him and Ronald Reagan, patron saint of the modern Republican party.

The end.

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