Sunday, April 3, 2016

What Really Made the Right Nuts

By Martin Longman

It seems like a lot of people are observing the psychiatric wreckage of the American right and wondering out loud if the president bears any special responsibility for this emotional crackup. It got to the point last week that Obama actually had to answer a question about this. He said the theory was “novel,” and then he dismissed it.

There are a lot of theories going around, actually, and none of them seem to have a complete explanation. That the president is a biracial black man certainly has caused a reaction, but it’s a pretty incomplete theory, and one that by its own terms precludes the president from bearing any possible responsibility. No one chooses their parents.

At the Washington Monthly, we just ran a piece on the startling fact that middle age white men are now more likely to commit crimes than young adults. Kevin Drum thinks the current generation of young adults are less violent because they weren’t exposed to as much lead as children. Either way, the hollowing out of the manufacturing base and loss of good-paying blue collar jobs should be a pretty important component of any theory about why older whites without high school diplomas are flocking to a charlatan like Donald Trump.

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