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Your America is fading; like Trump, they insist they were duped

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New York.- When Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas voted last year to reject Donald J. Trump’s electoral defeat, many of his constituents in Fort Bend County were thrilled.

Like the former president, they have not been happy with the changes taking place around them. The crime and sprawl of Houston, the big city next door, has spilled over into its once-farm towns. (“Build a wall,” Nehls likes to say, and make Houston pay.) In recent years, the county has become one of the most diverse in the country, where the former white majority has dwindled to just 30 percent of the population.

Don Demel, a 61-year-old salesman who came last month to pick up a signed copy of a Nehls book about the allegedly stolen election, said his parents raised him “color blind.” But the reason for the discontent was clear: Other white people in Fort Bend “didn’t like certain people coming here,” he said. “It’s the race. They are old school.”

A declining proportion of whites in the population is a hallmark of the constituencies held by House Republicans who voted to challenge Trump’s defeat, a New York Times analysis found — a pattern that political scientists say shows how whites’ fear of losing status shaped the movement to keep him in power.

The share of white residents fell about 35 percent more over the past three decades in those districts than in territory represented by other Republicans, the analysis found, and voters also fell behind in income and education. Rates of so-called deaths of despair, such as suicide, drug overdose and alcohol-related liver failure, were also notably higher.

Although overshadowed by the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, the House vote that day was Trump’s most important strategy to nullify the election. It called into question the central ritual of American democracy, galvanized the party base around the myth of a stolen victory and set a precedent that legal experts and some Republican lawmakers warn could perpetually embroil Congress in the election. of a president.

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