Trump Pitches White Underclass

2016 Delegates to the RNC were not the typical Republicans. This year's delegates were more grassroot Americans. Photo Credits: Win McNamee/Getty Images
2016 Delegates to the RNC were not the typical Republicans. This year’s delegates were mostly members of the white underclass.
Photo Credits: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Donald Trump made a pitch to the white underclass to come out in large numbers in November to elect him President of the United States of America. During his acceptance speech at the National Republican Convention, Trump spoke directly to the white underclass in American society. He told them that he was their “voice.”

Many delegates to this year’s Republican Convention represented the white underclass and not the upper crust that has dominated previous Republican conventions. The well-bred stayed home, under the delusion that Trump had hijacked their party. It was this group of Republicans, watching the coronation of Donald Trump from home, to whom Ted Cruz had spoken on the third night of the convention.

But Trump realized he was standing on center stage as the Grand Old Party standard bearer because nearly 14 million white Americans voted for him; many who had not participated in politic before 2016. No Republican candidate for its party’s nomination has ever polled as many votes in the primary process; not Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush or Mitt Romney.

Trump’s pitch to this segment of white Americans is based on their fear that Black lives have mattered too much in recent years to the detriment of this white underclass. This group of less affluent whites fear the rising tide of Black people in the wake of the Obama presidency. Trump skillfully tugged at the worst fears of this sub-group of white people by proclaiming early in his acceptance speech: “In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate.”

“I’m your voice,” he told this group of Americans who feel like no one in Washington has paid any attention to their rights as white Americans.

“On January 20, 2017, safety will be restored,” he told them.

“Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims,” he said.

To Black Americans, these are code words for a quick uptick in repressive policing, probably before sundown on January 20, 2017.

Trump did what he had to do at the Republican convention. He gave millions of white Americans hope that the trend toward a more inclusive union championed by President Barack Obama, could come to a squeaking halt in November. It remains to be seen if Black Lives Matter Americans will feel the need to turn out in large numbers to keep marching toward a more perfect union.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at



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Published by Michael

Harold Michael Harvey is a Past President of The Gate City Bar Association and is the recipient of the Association’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award. He is the author of Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, and a two-time winner of Allvoices’ Political Pundit Prize. His work has appeared in Facing South, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Black Colleges Nines, and Medium.

2 replies on “Trump Pitches White Underclass”

  1. But what those UNDERCLASSED has failed to see is that the the GOP spreads the wealth among the ALREADY WEATHY WHITES, and this process keeps them exactly where they already are….IN THE UNDERCLASS. A prime example of that system was showcased right here in Alabama 17th a 23count felony case against the Alabama Speaker of the house. 23 counts of using the government system to funnel 2.3million dollars into his bank accounts,not yours as the state cut jobs and raised the 529college funds. Then asked voters to give them the authority to raid the rainy day fund to the sum of $425million dollars, as they choses not to expand state Medicare, or except 2billions dollars from the as they say..OBAMACARE incentives as provided by the FEDS. They starved the white middle class by making them here President Obama and his administration. So as Alabama voted Anti-Obama tickets the last 8years, they are in 7 of those years how corrupt those GOP candidates are. So if Alabama could be a model for the country…WATCH OUT AMERICA. OR SHALL I SAY BLACK AMERICA, keep your green card handy…IJS

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