Progressives May Be on the “Wrong Side of History”

My fellow Americans, I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history.”

President Barack Obama, Oval Office Address (6 December 2015)

 

“We’ll let you guys prophesy/ We gon’ see the future first.”

Frank Ocean, “Nikes” (Blonde)

 

“What is at stake in the conflict over representations of the future is nothing other than the attitude of the declining classes to their decline—either demoralization, which leads to a rout….or mobilization, which leads to the collective search for a collective solution to the crisis.  What can make the difference is, fundamentally, the possession of the symbolic instruments enabling the group to take control of the crisis and to organize themselves with a view to a collective response, rather than fleeing from real or feared degradation in a reactionary resentment and the representation of history as a conspiracy.”

Pierre Bourdieu, The Bachelor’s Ball (p. 189)

 

There is a prevalent assumption in the U.S. political discourse that the country is growing more diverse–and as it grows more diverse, it will also grow more politically liberal. However, when we look at longitudinal data from the last three presidential elections, if anything, the trend seems to be going the opposite direction. Full analysis coming soon, but in the meantime, I have posted a couple of charts comparing NYT exit-polling data from 2008, 2012 and 2016, to be utilized in my forthcoming article.

For those interested in midterm elections, the results are little better, as I show here.

A FAQ about exit-polling is available here.

 

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