The American Heartland As Viscoelastic Liquid: A Case Study

From the Wall Street Journal today:

Places Most Unsettled by Rapid Demographic Change Are Drawn to Donald Trump

ARCADIA, Wis.—Small towns in the Midwest have diversified more quickly than almost any part of the U.S. since the start of an immigration wave at the beginning of this century. The resulting cultural changes appear to be moving the political needle.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of census data shows that counties in a distinct cluster of Midwestern states—Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota—saw among the fastest influxes of nonwhite residents of anywhere in the U.S. between 2000 and 2015. Hundreds of cities long dominated by white residents got a burst of Latino newcomers who migrated from Central America or uprooted from California and Texas.

That shift helps explain the emergence of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a political force, and signals that tensions over immigration will likely outlive his candidacy. Among GOP voters in this year’s presidential primaries, counties that diversified rapidly were more likely to vote for the New York businessman, the Journal’s analysis shows.

As you probably know by now, I’ve got a metaphor for everything. My metaphor for this, as explained here a year ago, is that societies are like Silly Putty: the faster you deform them, the more likely they are to snap.

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  1. the one eyed man says

    Well, the election is three days away. It is possible, though unlikely, that someone whose ascent to political fame comes from spreading a demonstrably false claim about Obama’s birthplace will be elected President. Kenya believe it?

    This is the first election where the KKK, the KGB, and the FBI are all supporting the same candidate. That’s a tough group of opponents. We’ll have to see what happens. However, your analogy to Silly Putty is spot on, especially for this election.

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
  2. The KKK and KGB are supporting HRC? I guess that makes sense. Birds of a feather …

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink
  3. When the one-eyed king of demonstrably false assertions asserts that Mr. Trump’s “political fame comes from spreading a demonstrably false claim”, years after that claim had already been spread seven ways to Sunday, would that constitute the mother of all false assertions?

    Posted November 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink