Asked on Quora: “Most people I know are voting for Donald Trump. What about you?”

David S. Rose

David S. Rose, On multiple campaign finance committees

As others have noted, this question is perfectly emblematic of the stark polarization in the race and what it says about the division in our country. It has nothing to do with liberal/conservative, white/black, even rich/poor or urban/rural.

Instead, it has—for the first time—thrown into our faces that fact that we live in a country fundamentally divided into the “elites” and the “left behinds”.

The former group consists of significant majorities of the 38% of Americans with college degrees, the 42% of Americans with passports, the 47% of Americans who live in the country’s 30 largest cities, and the 49% of Americans with salaries over $55,000. This group does not necessarily believe that things are great or that the years ahead will be better than the ones behind. But because of their education, their exposure to other races, cultures and mores, and their ability to support themselves (even if not optimally), they understand that the sources of the challenges we face are fundamental, global and to a large extent a function of exponentially accelerating technology and population growth.

In contrast, members of the latter group (regardless of age, gender or geography) find themselves barely hanging on in a world that seems to be getting more unfair every day. They are playing by the rules they were taught as children: work hard, follow the law, and rely on yourself. Do that, they were taught, and you will be able to live comfortably, and your children will live even better. But instead, they find that someone has changed the rules in the ninth inning. Their hard work can’t pay the bills, millions of people who broke the law are taking their jobs, and large groups of ‘others’ are getting extra help, accommodation or protections. All of this is just not fair, and they are passionate about voting for the one person willing to call it like it is, who will reinstate the original rules and stand up to those people who changed them.

Which (at long last) brings me to my answer to your question: I, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students and my employees are all squarely in the first category. While I am widely traveled with a very, very large circle of acquaintances in real life and online, I believe I am being completely accurate when I state that…

I am aware of not one, single person out of the thousands of people I know who will admit to supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Not one. Not the conservatives. Not the Republicans. Not the business people. Not even those of us in New York who happen to know and admire both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

In fact, among that first group in which I find myself, even the thought of possibly voting for him is considered so fundamentally irrational as to be quite literally incomprehensible.

So, no, my world—in a solidly blue state—which seems to be not quite the same as yours…which I assume is in a deep red one.

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