A poll conducted by Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the Associated Press found a majority of respondents between 18 and 30 years old consider Donald Trump and illegitimate president. From the Associated Press:
That Trump is undeniably the nation’s 45th president doesn’t sit easily with young Americans…who are the nation’s increasingly diverse electorate of the future, according to a new poll. A majority of young adults — 57 percent — see Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found…
A slim majority of young whites in the poll, 53 percent, consider Trump a legitimate president, but even among that group 55 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing, according to the survey.
Here’s the graph showing the results:
There’s a pretty obvious racial gap here with an overwhelming majority of black and Hispanic voters saying Trump is illegitimate. But what exactly does that word mean in this context? The Associated Press story devotes very little space to that question. The story opens with 21-year-old Jermaine Anderson who is offended by remarks Trump made early in his campaign about Mexican immigrants. “You can’t be saying that (if) you’re the president,” Anderson tells the AP. Another 21-year-old named Megan Desrochers tells the AP, “I just think it was kind of a situation where he was voted in based on his celebrity status versus his ethics.”
So is “illegitimate” really just a stand in for someone the respondent doesn’t like? That seems to be the case here. Illegitimate doesn’t mean someone who should not be president in any legal or technical sense only in some more idealized sense which seems tightly connected with partisan outlook. But the AP also brings up a comment by Rep. John Lewis who said this year, “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” Is that part of what is driving the results here?
If nothing else, it seems the left has succeeded in mainstreaming the idea that dislike for a president is reason enough to consider that president “illegitimate.” That’s pretty remarkable coming from a party that just weeks prior to the election was shocked Trump would not agree in advance to accept the results of the election. The concern at the time was that Trump might challenge the legitimacy of Hillary Clinton’s win and thereby do damage to the country. I guess all of that sounded good at the time, but now that Trump has won 3/4 of two of the left’s major constituencies seem to have become “doubters of democracy” and MSNBC doesn’t seem too concerned.