But white women are not leaving the Republican party as fast as one might hope. If some white women are defecting from their traditional Republican loyalties, others – half – are staying. The trend of white women’s shift to the Democratic party, while real, also seems to be happening much more slowly than the most hopeful analyses predicted. Last month the New York Times ran a story on what it claimed was widespread support for the Democratic Texas Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke among white evangelical women. The story contained accounts by white women who were disgusted by the Trump administration’s internment of refugee children at the border, and who had resolved to vote for Democrats. It suggested that the support of these white women could be decisive for Democrats hoping to make gains in a changing southern state. Instead, white women in Texas supported O’Rourke’s Republican opponent, the reptilian Ted Cruz, by 59%.
What is wrong with white women? Why do half of them so consistently vote for Republicans, even as the Republican party morphs into a monstrously ugly organization that is increasingly indistinguishable from a hate group? The most likely answer seems to be that white women vote for Republicans for the same reason that white men do: because they are racist. Trump, with his raucous rallies and his bloviating, combative style, has offered his supporters an opportunity to savor the pleasures of being cruel. It is likely that the white women who voted for him in 2016, and who will vote for him again in 2020, find this racist sadism gratifying. It is fun for them.