Trumpism is more about culture than economics

When it comes to political discourse, educated Trump voters are more likely than working-class Trump supporters to view politics as a zero-sum game and to have less tolerance for disagreement with political opponents. Trump supporters with college degrees are also considerably more distrusting of experts than people with college degrees who live in small towns and rural areas, so there really is something about Trumpism that is more powerful than geography and demographics.

On race, 71 percent of the population thinks black Americans suffer discrimination. Given common portrayals of the working class, one shouldn’t be surprised that this drops to 46 percent among the Trump working class. But one might be surprised to know it drops even further to 33 percent among Trump supporters with college degrees.

Trumpism is an anti-leftist, anti-elitist cultural stance. It is not a policy agenda. If Trump had campaigned on eliminating the inheritance tax for the rich while keeping up his anti-elitist bluster, his support would have remained unchanged. The fact that working-class Trump supporters believe in entrepreneurship more than the average American could be just as easily used to suggest that a pro-worker agenda should focus on small business and angel investing rather than industrial policy. Economic populism seems to enjoy more support from highly educated writers, pundits, and politicians than the working class whose interests they claim to defend.