Why do white evangelicals remain some of Trump’s most consistent supporters? In this short series, we’ll look briefly at a variety of explanations. Today’s is status threat theory.
Above, a pro-Trump meme shows the president looking directly at the camera, pointing his finger at the viewer. The text readers: “In reality they’re not after me[.] They’re after you[.] I’m just in the way.”
Here, power isn’t merely political power (though it is that too) but power over our symbols. It’s why Trump has vowed to say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”
For more on status threat as an explanation of Trump’s appeal to some voters, see Diana C. Mutz’s article “Status Threat, Not Economic Hardship, Explains the 2016 Presidential Vote” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.