One of the most curious findings about the 2017 election is that 53 percent of White women voted for Trump.

 
Traits associated with education were influential. Sixty-two percent of White women without a college degree voted for Trump.
 
We may see changes in the data as more sophisticated analyses appear. However, what is striking is the contrast between the feminist emphasis of many demonstrations against Trump's inauguration, and the way that non-minority women actually voted.
 
Commentators are asking how many of the estimated two million protesters bothered to vote.
 
Demonstrations in foreign capitals, and guarded comments by national leaders suggest that the new President may face a rocky road in his foreign relations.
 
Stiff-arming the Mexican President will not add to Trump's allure among those accomplished in diplomatic relations.
 
His statements and actions against Muslims may warm the hearts of some tired of Obama's evasion of the issue, but Trump may have gone too far in the direction of what's tolerable.
 
The "America First" Chief Executive may not aspire to leading anything beyond his own shores.
 
Yet he has investments in numerous countries, some of them with the name "Trump."
 
That these are already raising questions among those concerned about the kashrut of his administration may complicate his standing at home as well as what he does overseas.
 
Back to the women, those White female voters get in the way of a loud feminist claim that Donald is a threat to their interests.
 
They also say something about the nature of American polarization. Race and political correctness is somewhere in the mix, with skeptics of PC part of the Trump explanation.
 
Why the majority of White women voted for Trump is one of the mysteries that more sophisticated research might reveal.
 
Some or many of them may have been voting against Hillary.
 
Democrats wanting to put their party in order might consider the absence of a moderate without a problematic history from their primaries. We should expect some nastiness between Democratic centrists and leftists.
 
Some of those women voting for Trump may be racist, tired of the spotlight focused on Barack Obama.
 
Or maybe racial skeptics, wondering why Obama did not do more for the people of color who voted for him.
 
Or maybe only suspicious of Obama's variety of political correctness, and sentiments expressed for Blacks, Muslims, and sexual minorities under the umbrella of LGBT.
 
Fascination about the issues of women and Donald Trump touch only part of the complexity of American society.
 
A population more than 320 million and one of the world's largest territories includes the best and the worst of what is available. 
 
The US is the richest national economy in a macro sense, and among the richest per capita, but it also scores as the most unequal western democracy in terms of the shares available to rich and poor. 
 
Racism is not too far under the surface, as shown by the Black-White divisions in recent presidential elections.
 
American health centers are among the best in the world, attracting patients with special needs from throughout the US and the world. Yet it is those with personal wealth or good insurance who benefit from the skills and facilities. Overall health indicators for the US include the worst among developed countries for life expectancy and infant mortality. Moreover, there's been a recent dip in American life expectancy. And with Trump fiddling with the Affordable Care Act, the overall picture may get worse for millions at the bottom.
 
What's available and what should be available continues to bother American voters more clearly than those of other well to do democracies. Trump,,the Tea Party, the Christian Right, and Libertarians reflect clusters that agree on some things and differ on others, but  their overall weight reflects something that differs in the US from other countries, and has been with it since the beginning. They join with federalism and local home rule to create a situation where many Americans live very well, while many others endure the absence of what residents of other countries take for granted.
 
However, the very elements of government structure and culture that limit Americans' benefits will limit the capacity of Trump and his friends to change greatly what exists. Moreover, the wealth of the US will provide the wherewithal to pay off in one way or another some of those who claim they are losing because of Trump.
 
We're hearing that the new administration is having second thoughts about moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, and wants to give peace yet another chance in their hands.
 
We can guess that it won't take too long for Donald and his son-in-law, put in charge of negotiations, to realize that Palestinians won't take much less than history as it was in 1967, or maybe 1947.
 
Perhaps by way of payoff for changing his tune on the Embassy, Trump is signaling that he won't oppose the construction of some three thousand housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
 
Right wing Jews--like Palestinians--are never happy with less than everything. Settlers and their friends are already worrying that not all the planned homes will be built. But they'll get something, even while documents issued by the US in Jerusalem may not be labeled as done in Israel.
 
Bibi may be trying to pay back Donald by indicating support for his wall against Mexicans.
 
Or that may only be one of the desperations shown by a Prime Minister worried about police investigations.
 
There's lots to keep us wondering, and commenting. 


-- 
Ira Sharkansky (Emeritus)
Department of Political Science
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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