- As a brown guy, I can't say that I'm particularly excited about the sudden appearance of swastikas. On the other hand, attributing Donald Trump's victory to racism is ludicrous. Several of my brown family members (myself excluded) eagerly voted for Trump. Similarly, many predominantly white working-class and/or rural counties that voted for Trump actually voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Not far from Rochester, Seneca County, Cayuga County, Oswego County, Madison County, Cortland County, Broome County, and Ostego County all voted for Obama in 2012. In 2016, all seven counties voted for Trump. Did the residents of these counties suddenly become racist? Highly doubtful.
- To divide America into rural and urban America may be equally simplistic. As above, many regional rural counties gladly voted for Obama in 2012. Furthermore, America's most densely populated state, New Jersey, saw nine of its twenty-one counties vote for Trump.
- Finally, explaining this outcome as a vote of the college educated versus the high school educated is just as condensed a version as any. Some of the staunchest conservatives this country knows have been educated at the country's most elite institutions of higher learning. A few examples include:
- Laura Ingraham. The conservative radio show host is a graduate of Dartmouth College. Interestingly, she hails from Connecticut, which is generally a dark blue state.
- Ted Cruz. The ultraconservative senator from Texas is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.
- Clarence Thomas. The conservative Supreme Court justice is a graduate of Yale Law School. He also happens to be African-American.
- Ann Coulter. The conservative political commentator is a graduate of nearby Cornell University. Neither Ithaca nor Coulter's native New York City are known for conservatism.
America is complicated, and simple answers do not exist. As Rochesterians, we are perfectly situated to have this realization. As history has shown, we will rise to the challenge.