Understanding MAGA

I have made it my quest lately to try and understand the MAGA folks who voted for the current Oval Office occupant. They surely are not set on destroying our country but what drives them? I got a partial answer to that from a recent Fareed Zakaria program on CNN.

He was interviewing Tara Westover who is an author and recent Yale Doctrate graduate. The interesting thing was that she came from a Morman survivalist family in Idaho. She managed to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University despite her family prohibiting any formal education as a child! That alone is totally amazing and her story as written in her book shows us a unique insight into some of the MAGA clan. I am just beginning the book about her amazing young life. I will very likely have more to say about it in later posts.

For this post, I want to keep our central attention on her interview with Fareed. I think it provides another clue in the MAGA cult phenomenon. Let’s start with the image below:

As shown in yellow these twenty-five states have the lowest medium household income. Unsuprisingly, my homestate of Indiana is in that group. Yes, there are several auto plants in the state but for the most part jobs requiring college educations are just not that prevelent. But that is only secondary to the point of this post. Let’s look at the next image:

As you can plainly see the all of the low income States voted for the current Oval Office occupant. Many by double digit figures. Of course, this is not the whole story of MAGA but it seems obvious that they are just not bringing home the income of those who voted against the current occupant. But is that a cause for effect? Are they bitter because, due to lack of education, they are not reaping the benefits of the higher income States?

Another factor that is surely in play is education levels. I don’t have the data at hand but I’m pretty sure the States above are likely also in the lower education levels. I know for Indiana less then 25% have a college degree. That is compared to 33% at the national level.

Like Ms. Westover, I can certainly attest the opening of my worldview was primarily because of the population and diversity at the college I attended. Up until that point I had little idea just how different the world was outside my small rural home town.