Thanks for nothing, Ulster


I hate to break this to my friends in Belfast, but according to Reihan Salam writing at Slate, we here in the states have the Scots-Irish, descended sons and daughters of Ulster, to thank for propelling Donald Trump to his commanding lead atop the GOP primary heap:

[In Iowa] … the counties that went for Trump tended to have higher rates of unemployment and a higher share of adults who identify as Scots-Irish, or simply as “American.” …

The Scots-Irish or “American” whites who see Trump as their champion are profoundly different from the metropolitan whites who dominate the upper echelons of U.S. society—so much so that the convention of lumping them together as “white” detracts far more from our understanding of how they fit into our society than it adds to it. J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a forthcoming book on the place of Appalachian whites in modern America, estimates that roughly one-quarter of whites belong to the Scots-Irish tribe that has embraced Trump.

Then again, I suspect my Belfast friends would likely be unsurprised by this given that most of them are labeled Catholic (whether they’re religious or not) in Northern Ireland’s dysfunctional identity-centric society, and America’s Scots-Irish are the descendants of Ulster Protestants.

In fact, given the arrogance, aggressive ignorance, xenophobia, and religious bigotry that Trump gleefully espouses, he’d fit right in among Belfast’s fleggers