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Ramesh Ponnuru

Trump Didn't Win Because of Racism

There are a lot of factors behind his shocking victory. Be skeptical of this one.
They have their reasons.

They have their reasons.

Photographer: Mark Wallheiser/Getty

So this is what it feels like to live through a political earthquake. Donald Trump's victory is a bigger upset than Harry Truman's 1948 defeat of Thomas Dewey. Truman was after all the sitting president. Many people found the prospect of President Trump unimaginable: I did, in the weeks after his campaign began (and as late as early evening on Election Day I still thought he was likely to lose).

Given how surprising the results were, we should wait before making confident judgments about what it all means. But we should look very skeptically at one of the explanations that I'm seeing a lot from the liberals I follow on social media: The country voted for Trump because of white racism.