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With Trump It's Always Been About What He Thinks He Can Get Away With... Including The Census

Is it possible that anyone was surprised to find out that Trump was trying to cheat on the census? The surprise would come if he wasn't trying. Everything Trump has ever done in his entire life-- as far as I can tell-- has been all wrapped in self-serving narcissism. Everything. There's nothing genuine or remotely oriented towards the common good about Donald Trump. How his supporters don't see it, is mind-boggling. Are they that stupid? That strung out on opioids? That susceptible to the most obvious charlatans and con men?

The five most educated states in the union:

  • Massachusetts- 32.1% Trump, 75% fully vaccinated

  • Maryland- 32.1% Trump, 72% fully vaccinated

  • Connecticut- 39.2% Trump, 76% fully vaccinated

  • Vermont- 30.7% Trump, 78% fully vaccinated

  • Colorado- 41.9% Trump, 67% fully vaccinated

And these are the five least educated states in the union-- from bad to worst:

  • Alabama- 62.0% Trump, 48% fully vaccinated

  • Arkansas- 62.4% Trump, 52% fully vaccinated

  • Louisiana- 58.5% Trump, 51% fully vaccinated

  • West Virginia- 68.6% Trump, 56% fully vaccinated

  • Mississippi- 57.6% Trump, 49% fully vaccinated

I included vaccination rates because they are another clear indicator of stupidity-- on a Darwinian level of survival. You can see there are no exceptions to the obvious correlations. The dumber the residents of a state, the more likely they are to support Trump and refuse life-saving vaccines.

When Trump said he loves the poorly educated on the night he won in 2016, he knew what he was talking about. Every poll since then has shown a correlation between supporting Trump and lack of education. The most recent polling from YouGov for The Economist (Wednesday) shows that 40% of voters have a favorable view of Trump but that among white men with no college degree that number increases to 58% (and to 50% among white women with no college degree). Meanwhile, Trump's favorables withe Blacks is 20% and among Hispanics 26%.

Trump's reaction to the census was primitive: give more electoral clout to under-educated whites and take away electoral clout from people of color. So, after an investigation by Michael Wines, this was the NY Times headline Saturday: Census Memo Cites ‘Unprecedented’ Meddling by Trump Administration. The culprit? Super crooked Trump crony Wilbur Ross, who Trump had installed as Commerce Secretary. Wines wrote that "A newly disclosed memorandum citing 'unprecedented' meddling by the Trump administration in the 2020 census and circulated among top Census Bureau officials indicates how strongly they sought to resist efforts by the administration to manipulate the count for Republican political gain... It was written in September 2020 as the administration was pressing the bureau to end the count weeks early so that if Trump lost the election in November, he could receive population estimates used to reapportion the House of Representatives before leaving office... The Trump administration had long been open about its intention to change the formula for divvying up House seats among the states by excluding noncitizens from the population counts. That would leave an older and whiter population base in states with large immigrant populations, something that was presumed to work to Republican advantage.

The memo laid out a string of instances of political interference that senior census officials planned to raise with Wilbur Ross, who was then the secretary of the Commerce Department, which oversees the bureau. The issues involved crucial technical aspects of the count, including the privacy of census respondents, the use of estimates to fill in missing population data, pressure to take shortcuts to produce population totals quickly and political pressure on a crash program that was seeking to identify and count unauthorized immigrants.
Most of those issues directly affected the population estimates used for reapportionment. In particular, the administration was adamant that-- for the first time ever-- the bureau separately tally the number of undocumented immigrants in each state. Trump had ordered the tally in a July 2020 presidential memorandum, saying he wanted to subtract them from House reapportionment population estimates.
The census officials’ memorandum pushed back especially forcefully, complaining of “direct engagement” by political appointees with the methods that experts were using to find and count unauthorized noncitizens.
...The memorandum was among hundreds of documents that the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school obtained in a lawsuit seeking details of the Trump administration’s plans for calculating the allotment of House seats. The suit was concluded in October, but none of the documents had been made public until now.
...Trump’s presidential memorandum ordering the Census Bureau to compile a list of noncitizens for that purpose prompted a far-reaching plan to scour billions of government records for hints of foreigners living here, illegally or not. The bureau proved unable to produce the noncitizen count before Trump left office, and noncitizens were counted in the allocation of House seats, just as they had been in every census since 1790.
But as the documents show, that was not for lack of effort on the part of the Commerce Department and its leader at the time.
Among other disclosures, undated documents show that Ross was enlisted to lobby 10 Republican governors whose states had been reluctant to turn over driver’s license records and lists of people enrolled in public assistance programs so that they could be screened for potential noncitizens.

CNN's coverage added that "In addition to Ross' apparent interest in Census Bureau affairs, other FOIA records show the Commerce Department under the Trump administration was in close contact with anti-immigration groups leading up to the 2020 census count. Records show Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for reduced immigration, emailing directly with Ross in December 2019 about the group's recent report on 'long-term consequences of mass immigration and the apportionment of House seats...' The email opens with a reference to a call from Ross. The FOIA records also reveal a connection between a Commerce Department official and a former Trump adviser known for his work in the administration peddling unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. An email chain shows a Commerce Department employee putting [Trumpist Nathaniel] Cogley in contact with the Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky, a member of Trump's failed voter fraud commission."

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