News and Commentary

MSNBC’s Hayes On Trump’s Base: ‘White Men Without A Four-Year Degree, And Disposable Income Enough To Buy A Boat’
Christopher Hayes attends The Build Series at AOL HQ
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

On Sunday evening, engaging with Washington Post political reporter Dave Weigel on Twitter, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes made abundantly clear what he thinks of President Trump’s voter base, sneering that they are “white men without a four-year degree, and disposable income enough to buy a boat.”

Weigel precipitated Hayes’ condescending remark by tweeting, “All those years scouring diners for Trump voters when longform writers could have been chilling on boats.”

Hayes laughed, “no but actually! It’s a better representation of the base, for real.”

Weigel followed: “I keep trying to make this point but don’t want to be patronizing. The Florida man with a HS degree and a pile of disposable income really is a perfect Trump supporter.”

Hayes summed up: “correct: white men without a four-year degree, and disposable income enough to buy a boat are genuinely the Trump base.”

In August 2019, after two mass shootings, one in Dayton, Ohio, and another in El Paso, Texas, killed over 30 people,  Hayes attacked Trump, saying he had cultivated a “racist ideology”:

Even before the mass murders this weekend, even before this white supremacist committed what is being treated as an act of domestic terrorism, it has been clear from the first moment that Donald Trump came down that escalator four years ago, and particularly clear in the last few weeks as Donald Trump stood idly by as a crowd at his rally chanted “send her back,” the President’s cultivation of racist ideology and his racist definition of what the U.S. is for, pose an existential threat to what the country’s nature should be.

Also in August 2019, after a guest on his show called for people to show up with “pitchforks and torches” at the home of wealthy Trump donor Stephen Ross, who had held a fundraiser for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, Hayes agreed.

Ross, the chairman and majority owner of The Related Companies, which owns Equinox and SoulCycle fitness centers, was brought up by Elie Mystal, the executive editor for the “Above The Law” legal blog, who told Hayes:

People of color are already targets under this administration. I have no problem with shining the light back on the donors who fund this kind of racialized hate. I go farther; I want pitchforks and torches outside this man’s house in the Hamptons.

“I’ve been to the Hamptons; it’s very nice, but there’s no reason why it has to be,” he continued. “There’s no reason why he should be having his nice, little party. There is no reason why people shouldn’t be able to be outside of his house and making their voices peacefully understood that they reject this stuff.”

“Totally,” Hayes responded. “There have been peaceful protests outside [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s house and I imagine there will be peaceful protests outside [Ross’s house]. Again, it’s all speech.”

“Trump is a bigoted demagogue and we all kind of know that. These people should be ashamed of supporting him. Right? Like, at this point you should basically only be able to contribute to the Trump campaign with bitcoin,” Mystal said. “But Equinox man is holding an ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ party and he’s surprised the people are getting up in his grill. We know that there is no constitutional way to put pressure on these people’s exercise of their money as speech, but there’s darn sure social pressure that we have barely tried. It’s time for us to start trying at least.”

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