[...] one might separate those Trump voters who could and should be responsive to such an appeal from the card-carrying racists and alt-right ethnonationalists who are not. To say that the former outnumber the latter by a wide margin is not to deny that reactionary populist movements draw heavily on loaded rhetoric and have emboldened formerly fringe groups of real white supremacists. But it does refute the hasty conclusion that the overwhelming majority of reactionary populist voters are forever closed to appeals on behalf of an expanded working class of the sort evoked by Bernie Sanders. That view is not only empirically wrong but counterproductive, and likely to be self-fulfilling.
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that a progressive-populist bloc should mute pressing concerns about racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and transphobia. On the contrary, fighting these harms must be central to a progressive-populist bloc. But it is counterproductive to address them through moralizing condescension, in the mode of progressive neoliberalism. That approach assumes a shallow and inadequate view of these injustices, grossly exaggerating the extent to which the trouble is inside people's heads and missing the depth of the structural-institutional forces that undergird them.