This article, “Fundamentalism, racism, fear and propaganda: An insider explains why rural, Christian white America will never change,” caught my attention recently. The author begins:
As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is still being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: “Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”
Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.
There are books available to explain Trump followers. A couple that have come to my attention are Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance and Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild. I haven’t read these books but found the following CBC radio interviews with the authors fascinating and enlightening.
Why White Working Class Voters Favour Trump: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-september-14-2016-1.3761300/why-white-working-class-voters-favour-trump-hillbilly-elegy-author-1.3761428
Trump Supporters Experience a Secular Rapture Says Sociologist Arlie Hochschild: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/pets-aren-t-people-trump-voters-canadian-meets-stem-cell-donor-who-saved-her-life-monet-s-water-lilies-1.3813712/trump-supporters-experience-a-secular-rapture-says-sociologist-arlie-hochschild-1.3813719
Any hope for any sort of meeting of the minds, accords, or rapprochement seems elusive. I have no solutions. I can only offer the information and insight of these people who have shared their first-hand experience of Trump’s supporters.