Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Penthouse Populist" in U.S. News & World Report re Trump's appeal to the rural poor

Joe Williams reports this week in U.S. News & World Report under the headline, "Penthouse Populist:  Why the rural poor love Donald Trump."  Williams explores and tries to explain why the rural poor are attracted to Trump--or, just as tellingly or saliently--why they do not care for Hillary Clinton:
Drive an hour or two outside of any major U.S. city, however – Washington, D.C., for example – and campaign signs for Trump dominate the countryside: nestled in soybean fields and thick woods; beside two-lane highways and shotgun houses.

Support for Clinton is hard to find, if it exists at all.

"I guess I want to say it's not terribly surprising," says Lisa Pruitt, a faculty member at the Center for Poverty Research at the University California-Davis. "I would say it's not terribly unusual."

That's because, despite a strong grasp on rural poverty issues and more than a decade in the Ozarks, Clinton is an intellectual Democratic politician – anathema to God-fearing, gun-loving people in places like the Central Plains or down-east Maine. Voters in the American hinterlands don't much like where her party stands on hot-button issues like same-sex marriage, civil rights and abortion, and believe she's among the political elites who constantly look down on them.
Interestingly, just as Williams is pondering this question for U.S. News, I see that Arlie Hochschild has just published a book called Strangers in Their Own Land:  Anger and Mourning on the American Right.   This title is telling because it suggests--perhaps accurately--that the conservative Tea Party types Hochschild went to Louisiana to interview--and whose lives and opinions are the core of the book--have become the "strangers" in the United States, that they are no longer the default norm they were once seen as being.   More on Hochschild's book another day.

1 comment:

Whatis Pedia said...

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i think we see rural on different ways