How America feels to Trump supporters

Ezra Klein talks with anthropologist Arlie Hochschild, who visited Trump country in Louisiana, and talked with many of his supporters to learn how America looks to them.

They see themselves as patiently waiting in line for their due reward, only to find the line isn’t going anywhere. When they look ahead, they see immigrants and other special interest groups cutting ahead, and Barack Obama and the federal government waving the line-cutters in. Trump supporters feel like aliens in their own country.

Much of Trump’s support comes from divisions between social classes — something that Americans still pretend doesn’t exist here. Trump supporters are told they’re privileged because they’re white, but they don’t feel privileged. And they’re right, because they’re white but they’re lower class.

Not discussed much in this podcast: Trump’s supporters aren’t the white poor; they’re more affluent than their neighbors. That doesn’t necessarily contradict the narrative that Trump supporters come from the lower classes; economic class and social class aren’t the same thing (as anybody who watches Downton Abbey knows!).

This is a terrific podcast, with many thought-provoking points.

Arlie Hochschild on how America feels to Trump supporters – The Ezra Klein Show podcast:

I’ve been reading sociologist Arlie Hochschild’s writing for about a decade now. Her immersive projects have revolutionized how we understand labor, gender equity, and work-life balance. But her latest book, “Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” is something new: she spent five years among tea party supporters in Louisiana, trying to bridge the deepest divide in American politics. It was, she says, an effort to scale the “empathy wall,” to create an understanding of how politics feels to people whose experiences felt alien to her. In this conversation, we discuss:-How she approaches immersive sociology-The kinds of questions she asks people in order to get them to open up about their political feelings-What it takes to “turn off your alarm system” when you encounter oppositional ideas-What she describes as the “deep story” that explains how conservative Americans, particularly older white men, feel increasingly looked down on-Why she feels empathy on the part of people who disagree is an important part of creating dialogue-Whether empathy and respect are in tension with each other-Why many white men don’t feel they’re part of a privileged group-What she thought of Clinton’s comments that half of Trump’s supporters are a “basket of deplorables”And much more. This is a time when listening and empathy are in shorter supply than ever, at least in American politics. It’s well worth listening to Hochschild’s advice on how to bring both back.

She’s still light-years better than the alternative. No contest.

I was disappointed the way the Clinton campaign handled her illness. I’d rather they disclosed Friday when she was diagnosed. But I’m mostly over it.

Her sickness changes nothing about the choice ahead. She’s still light-years better than her opponent. Trump is a bigot, a con man, willfully ignorant, a bully, a coward, enthusiastically supported by white supremacists, he has openly bragged about paying off politicians, he has never disclosed his own medical records or his financial records. And he speaks admiringly of brutal dictators.

Meanwhile, Clinton has pneumonia and SHE STILL SHOWS UP FOR WORK. She COLLAPSES from pneumonia and she’s back at work a couple of hours later. Goddamn right she’s a bitch.

The data are on Clinton’s side. About half of Trump’s supporters really are deplorable. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:

We know, for instance, some nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claim are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it.

“This Election Is Testing The Republican Loyalties Of Military Voters”

I’m not sure about the headline on this story on FiveThirtyEight. The article shows military voters are still staunchly Republican, even though the one veteran quoted prominently is unenthusiastic about both Clinton and Trump.

That veteran opposes Obama because Obama has cut military spending drastically — which is one of the best things Obama has done. Sure, the military is the most important thing the government does, but we don’t need a Cold War sized military when the threats against us aren’t Cold War magnitude. Every dollar the government spends on military is a dollar not being spent on something else, and increases military domination over civilian society.

Wall Street fuels the billion-dollar Clinton juggernaut

That’s worries both the right and the left. The right worries because of the amount of money the Clinton campaign can bring to the election. The left worries about who the Clintons are beholden to.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been the power couple’s No. 1 Wall Street contributor, doling out nearly $5 million to the Clintons. As a senator, Hillary raked in $5.7 million from financial services firms, fairly typical for a New York legislator. Financial-services firms accounted for about 12 percent of the total amount raised by the Clintons. By comparison, Mitt Romney – Mr. 47 Percent – raised 13 percent of his 2012 campaign funds from financial-services firms.

Put it altogether and it’s easy to see how Hillary Clinton could become the preferred candidate of Wall Street in 2016.

And that has both the right and the left trembling, but for different reasons.

Republicans worry that middle-of-the-road donors will gravitate to Clinton as a centrist and historic figure who they are comfortable with. After all, it was former President Clinton who eliminated the barriers between commercial and investment banking, a Wall Street priority that now irks many liberals who believe the action led to the financial collapse.

Taken together, the left will view these numbers as more evidence Hillary Clinton won’t have the grit or motivation to push for additional regulations, transparency and oversight that they believe is required to reign in the financial firms.

The Billion Dollar Clinton Money Machine

“Monica Lewinsky Blames the Internet”

“Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky … broke her silence with a personal essay for Vanity Fair this month. In it, she posits, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was … possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.”

Monica Lewinsky was a victim, but “The Internet” isn’t to blame. She was victimized by a witch hunt led by Matt Drudge, the Republican party, and the pervert Kenneth Starr. She is blameless in this matter.

Now I’m waiting for the first person to step forward to say she was not blameless — she is guilty of having sex with a married man and does not deserve our sympathy. Or she does deserve our sympathy, but….

Monica Lewinsky Blames the Internet”