5 years with some of trump's biggest fans (1 Viewer)

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Pretty good read which delves deep into the topic. I don't feel it judges so much as points out and bridges the divide of understanding.

I first met Sharon at a gathering of tea party enthusiasts in Lake Charles in 2011. I told them I was a sociologist writing a book about America's ever-widening political divide. In their 2008 book, The Big Sort, Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing showed that while Americans used to move mainly for individual reasons like higher-paid jobs, nicer weather, and better homes, today they also prioritize living near people who think like they do. Left and Right have become subnations, as George Saunders recently wrote in The New Yorker, living like housemates "no longer on speaking terms" in a house set afire by Trump, gaping at one another "through the smoke."

I wanted to leave my subnation of Berkeley, California, and enter another as far right as Berkeley is to the left. White Louisiana looked like it. In the 2012 election, 39 percent of white voters nationwide cast a ballot for President Barack Obama. That figure was 28 percent in the South, but about 11 percent in Louisiana.

To try to understand the tea party supporters I came to know—I interviewed 60 people in all—over the next five years I did a lot of "visiting," as they call it. I asked people to show me where they'd grown up, been baptized, and attended school, and the cemetery where their parents had been buried. I perused high school yearbooks and photograph albums, played cards, and went fishing. I attended meetings of Republican Women of Southwest Louisiana and followed the campaign trails of two right-wing candidates running for Congress.

When I asked people what politics meant to them, they often answered by telling me what they believed ("I believe in freedom") or who they'd vote for ("I was for Ted Cruz, but now I'm voting Trump"). But running beneath such beliefs like an underwater spring was what I've come to think of as a deep story. The deep story was a feels-as-if-it's-true story, stripped of facts and judgments, that reflected the feelings underpinning opinions and votes. It was a story of unfairness and anxiety, stagnation and slippage—a story in which shame was the companion to need. Except Trump had opened a divide in how tea partiers felt this story should end.
I Spent 5 Years With Some of Trump's Biggest Fans. Here's What They Won't Tell You. | Mother Jones
 

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