Un magnífico artículo sobre el electorado rural y el apoyo a Trump
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... andom_2_na
For people who haven’t read your book yet, can you explain a little bit what you discovered after spending so many years interviewing people in rural Wisconsin?
Cramer: To be honest, it took me many months — I went to these 27 communities several times — before I realized that there was a pattern in all these places. What I was hearing was this general sense of being on the short end of the stick. Rural people felt like they not getting their fair share.
That feeling is primarily composed of three things. First, people felt that they were not getting their fair share of decision-making power. For example, people would say: All the decisions are made in Madison and Milwaukee and nobody’s listening to us. Nobody’s paying attention, nobody’s coming out here and asking us what we think. Decisions are made in the cities, and we have to abide by them.
Second, people would complain that they weren’t getting their fair share of stuff, that they weren’t getting their fair share of public resources. That often came up in perceptions of taxation. People had this sense that all the money is sucked in by Madison, but never spent on places like theirs.
And third, people felt that they weren’t getting respect. They would say: The real kicker is that people in the city don’t understand us. They don’t understand what rural life is like, what’s important to us and what challenges that we’re facing. They think we’re a bunch of redneck racists.
So it’s all three of these things — the power, the money, the respect. People are feeling like they’re not getting their fair share of any of that.
De hecho, que sean o no "a bunch of redneck racists" no significa que no exista un problema en las condiciones de vida que afrontan las comunidades rurales que debe ser atendido. De hecho, quizá nos encontremos con que esos mismos problemas van a atenazar a las comunidades urbanas en los próximos años.
I’m a logger, I get up at 4:30 and break my back. For my entire life that’s what I’m doing. I’m wearing my body out in the process of earning a living.
One of the endless debates among the chattering class on Twitter is whether Trump is mostly a phenomenon related to racial resentment, or whether Trump support is rooted in deeper economic anxieties. And a lot of times, the debate is framed like it has to be one or the other — but I think your book offers an interesting way to connect these ideas.
Cramer: What I heard from my conversations is that, in these three elements of resentment — I’m not getting my fair share of power, stuff or respect — there’s race and economics intertwined in each of those ideas.
When people are talking about those people in the city getting an “unfair share,” there’s certainly a racial component to that. But they’re also talking about people like me [a white, female professor]. They’re asking questions like, how often do I teach, what am I doing driving around the state Wisconsin when I’m supposed to be working full time in Madison, like, what kind of a job is that, right?
It’s not just resentment toward people of color. It’s resentment toward elites, city people.
And maybe the best way to explain how these things are intertwined is through noticing how much conceptions of hard work and deservingness matter for the way these resentments matter to politics.
We know that when people think about their support for policies, a lot of the time what they’re doing is thinking about whether the recipients of these policies are deserving. Those calculations are often intertwined with notions of hard work, because in the American political culture, we tend to equate hard work with deservingness.
And a lot of racial stereotypes carry this notion of laziness, so when people are making these judgments about who’s working hard, oftentimes people of color don’t fare well in those judgments. But it’s not just people of color. People are like: Are you sitting behind a desk all day? Well that’s not hard work. Hard work is someone like me — I’m a logger, I get up at 4:30 and break my back. For my entire life that’s what I’m doing. I’m wearing my body out in the process of earning a living.
In my mind, through resentment and these notions of deservingness, that’s where you can see how economic anxiety and racial anxiety are intertwined.
Por muy alta que sea -que es- mi preocupación por el racismo, sexismo u homofobia, no hay que perder de vista las quejas de un grupo de población que se levanta a las 4:30 de la madrugada para trabajar duramente todo el día. No se trata de atender sus quejas racistas, sexistas u homófobas, pero si de atender a las de quienes trabajan muy duro y apenas consiguen subsistir.
The reason the “Trumpism = racism” argument doesn’t ring true for me is that, well, you can’t eat racism. You can’t make a living off of racism. I don’t dispute that the surveys show there’s a lot of racial resentment among Trump voters, but often the argument just ends there. “They're racist.” It seems like a very blinkered way to look at this issue.
Cramer: It’s absolutely racist to think that black people don’t work as hard as white people. So what? We write off a huge chunk of the population as racist and therefore their concerns aren’t worth attending to?
How do we ever address racial injustice with that limited understanding?
Of course [some of this resentment] is about race, but it’s also very much about the actual lived conditions that people are experiencing. We do need to pay attention to both. As the work that you did on mortality rates shows, it’s not just about dollars. People are experiencing a decline in prosperity, and that’s real.
The other really important element here is people’s perceptions. Surveys show that it may not actually be the case that Trump supporters themselves are doing less well — but they live in places where it’s reasonable for them to conclude that people like them are struggling.
Support for Trump is rooted in reality in some respects — in people’s actual economic struggles, and the actual increases in mortality. But it’s the perceptions that people have about their reality are the key driving force here. That’s been a really important lesson from this election.
I want to get into this idea of deservingness. As I was reading your book it really struck me that the people you talked to, they really have a strong sense of what they deserve, and what they think they ought to have. Where does that come from?
Cramer: Part of where that comes from is just the overarching story that we tell ourselves in the U.S. One of the key stories in our political culture has been the American Dream — the sense that if you work hard, you will get ahead.
Well, holy cow, the people I encountered seem to me to be working extremely hard. I’m with them when they’re getting their coffee before they start their workday at 5:30 a.m. I can see the fatigue in their eyes. And I think the notion that they are not getting what they deserve, it comes from them feeling like they’re struggling. They feel like they’re doing what they were told they needed to do to get ahead. And somehow it’s not enough.
Oftentimes in some of these smaller communities, people are in the occupations their parents were in, they’re farmers and loggers. They say, it used to be the case that my dad could do this job and retire at a relatively decent age, and make a decent wage. We had a pretty good quality of life, the community was thriving. Now I’m doing what he did, but my life is really much more difficult.
I’m doing what I was told I should do in order to be a good American and get ahead, but I’m not getting what I was told I would get.
En definitiva, Independientemente de que vaya realmente a hacer algo por cambiar las cosas o no, existe una fuerte inclinación hacía un candidato que diga que va a "cambiarlo todo". Entiendo que, aunque solo sea un análisis parcial, sitúa el debate en una plano totalmente distinto al que exponía Roniel Aledo. Pueden ser comunidades con estereotipos y conductas racistas y con valores sexistas y homófobos, pero en realidad ese no es el problema ni es el origen de la cuestión. De hecho, centrar el debate en el aborto, o los derechos de los homosexuales no hará que sus condiciones de vida mejoren y solo conseguirá que muchos políticos (y no políticos) que en condiciones normales debieran estar intentando encontrar la forma de evitar ese declive se nieguen a atenderlo por sus tintes racistas, o que otros se aprovechen de esos valores para ganar sus votos sin hacer nada finalmente por solucionar el problema. No he visto nada realmente en el programa de Trump que pueda ayudar a este sector de la población (aunque cuando lo leí no estaba pensando en ellos, la verdad). Solo espero que no se limite a contentarlos en su racismo, sexismo etc... sin mejorar sus perspectivas de vida y las de sus hijos.
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours...