Imagine you’re standing in line for the American Dream.
You work hard, sometimes in dangerous jobs. You lead a moral life. But the line is stalling, even moving backwards. Yet you see newcomers up front — some of them immigrants and people of color.
Maybe you’ve worked all your life alongside African Americans and Latinos — more than most northern liberals have — but when you complain about people cutting you, those liberals call you racist. Worse still, they seem to look down on you because of your Christianity, or your Southern culture.
That’s the worldview sketched out by sociologist Arlie Hochschild, a liberal professor who spent five years interviewing Louisiana Tea Party activists. She made friends with them and stayed in touch as they got involved in the Trump campaign, an experience detailed in her new book Strangers in Their Own Land.
When Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “deplorables,” Hochschild’s Tea Party friends heard a put-down they suspect liberal elites say about them behind closed doors all the time. Trump, on the other hand, never dismissed them as racists or rednecks. Instead, he blamed their problems on the line cutters.