Here is a headline from an article recently posted on Slate.com:
Advice on how to talk to the white working class without insulting them
You haven’t learned anything yet, have you? What is wrong with you? Did you not look at any of the polls? Do you believe that there is a homogenous group out there called, “The White Working Class.?” Does that mean that there is a homogenous anything out there?
There people who voted for Trump, really voted against how they have been treated over the past 50 years. Don’t come at me with Democrat or Republican. I have lived through most of those years as a sentient person advocating for rural people. Can’t you understand that this was their one chance to get even with those 3 piece suited over educated smarmy know it all that they put in the “Liberal Box.”
Let me give you one example of how this hatred can be inspired. As an educator in a very rural area, I was aware of the massive unemployment among the people in our area (3000 square miles in Northwest PA). I somehow got involved in economic development. After a time, I was asked this question, “How come all of the companies coming to PA are settling in just a few areas?” I guess I could have answered by saying that logistics mandated that they settle where there is transportation, services, skilled workers and such.
However, there were many industries that would have been advantaged by locating on route 80 only 60 miles from the Ohio border and a few hours away for 2/3 of the population of the U.S. Some of these industries required skills that could have been acquired by workers there or they were minimum skilled jobs.
So, I decided to inquire of the state, how they decided where to direct the companies who inquired about PA locations. It took me a bunch of time to locate the person who actually answered those questions. When I spoke with her, and asked her the question, she said, “We send them to suburban Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Allegheny County, Harrisburg and its suburbs, etc.” I then asked her why she does not consider some of the companies to other places in some rural area. She said, and I am not kidding, “Why should I send them to hamburger, when I could send them to steak.”
You may interpret that question as you will. To me, it was a succinct answer to how state government and later on federal government discriminate against rural people. I understand that you might want to put this in terms of “White Working Class,” but if you look more carefully, you will see that it is mainly rural people with these kinds of anti-establishment feelings.
Those in suburban communities are mostly looking inward toward the cities. They may be thinking that cities are not doing well and we must take care of ourselves. They rarely turn around and look to the rural areas that border them. Rural people know that they are being disregarded. They know that the majority of the still think that rural people are mostly farmers. That is so far from the truth these days.
The portrayal of rural people in the media is astounding. And sickening. Most of the jokes about rural people are demeaning. I have been chided for many years for describing programs like Lake Woebegon as anti- rural in his description of the unknowing rural people. How about Gomer Pyle, even Jeff Foxworthy and the Cable guy make rural people look like jokes. Do you think maybe there is a part of the soul of rural people that resents all of these things? Did they see Trump as someone who might get even for them? They didn’t seem to care that he was just the kind of person who really knew nothing about them, but was going to do things that they would like.
Once again read, “Deer Hunting with Jesus,” by Joe Bageant