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George Saunders, The New Yorker, July 11, 2016 Issue: Who Are All These Trump Supporters
George Saunders writes of his first hand experiences and interviews in following the Trump campaign around the country. He talked to fervent Trump supporters, otherwise ordinary Americans caught up in the rage. And he talked to the anti-Trump protesters and their equally passionate hatred towards Trump. It is a long but quite revealing article, in which after covering both sides in many rallies, Saunders reflects with these words:
"So there you go. Welcome to America."
If you have the time to read it, I think you'll agree with me that Saunders captures the mood of much of the nation. I have extracted a couple of paragraphs below:
"The Trump supporter comes out of the conservative tradition but is not a traditional conservative. He is less patient: something is bothering him and he wants it stopped now, by any means necessary. He seems less influenced by Goldwater and Reagan than by Fox News and reality TV, his understanding of history recent and selective; he is less religiously grounded and more willing, in his acceptance of Trump’s racist and misogynist excesses, to (let’s say) forgo the niceties.
"The tragedy of the Trump movement is that one set of struggling people has been pitted against other groups of struggling people by someone who has known little struggle, at least in the material sense, and hence seems to have little empathy for anyone struggling, and even to consider struggling a symptom of weakness. “I will never let you down,” he has told his supporters, again and again, but he will, and in fact already has, by indulging the fearful, xenophobic, Other-averse parts of their psychology and reinforcing the notion that their sense of being left behind has no source in themselves."
There is much more in the article. Americans shouting obscenities at Americans. Our divided political landscape.
Oh and by the way...Happy 4th of July!