Course Details

120: The People Still Behind? How Trump Won the Rural Vote

July 16-20
9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

Trump's 2016 victory was due in part to his support in rural areas and small towns, where he won more than 60% of the overall vote and even more of the white vote. This group focuses on such questions as: How and why did this happen? What role did urban-rural cultural gaps and economic grievances play? What is rural? What is the history of rural-urban divides? Is this population now permanently right wing? What other rural voices—NGOs, for example—offer a different view? And what could be done differently?

The group focus will be on rural disadvantages in income, assets, employment, education, and health, but also on the role of race, immigration, LGBT rights, media, TV and film, and other factors.

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion

Hours of Reading: Less than 1 hour/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Joe Belden
Joe Belden was Deputy Director of the Housing Assistance Council, 1989-2015, and also worked on Capitol Hill and at USDA.  He is the author of Housing in Rural America, Dirt Rich, Dirt Poor, and other publications. He has given this presentation in Washington, Paris, London, and Mexico.

Reading List:

"Rural and Urban Americans. Equally Convinced the Rest of the Country Dislikes Them", Emily Badger. New York Times, 2018, ISBN: Unknown. "Why Rural Voters Don't Vote Democratic Anymore", Christopher Ingraham. Washington Post, 2016, ISBN: Unkown. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, J. D. Vance. Harper Collins, 2016, ISBN: 978-006230053. Status Threat, Not Economic Hardship, Explains the 2016 Presidential Vote, Diana Mutz. 2016, ISBN: Unknown. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Arlie Russell Hochschild. The New Press, 2016, ISBN: 9781620973493. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart, Bill Bishop. Mariner Books, 2009, ISBN: 9780547237725. White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg. Penguin Books, 2016, ISBN: 9780143129677. White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, Joan C. Williams. Harvard Business Review Press, 2017, ISBN: 9781633693784. , Website. Date Unknown, ISBN: Unknown.