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Inside the Mind of a Trump Voter

We talk to social psychologist, Arlie Russell Hochschild, who helps us get inside the head, and more importantly, the heart of the typical Trump voter.  Also, Bill Curry gives us his take on the way forward for the Democratic Party.  And, Ralph responds to your questions about last week’s show on the Electoral College.

“All the techniques of these elections – the micro-targeting and the messaging and the polling and the focus-grouping – it’s not how progressive change happens.  By adopting these modern marketing techniques, we necessarily defeat our purpose.  When you break the whole country into tiny niche markets to get just the right message, you’ve given up on the possibility of selling a vision of systemic change, which is the only way systemic change ever happens.” Bill Curry, political columnist and former counsel to President Clinton



Arlie Russell Hochschild  is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.  Professor Hochschild has long focused on the human emotions, which underlie moral beliefs, practices, and social life generally.  She is the author of nine books including, most recently Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, which is based on intensive interviews she conducted over the last five years with Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana.  Strangers in Their Own Land is a finalist for the National Book Award.



Bill Curry writes for Salon and The Daily Beast.  Mr. Curry was a White House counselor to President Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut.  He is at work on a book on President Obama and the politics of populism.


  1. hillary kaye says:

    Ralph Nader is a hero of so many a hero of mine as well …..Thank you Ralph for your work…. i love your radio show also.
    Best Hillary Kaye

  2. NooN says:

    Pls tell me that $upporting the Public Post 0ffice can bring money into Public Vocational Education for All Ages, again. What else will bring us out of Econkmic Depression and be Quality Reason for Higher Wages $??$

  3. Alene Greto says:

    Your post just came to my facebook wall. I’d like to get your free copy of the book on Huey Long – Mr. Ralph Nader referenced in your program. Thank you kindly. Alene Greto, 4070 Rainbow Dr. Ft. Myers, Fl. 33916

  4. Matt Dubuque says:

    A superb interview! Paul Kingsnorth has an interesting perspective here, informed by Wendell Berry and Edward Abbey. His essay bemoans that our neoliberal overlords have no sense of place. Placeless liberalism is the issue. Workers in this economy of Bush and Hillary are expected to never develop roots, eternally migrating to jobs in North Dakota and elsewhere, as if they had no connection to the trees of their youth and more.

    That idea of “placeless liberalism” squares EXACTLY with Ms. Hochschild’s description of the Trump voter having a deep connection to place and neighbors. Garrison Keillor understands this.

    Here is that seminal essay.


  5. Jerry Koske says:

    Anyone who thinks there is a “typical Trump voter” doesn’t understand!

  6. Brent Irving says:

    I think reading some George Layoff, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley may offer some insight into the supposed paradox’s presented by the first guest. Perhaps you are already familiar but from the interview I did not get that impression.

    A suggested starting point. https://georgelakoff.com/blog/

  7. Mike kosty says:

    Hello, love the show…very thoughtful, intelligent and no fluff……oh god thanks for no fluff.
    The sociologist Hochschild was very interesting. I really grasped how she framed a Trump voter as someone standing inline and seeing others cut in front. Donald spoke their language and was voted in. I wonder if she plans on re-visiting any of these voters caught up in the ‘rapture’ of Donald Trump, now that it is becoming clear that Trump is really self seeking, and not really interested in their needs. I am speaking about his cabinet appointments.
    Mike Kosty

  8. Mike Kosty says:

    I wonder if Dr. Hochschild plans on re-interviewing the ‘raptured’ Trump voter, given his recent cabinet appointmtnents? I would ask, “Do they still feel Donald is in their corner fighting for the little guy?”
    Mike Kosty

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