Voting With Your Middle Finger | Hidden Brain There is one truth that has endured through the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency: he has kept the support of the core voters who propelled him to the White House. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore two competing perspectives on the motivations of Trump supporters, and what they can tell us about the state of our union.
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Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

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Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/657547685/657563754" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a miner's helmet up after speaking during a rally May 5, 2016 in Charleston, West Virginia. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

There is one truth that has endured through the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency: he has kept the support of the core voters who propelled him to the White House.

This week on Hidden Brain, we explore two competing perspectives on Trump supporters and their motivations.

Joan Williams, a Professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, paints a sympathetic picture focused on class divisions and economic pain.

"Since 1970 the wages and economic prospects of this group have absolutely tanked" she says. Williams is the author of the book White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.

Marisa Abrajano presents a more critical explanation."The issue of immigration is one of the main factors that's driving white voters away from the Democratic party," she explains. Abrajano is a political scientist at the University of California San Diego, and, along with Zoltán Hainal, she's co-author of the book White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics.

Further reading:

Hidden Brain is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen, Parth Shah, Thomas Lu, Laura Kwerel, and Camila Vargas Restrepo. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain.