In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election to be the next president of the United States — an outcome that caught many pundits and politicians by surprise — many are now focused on how rural Americans, especially those living in the Rust Belt, voted. After all, Rust Belt states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which were presumed Democratic strongholds, went red this election. Meanwhile, voters living in rural America overwhelmingly supported Trump.
This may be explained, in part, by these voters’ desire to give a sharp poke in the eye to the so-called establishment of both major parties. In many ways, the sharp poke was needed. Wages have been largely stagnant for decades, and too many politicians are doing the bidding of rich elites instead of truly fighting for the middle class.
However, dissatisfaction with the establishment wasn’t the only force at play in electing Trump. A deeply troubling wave of white nationalist sentiment — fueled and encouraged by Trump’s many hostile remarks toward communities of color and immigrants — also played a powerful role this election.The above excerpt was originally published in Inside Sources.