Strangers in Their Own Land
I finished Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right A journey to the Heart of Our Political Divide. I put the whole title there because I think it helps define the book a bit. I have as yet to read the last hundred pages which are made up of acknowledgments, appendices, and end notes. I plan to give them a careful look.
Hochschild, the author, is definitely on to something. While I think she only has a piece of the truth, it is still an important piece. To reduce her eloquent book: if we are to understand the people who voted for Trump we must look closer at their emotional self-interest and value it even higher than their economic and other self interests. Trump doesn’t enter the book until toward the end, when Hochschild observes his candidacy in action, then returns to her Tea Party acquaintances to find out what they think of him. Spoiler: They all vote for Trump, some enthusiastically, some reluctantly.
She also does a fine job of sympathetically painting people with whom she (and presumably most of her readers) disagree.
I decided to read this book because I wanted to understand better the people who voted for Trump. Now I feel like the country is in a much wider and more dire crisis. I will be reading another non-fiction book, but probably not one about the voters but about the process or the history or something.
It’s now in the afternoon. I have had a day. Eileen and I got my Mom back and forth to Miracle Ear. The Miracle Ear people said that Mom needed her ears cleaned. They were new people. The old people cleaned her ears, but they weren’t supposed to. When i asked about this at Mom’s nursing home they said that a nurse couldn’t clean ears, only a doctor could. It was about this time I realized I had lost Mom’s remote for her hearing aids. I madly retraced my steps. I called the Miracle Ear place but they didn’t see them. Finally we drove back to the shop and I found them in the snow, near where we had parked. Sheesh.