Episode 38: Trump’s Base––Interview with David Norman Smith (Part 2)

The co-hosts continue their interview with David Norman Smith, a sociologist at the University of Kansas, about his research into the characteristics of Trump supporters and why they support Trump. Smith discusses questions about authoritarian attitudes that he contributed to a major voter survey, links between prejudice and desire for authoritarian leadership, and how Trump supporters’ attitudes compare to those of other voters. He and the co-costs also explore different views of economic policy within Trump’s base and whether support for Trump is due to “economic anxiety.” Much of the discussion deals with the “74.2 Million Question”––why is support for Trump so unshakeable?––and what to do in light of that. Smith criticizes as utopian the presumption that mass support for Trump is rooted in ignorance and can thus be countered by fact-based appeals.

The episode’s current-events segment is about Tommy Craggs’ recent discussion of Stanley Greenberg’s famous focus groups of “Reagan Democrats” in Macomb County, Michigan, which offers further evidence that Trumpism was a pre-existing condition.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

We welcome and encourage listeners’ comments, posted on this episode’s page.

Please visit MHI’s online print publication, With Sober Senses, for further news, commentary, and analysis.

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March 6, 2021

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