A British actress, Miriam Margoyles, whom you may have seen as Professor Pomona Sprout in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, recently did a documentary series on America and in one episode went looking for Trump supporters. Now Miriam has never made any secret of her politics, she’s to the left of the left by European standards witch by comparison makes people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look way to the right of Atilla the Hun.
Before the series began she went on record to say she was angry with America for electing Trump, in short she was sure his supporters would affirm her prejudices by turning out to be the kind of swivel eyed young earth creationists they were expected to be.
In an interview after the series had gone out Miriam admitted she had been wrong, many people who voted for Trump did so not out of enthusiasm for his message or the man himself (well let’s be honest, being a loud mouthed arse is not the best way to win hearts and minds,) but because they were angry with Washington, fed up of politically correct thinking dominating politics and a list of other complaints. Ms Margoyles, who is Jewish, lesbian, overweight and admits to being a prodigious farter, said these Trump voters were welcoming, generous and not judgemental, the opposite of the picture of them mainstream media had created. Her conclusion was that rather than simply attacking Trump, the Democrats need to connect with a large section of the electorate and to stop lecturing them on morality and generally being superior and condescending.
Sometimes, perhaps, an outsider can see things more clearly. Her view certainly backed up the impression I formed though I only ever visited the east coast and last time was the end of the 1980s. Even then I found working class people warm, friendly and easy going, while the professional and managerial class conformed to the stereotype described in the Pete Seeger song Little Boxes. Spending time with them made me feel like the main character in Kafka’s novel The Trial.