Strangers in their own land

Many white Americans feel like strangers in their own land. These are white folks who stem from European origins.

They feel betrayed. They mistrust both political and judicial institutions.

They feel marginalized in American culture. There is a Black History Month, a Women’s History Month, but no white history month.

Their common religion is electoral politics, and they constitute the American right wing.

These white Americans overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump for president of the U.S. They form his loyal base. They cheer him on and are exhilarated by his rallies.

Some of these whites are full nationalists, not just patriots. A few of President Trump’s base are even white supremacists. They are all cut from the same cloth, though, and generally feel alienated in the U.S.’s political economy.

Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are members of this right wing brain trust. Limbaugh, who tongue-in-cheek styles himself as a “doctor of democracy,” speaks about “the way America is supposed to be.”

What is America supposed to be? Of, by, and for European Americans, according to people on the right.

The nationalists focus on one enemy: liberals and the left. By the nationalist right’s accounting, the left is almost demonic. Liberals, according to nationalists, want to destroy America.

Liberals stand for everything that’s wrong with America. Nationalists stand to oppose the left with all their strength. Rush Limbaugh declares that if you want to know what “we stand for” – it’s the opposite of whatever liberals stand for. This is quite simple.

So I’ve gleaned from experiences of the last couple of years.

Also, see the book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild, New York: The New Press, 2016.