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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Donald Trump in the Bayou

Donald Trump in the Bayou
The Tea Party, a Sinkhole in Louisiana, and the Contradictions of American Political Life
By Arlie Russell Hochschild
[This essay has been adapted from Arlie Hochschild’s new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press), which will be published on September 6th.]
Sometimes you have to go a long, long way to discover truths that are distinctly close to home. Over the last five years, I’ve done just that -- left my home in iconically liberal Berkeley, California, and traveled to the bayous of Tea Party Louisiana to find another America that, as Donald Trump’s presidential bid has made all too clear, couldn’t be closer to home for us all. From those travels, let me offer a kind of real-life parable about a man I came to admire who sums up many of the contradictions of our distinctly Trumpian world.
So come along with me now, as I turn right on Gumbo Street, left on Jambalaya, pass Sauce Piquant Lane, and scattering a cluster of feral cats, park on Crawfish Street, opposite a yellow wooden home by the edge of waters issuing into Bayou Corne, Louisiana. The street is deserted, lawns are high, and branches of Satsuma and grapefruit trees hang low with unpicked fruit. Walking toward me along his driveway is Mike Schaff, a tall, powerfully built, balding man in an orange-and-red striped T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He’s wearing tan-rimmed glasses and giving a friendly wave.
Click here to read more of this dispatch.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176181/tomgram%3A_arlie_hochschild%2C_trumping_environmentalism/#more

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