However, this denialism has much deeper roots.

As this denialism persists, it only continues to exacerbate our country’s divisions.

In the shocked aftermath of the 2016 election, the core lesson was about the existence of a major group within the country that had received relatively little policy attention despite having legitimate and unaddressed grievances.

It is difficult to fathom how the progressive movement could logically reach this conclusion after this bloc of voters led to its defeat in the election.

While labels such as “racist” and “xenophobic” may be factually accurate in certain circumstances, labels like “stupid” and “deplorable” certainly are not.

To reduce an individual’s humanity down to a single derogatory word is to deny the legitimacy of their existence — the very form of dehumanization that progressives claim to be fighting.

However, when we focus on the human experience of those who support Trump, we hear a troubling story. This story is perhaps best illustrated by our country’s health trends.

Even more alarming, the less educated and rural populations have experienced the largest relative increases in death within this midlife age bracket [1].

Although social scientists do not yet understand all of the underlying causes behind these trends, the declines in health have been associated with major economic decline, including the disappearance of manufacturing jobs, a shrinking middle class, wage stagnation, and reduced social mobility.

While researchers will continue to work through the complexity behind these developments, the main point seems clear: America is currently in a major state of distress, with particular regions and sub-populations getting hit the hardest.

Amidst these realities, rather than dismissing away the lives of Trump voters, we must listen to their legitimate grievances.

Overall, the animosity toward Trump supporters has been part of a broader pattern of classism in our country.

Classism is perhaps the last major form of discrimination to be addressed in the U.S.

Works Cited:

Human, activist, scholar. Physician-Economist-in-training @UMich. CEO @proghealth. @FulbrightPrgrm Awardee. I work on anything that matters, locally & globally.

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