Voters without college degrees are moving to the right. Why? With Joan C. Williams

The Political Conversation

28-02-2023 • 58 mins

We all know where we were the day Trump was elected. To many Democrats – myself included – it was a shock but also a moment of great insight.

In her book, "White Working Class", released just four months after the election, Joan Williams describes a Trump voter in the South Carolina election as saying: "We are voting with our middle finger". After all, incomes of the white working class had doubled in the three decades after World War II, but had stagnated since the late 1970s.

Williams concludes: "When you leave the two-thirds of Americans without college degrees out of your vision of the good life, they notice."

As we stare down the possibility of another Trump-infused election, Joan Williams brings us a sharp analysis: There is a shift underway to the right among the two-thirds of us who don’t have a college degree, and it is now showing across racial lines.

Joan C. Williams is an American feminist legal scholar, Founding Director at the Center for WorkLife Law, and a Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

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