The Sunday Magazine·The Sunday Edition

Thomas Frank: "Trump won because the Democrats betrayed the working class"

Thomas Frank, the fair but fierce critic of the Washington political establishment, says this was an election about class. Trump is a "blue-collar billionaire" who can speak to working people; Hillary Clinton is a technocrat who cannot.

This was an election about class, and the Democratic candidate could not speak to working people.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump react to reports that he had won North Carolina while they were watching results in Times Square, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

Sooo… what just happened?

That would be a good question to put to the guy who wrote What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won The Heart of America.

Donald Trump took seriously something that the Democratic Party likes to brush off, which is the increasing desertion of the party by working class people — and the way the Democratic Party has abandoned working class interests.- Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is one of the canniest political commentators in the United States — a fair, but fierce and often humorous critic of Washington's political establishment, both Democrat and Republican.

His most recent book is the very timely Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?

Donald Trump comes across as a kind of buffoon, the hair, the egotism. But there's some canny political strategy here. His emphasis on trade, on NAFTA. It was Bill Clinton that did it, over the objections of organized labour, the voice of the working class. He ran a steam-roller over these people and got NAFTA done. That was the great betrayal.- Thomas Frank

He tells Michael he believes the Democratic Party made a mistake by nominating Hillary Clinton — and that it ultimately cost them the White House. 

Click the button above to hear Michael's interview with Thomas Frank. 


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