The Current

It's not bigotry but bad trade deals driving Trump voters, says author Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank believes most analysts are missing the point of Donald Trump's success. He says racism is not the reason for his popularity, it's his promise to revise the trade agreements that cost jobs.
Last night, Trump took Florida, collecting all 99 delegates in that winner-take-all election. He also won Illinois and North Carolina, while fighting with Ted Cruz late into the night for Missouri. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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The spectacular rise of Donald Trump has been attributed to his racism and bigotry, but could there be more to the man's popularity?

Author and journalist Thomas Frank says he knows the real reason behind Trump's success, and it's all about jobs.

If you read mainstream coverage of Donald Trump, it's all focused on the bigotry and intolerance ... but there is another element, which is [he] talks about trade and he talks about it all the time.- Thomas Frank says Trump's success lies in his focus on jobs lost to free trade 

Frank — whose new book Listen Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? was released yesterday — says Trump is a candidate of a "wave of outrage" that's been building since the recession for those Americans still feeling its effects.

While it was Frank's recent piece for The Guardian that pointed to Trump's promise of jobs as the force behind his success, that doesn't mean he believes in the Donald's ability to deliver.

"I'm really sorry that [some Americans'] anger is being channeled behind a charlatan like Donald Trump," he adds.   

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.