Why doesn’t liberal empathy extend to Trump supporters?

To give two examples, Shaun King, a prominent writer and activist wrote in the New York Daily News that “Donald Trump is a full-fledged bigot. If you support him, you are too”. Similarly, the social justice writer Arthur Chu has ruled out empathy with Trump supporters….

 

Surely the only conclusion for a liberal looking at this data is that many Trump supporters are victims of circumstances beyond their control, just like other groups who we do empathise with. These circumstances are not the fault of Trump supporters themselves, but the result of much larger structural pressures on the economy and so on….

 

So rather than simply write them off, it is a liberal’s duty to try and understand why Trump supporters are frustrated and, yes, racist.

 

BYJAMES O’MALLEY