Arlie Russell Hochschild

“Those on the far right I came to know felt two things. First, they felt the deep story was true. Second, they felt that liberals were saying it was not true, and that they themselves were not feeling the right feelings. Blacks and women who were beneficiaries of affirmative action, immigrants, refugees, and public employees were not really stealing their place in line, liberals said. So don't feel resentful. Obama's help to these groups was not really a betrayal, liberals said. The success of those who cut ahead was not really at the expense of white men and their wives. In other words, the far right felt that the deep story was their real story and that there was a false PC cover-up of that story. They felt scorned. "People think we're not good people if we don't fee sorry for blacks and immigrants and Syrian refugees," one man told me. "But I am a good person and I don't feel sorry for them."

With the cover-up, as my new friends explained to me, came the need to manage the appearance of their real feelings and even, to some extent, the feelings themselves. They didn't have to do this with friends, neighbors, and family. But they realized that the rest of America did not agree. ("I know liberals want us to feel sorry for blacks. I know they think they are so idealistic and we aren't," one woman told me.) My friends on the right felt obliged to try to modify their feelings, and they didn't like having to do that; they felt under the watchful eye of the "PC police." In the realm of emotions, the right felt like they were being treated as the criminals, and the liberals had the guns.”


Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
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Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
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