America’s Poor White Trash

Since Trump’s election the centre of gravity in the Republican Party has moved in the direction of the lower-middle and working classes. As ballots in the November 6 midterms are cast and tallied, a guide to the lineage of the lubbers, hicks, crackers and obsquatulators who may well decide it

On a Hudson Valley day in 1993, during a course I was running, I alluded to class in America and was politely contradicted by a student: “Ours is a classless society”—this was at Vassar, one of the Seven Sisters, Jacqueline Kennedy’s college. I mentioned the Winthrops, Adamses, Cabots, Lodges, Quincys and Thayers, New England names so far up the class ladder that they wouldn’t be caught dead in the social pages, but she was a scholarship girl from out west and hadn’t heard of them. Some of the others were related to them.