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Todd Suomela

The Intellectual We Deserve | Current Affairs

"Jordan Peterson’s popularity is the sign of a deeply impoverished political and intellectual landscape… "

Shared by Todd Suomela, 10 saves total

Todd Suomela
  • Robert Wuthnow


    I’m not sure that Washington is doing anything to harm these communities. To be honest, a lot of it is just scapegoating. And that’s why you see more xenophobia and racism in these communities. There’s a sense that things are going badly, and the impulse is to blame “others.”


    They believe that Washington really does have power over their lives. They recognize that the federal government controls vast resources, and they feel threatened if they perceive Washington’s interest being directed more toward urban areas than rural areas, or toward immigrants more than non-immigrants, or toward minority populations instead of the traditional white Anglo population.


    Sean Illing


    But that’s just racism and cultural resentment, and calling it a manifestation of some deeper anxiety doesn’t alter that fact.


    Robert Wuthnow


    I don’t disagree with that. I’m just explaining what I heard from people on the ground in these communities. This is what they believe, what they say, not what I believe.


  • Sean Illing


    Fair enough. The title of your book, The Left Behind, rubbed me the wrong way. It seems to me that many of these people haven’t been left behind; they’ve chosen not to keep up. But the sense of victimization appears to overwhelm everything else.


    Robert Wuthnow


    I make it very clear in the book that this is largely a choice. It’s not as though these people are desperate to leave but can’t. They value their local community. They understand its problems, but they like knowing their neighbors and they like the slow pace of life and they like living in a community that feels small and closed. Maybe they’re making the best of a bad situation, but they choose to stay.

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