Tom Frank: “You want to know the biggest lesson I learned touring Trumpland? People hated Hillary Clinton. To a degree that even I, with my cynicism, did not understand. I did not hate Hillary Clinton. I voted for her, and I agreed with Obama that she was very qualified. She deserved to be president. I didn’t think she’d be a great president, but I thought she’d be OK—certainly better than Donald Trump. I knew how to hate Donald Trump. That’s easy. He boasts about groping women.
He says these evil things about Mexicans, and mocks the handicapped. It’s unbelievable the stuff this guy did and said. Hating him was easy. What I did not understand was the degree to which people really hated Hillary Clinton. And that’s ultimately what this election was about: Which one do you hate more?”
Tom Frank has been touring red states to talk about the new paperback edition of his book Listen, Liberal, or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? He’s the author of several earlier books, including the classic What’s the Matter with Kansas? He’s been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and Harper’s, and a contributor to The New York Times and The Nation. This interview has been edited and condensed.