Rarely do we get a sense of how conservative white working class Americans view the civic competence of urban-based liberals. Katherine Cramer provides such a perspective in this Democracy Paper, building on the extensive research for her book on rural Wisconsites with follow-up visits during the 2016 election campaign and the early days of the Trump administration. Cramer finds a very deep and mutual lack of faith, a chasm that makes the possibility for building alliances, or even dialogue, across polarized groups a difficult one.
Katherine J. Cramer
Katherine J. Cramer (BA, University of Wisconsin–Madison 1994; PhD, University of Michigan 2000) is director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service and a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She currently is part of the SSRC’s Anxieties of Democracy program’s Participation working group. Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her work has appeared in many venues including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Vox.com, USA Today, and the Guardian. She has spoken with people around the globe to share her insights on public opinion, and prides herself on speaking frequently with groups of people who want to achieve justice and democracy for all.