Author Issues Blue Collar Wake Up Call to Clueless Democrats

June 15, 2017
By Joe Maniscalco 

Joan C. Williams.

New York, NY - Democratic Party elites may not be listening, but celebrated legal scholar and labor writer Joan C. Williams has been trying very hard to get them to pay attention to members of the white working class and the reasons why they voted for Donald Trump.  

On an episode of “Blue Collar Buzz” set to air this Sunday night (6/18) at 9 p.m. on AM970, the University of California, Hastings School of Law professor and author of the new book, “White Working Class, Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America” — tells LaborPress that, contrary to what their critics say, members of the white working class are not a bunch of politically ill-informed doofuses who recklessly tossed the country in the hands of a madman. 

“Although many in my crowd just say, ‘How clueless can these people be — why did they vote for this charlatan?’ I think that the white working class is not ill informed,” Williams says. “Many in the white working class felt, “Oh, my god! Somebody is finally addressing something that I really deeply care about. I feel like I, and my family, are losing hold of the American Dream.’ And I think this is why even so many union members voted for Trump.”

Donald J. Trump may or may not soon go the way of infamous ex-President Richard M. Nixon and be impeached for any number of offenses — from breaching the Emoluments clause to lacking a basic minimum standard of mental health. But Williams is convinced that in order to avoid a disastrous second Trump term, Democrats are going to have to start paying attention to the plight of all those white working class voters who backed him— and fast. 

Williams' new book.

“What Im working very hard to do is get the attention of the Democrats, to say that a lot of the issues that the Democrats have focused their attention on are issues I’ve worked for my whole life…and I think those issues are really important. But I think the central issue for Democrats now has to be good, solid, decent jobs. And that will help bring back the white working class into the Democratic fold — and it will also equally help communities of color.”

According to Williams, class consciousness has long languished in America’s blind spot and the cluelessness has only grown more acute in the past few decades. 

“On some level, the US has always had trouble thinking about class,” Williams says. “What I call the professional managerial elite — really the top 15- to 20 percent of Americans — likes to think that they got where they got based merit [and] not class privilege. They went to college, they worked hard, they’ve worked hard all their lives. And it’s true, they really work hard. But as I keep trying to tell them — so do hotel housekeepers.”

There’s a popular saying blue collar people know well that perfectly explains the elite’s purposeful obtuseness. And Williams thinks that particualr syndrome has also only grown more intense in recent years. 

As the author tells LaborPress, “Even now, more so than four years ago, a lot of these people born on third base think they hit a triple.”

LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” airs every Sunday night on AM970 The Answer from 9 to 10 p.m. This week’s episode, as well as every other episode of LaborPress’ “Blue Collar Buzz” is also available on demand at


Additional information