“Hi, I’m Kathy Cramer. I’m a professor from Madison, and I study public opinion. May I join you?” These are the words Katherine J. Cramer used to open conversations in cafes, gas stations, and other locations where people gather for coffee in rural communities across Wisconsin. She then asked, “What issues concern you?” The purpose was to better understand how people think about politics and to uncover the understandings that make a politics of resentment possible. What she heard surprised her.
On this program, Kathy Cramer describes the deep urban-rural divide her research uncovered in Wisconsin and the elements that make up the rural consciousness which led to the rise of Scott Walker. The magnitude of her multi-year study is covered in-depth in her recently released book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.