Illinois State University’s Distinguished Professor of Management Victor Devinatz felt excited and honored when a well-known East Coast publication contacted him “out of the blue” and asked him to submit comments related to his research.
“I received an email from New York magazine saying that Frank Rich was writing an article that was appearing in the November 13 to November 26 issue,” he recalled. Titled “After Trump,” Rich’s magazine piece explored “the argument that before Trumpism there was George Wallace and Father Coughlin in the 1930s in Detroit. His argument was that basically even before Trump there were Trump-like figures, and after Trump there’s going to be somebody else. It’s not like Trump is the only unique person who’s ever advocated the kinds of things he’s advocated.”
Devinatz recently wrote about some of these similarities in his paper “Donald Trump, George Wallace, and the White Working Class,” which appeared in the Labor Studies Journal this fall. Given his work on the subject, New York magazine sought him out and asked him to share some insights on the topic.
The professor was pleased to be given the opportunity to comment and stated, “New York magazine is a more popular publication, but it’s certainly directed towards an intelligent lay-audience … I was appreciative that I would be able to write some comments that a broader group of people than just academics and labor relations would be able to read.”
After looking over the magazine article the week before Thanksgiving break, Devinatz delivered his comments in time for publication in the November 27 issue. For his submission, he shared some statistics analyzing the differences in how the white working class voted during the presidential bids of Donald Trump in 2016 and former Alabama governor George Wallace in 1968.