More fear than hatred. They see their way of life as threatened and they are correct. We’re watching the dissolution of communities at an insane rate. Stability is essentially zero at this point and they see a lot of this as due to liberal policies. Cities lost community a long time ago, but rural areas still function largely with a community dynamic. Structural changes to employment and migration combined with cultural and legislative changes to community bulwarks have knocked out two of its wheels. People who live in these areas are scared that their systems of functioning no longer work and they lay the blame at the feet of coastals and they aren’t entirely wrong. Of course, coastals don’t see it that way, they see it as providing level playing fields and protecting minority speech and culture and they are also right.
The problem is that we as a country are not able to function efficiently under the same system. A social system that works in a city does not work in a rural area. I’m from a rural area. When my father had a stroke, it took two hours for him to make it to a hospital after calling 911. Societal policing and equity before the law simply doesn’t work. In their county, there are four police officers. At any given time, only one will be on duty to cover the entire county. Having an equitable system of law is irrelevant because if something happens, it’s two hours before a single police officer shows up. To deal with this, rural areas develop strong community networks. You have to know everyone and you have to know how everyone acts. That encourages strong, homogenous social ties. That means that everyone is members of the same churches, the same organizations, the same social networks. Acting predictably and reliably are highly valued social traits, non-conformity is a problem and social pressures work to stamp it out.
People in urban areas rely more on a ‘societal social network.’ They do rely strongly on government and laws to enforce social norms. They can call the police and have them there in three minutes. It’s even something that police in urban areas record to show how efficient they are. Homogeneity is not necessary and quite frankly impractical. The transient nature of city dwelling means that you never really know your neighbors and they shift every few years. You have to learn to accept a certain degree of differences because it’s simply impossible to function otherwise. As such, their social network consists strongly of equality before the law. They want to know that they are playing by the same rules as everyone else. They also want a government that will allow their differences and since they rely so much on government they trust it more.
A stereo-typical difference between this community and society networking is if you hear two guys in a fight next door. In the city, you call the cops. In the country, you run outside and step in between them.
Because of this basic difference in their view of social networks, they view things extremely differently. Community values shared values, shared ritual, shared social norms because they need to be able to predict how those two guys fighting are going to react when they step in between them. Society values equal treatment, diversity, strong government because they need to know that when the police show up, they’ll treat everyone the same. Community views society as dangerous and society views community as oppressive. Neither is necessarily wrong, they just fail to see why these other systems exist and they fail to understand that the worst tendencies of these systems can be curbed without needing to destroy the entire structure.
So, to get to Trump, for a long time, the community structure has been under attack. Some of it has been necessary because community had gone to far and needed to be reigned in and some of it has not been necessary and while well-intentioned, it failed to account for these very necessary community structures. People who live in and really need these community structures are left in a very terrible place. Their structures for social functioning have largely been gutted, but the resources just don’t exist to replace them with societal structures, so you have them in a very dangerous limbo. They are seeing rising crime, rising drug use, real social problems that they had a structure that worked to protect them from that has been gutted by a government that they see as distant and out of touch. What Trump represents to them is a reaction to get back some of their structures and to tear down the societal structures so that people within societal social networks feel some of the pain that they feel. It’s not irrational or necessarily born of hatred, it’s really a cry of desperation.