Introducing Harvard students to small town America

Salena Zito:

These Harvard kids got the lesson of their life in the Heartland

These Harvard kids got the lesson of their life in the Heartland

“So,” I said, “who do you think most of the people you just got to know voted for president?”

None of the students had an answer. It hadn’t come up in their conversations and they didn’t know I had privately asked each person who they’d voted for.

So, I let a minute pass and told them.

“Nearly every one of them voted for Trump.”

My students looked stunned, at first. But then a recognition crossed their faces.

We were only a few days into a new course I had developed with Harvard’s Institute of Politics, called the Main Street Project, where students are immersed in small-town America. Even though these kids had almost all been raised in the United States, our journey sometimes felt like an anthropology course, as though they were seeing the rest of the country for the first time. And this was their opening lesson.
It is worth reading the whole piece.  She took the students on road trips and had some basic rules, no planes, no interstates, no chain restaurants and no hotels.  They stayed on bed and breakfast homes and ate at local restaurants.  It was an eye opening experience for the students and changed their perspective about small town America and Trump supporters.   I think some mainstream reporters and FBI officials could benefit from joining her in this educational experience.


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