People in my hometown voted for President Reagan - for many, like my grandpa, he was their first Republican - because he promised that tax cuts would bring higher wages and new jobs. It seemed he was right, so we voted for the next Republican promising tax cuts and job creation, George W. Bush. He wasn't right.
On my first day at Yale Law School, there were posters in the hallways announcing an event with Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. I couldn't believe it: Tony Blair was speaking to a room of a few dozen students? If he came to Ohio State, he would have filled an auditorium of a thousand people.
We must have the courage to confront dreadful views even in the people we love the most. But that's difficult to do when we cast large segments of our fellow citizens into a basket to be condemned and disparaged, judging them even as we ignore that many of their deplorable traits exist in us, too.
While faith need not be monolithic - it can motivate both voting behavior and character development - focus matters. A Christianity constantly looking for political answers to moral and spiritual problems gives believers an excuse to blame other people when they should be looking in the mirror.
If you think about what folks have been doing for 20 or 30 years, they have been bottling frustration and resentment that the political elites don't understand them, that the political elites don't care about them, that the political elites judge them in various ways. All Donald Trump does is provide the opposite of those things.
Folks like me have to feel a little indebted to the communities that they came from. And if they do, I think we'll start to see a little bit more of a geographic integration in the country because people will start to think, 'You know what? I owe that place something, and I should return to it in one form or another.'
We are so isolated in our own little worlds, in our own little geographies, that it's pretty hard to understand where someone else is coming from. And so I think that we have to really think about what that means as a country and, frankly, whether this segregation that we have is durable over the long run.
In some ways, Trump's large, national coalition defies easy characterization. He draws from a broad base of good people: kind folks who open their homes and hearts to people of all colors and creeds, married couples with happy homes and families who live nearby, public servants who put their lives on the line to fight fires in their communities.
It's jarring to live in a world where every person feels his life will only get better when you came from a world where many rightfully believe that things have become worse. And I've suspected that this optimism blinds many in Silicon Valley to the real struggles in other parts of the country. So I decided to move home to Ohio.
It's amazing to think how powerful of a force optimism and hope can be. It's the thing that saves me. I believed that I lived in the greatest country in the world. I still believe that, and consequently, I believed that I had a chance, even though things around me were absolutely crazy and difficult.
We spend our way to the poorhouse. We buy giant TVs and iPads. Our children wear nice clothes thanks to high-interest credit cards and payday loans. We purchase homes we don't need, refinance them for more spending money, and declare bankruptcy, often leaving them full of garbage in our wake. Thrift is inimical to our being.
For decades, scholars have studied the ways in which implicit biases affect how we perceive other people in this multiethnic society of ours. The data consistently shows that about 90 percent of us possess some implicit prejudices - and, unsurprisingly, people typically favor their own group.