Lyndon B. Johnson, who was raised in the South once said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
We’ve always had a yooge underclass (aka, the South and ‘flyover country’), with a profound defensiveness re: their ‘culture’. But domestic manufacturing once used to ‘absorb’ most of these folks, along with that perennial chip on their shoulders. Then when manufacturing jobs slowly dried up, and they stubbornly refused to ‘adapt’ (via job training, relocating, voting out their local good ‘ol boy politicos, etc.), the GOP came along and instead cynically gave ’em an excuse and someone to ‘blame’… ‘welfare queens’ (aka, blacks), to which they also added “the gubmint”… even as rural Red States continued to be the largest consumers of welfare.
Which also explains why ‘race’ is still such an issue, not really because of ‘color’, but because so many underclass white Trumpsters still need to maintain black folks’ unofficial “role” as someone for whites to always look down on, no matter their own humble station in life. So it’s no coincidence that polls show the great majority of Trump supporters still believe the POTUS is a ‘muslim Kenyan’…. because by assuming the most powerful position in the world, Obama committed the cardinal sin of violating his unspoken ‘role’.
All of which is to say that no amount of “empathy” is gonna help when the fundamental issue is a culture that’s steeped in hostility towards any ‘outsiders’, ‘edumacation’ or change… and worse, that will continue to hunker down indefinitely as long as they have someone new to blame and use as an excuse (illegals, elites, muslims, atheists, joos, lib-ruls, RINO’s, whatever). BTW, that’s also why whenever you cruise any of the Alt-Right “news” outlets, even in the midst of victory there are still never any answers or solutions… it’s only about ranting over whatever new “ebil other” du jour is to blame.