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The Health Costs Of Racial Resentment In Politics

racist_little_rock_integration_protest_1959.jpg
John T. Bledsoe/Library of Congress
A protest against school integration in Little Rock, in 1959.

More than one political scientist has observed that American voters often vote for candidates who work against the voters' economic interests. 

Jonathan Metzl is a physician, and comes at the issue from another angle: he says voters' decisions can actually shorten their lives.  He gives examples of policies implemented by anti-government politicians, like denying Medicaid expansions, cuts to social services, and looser gun restrictions. 

These are among the cases Dr. Metzl cites in his book Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland.  He makes the case that the results of voting can shorten peoples' life spans.  

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.