When author and professor Jonathan Metzl was doing research for his new book, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland, he met a man in Tennessee with severe lung disease—forced to cart around a personal oxygen tank—who said he'd rather die than receive benefits from the Affordable Care Act. His reason: He didn't want his tax dollars to be spent on "Mexicans and welfare queens." It's an example, in Metzl's eyes, of how Trump’s agenda depends on policies that render his own supporters—particularly the white working class—expendable. Metzl explains that counter to what many working class Trump voters believe, GOP policies are making their very lives harder, sicker, and shorter. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, we sit down with Metzl—a Vanderbilt professor of sociology and psychiatry, and the director of the school's Center for Medicine, Health, and Society—to hear more about his research.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.