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Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:07 AM

Why Democrats Keep Losing Rural Counties Like Mine

Politico

After Trump’s election, I was one of those people who stepped off the sidelines. On election night, I turned off the television as the race was being called, climbed into the bed of my sleeping 5-year-old son, Frankie, and lay there in the dark with him, wondering what this would mean for his future. As a longtime political independent, I decided to join a political party for the first time in my life, and by 2019, I became chair of the Dunn County Democratic Party. It turned out many others here felt the way I did about Trump.

What I saw in the county as the 2020 election approached might surprise those who assume there’s no such thing as progressive organizing in rural areas. Starting in 2018, participation in the Dunn County Democrats surged. Membership grew by 30 percent. Our ranks of volunteers tripled. Local fundraising expanded. We opened a headquarters early in the election cycle, and laid out clear goals and a timeline, focused on local organizing and engaging new people to encourage them to vote Democratic, both on the presidential ticket and in state Legislature races.

Before Covid-19 hit, we held house meetings across the county, gathering residents in living rooms or around dining room tables to share stories about why the election was personal to them. When the pandemic came, we rented billboards, and our volunteers assembled along bridges holding up signs that read “V-O-T-E D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T.” We built a deep canvassing program to engage infrequent voters with phone conversations that focused on their personal experiences and values. My excitement grew as I witnessed more and more people who had never been involved in political organizing stepping forward.

Yet, good organizing was not enough to win Dunn County. In November, Trump voters turned out in force, even stronger than they had in 2016. Despite all the work we did as Democrats, there were more Trump yard signs than four years ago; more flags in support of the president flew from more flagpoles and pickup trucks. It wasn’t just Dunn County. Roughly two-thirds of rural voters across the country cast their ballots for Trump. Any election results map you look at offers a bleak visualization of the political divide between rural and urban voters: a sea of red dotted with islands of blue.

Why did Trump do so well with rural voters? From my experience, it’s not because local Democrats failed to organize in rural areas. Instead, after conversations with dozens of voters, neighbors, friends and family members in Dunn County, I’ve come to believe it is because the national Democratic Party has not offered rural voters a clear vision that speaks to their lived experiences. The pain and struggle in my community is real, yet rural people do not feel it is taken seriously by the Democratic Party.


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Reply Why Democrats Keep Losing Rural Counties Like Mine (Original post)
brooklynite Dec 2020 OP
RandiFan1290 Dec 2020 #1
brooklynite Dec 2020 #3
beachbumbob Dec 2020 #2
elleng Dec 2020 #7
apcalc Dec 2020 #4
beachbumbob Dec 2020 #11
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #14
Raster Dec 2020 #22
hatrack Dec 2020 #35
Docreed2003 Dec 2020 #72
beachbumbob Dec 2020 #45
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #54
beachbumbob Dec 2020 #69
NewJeffCT Dec 2020 #19
ripcord Dec 2020 #111
Kaleva Dec 2020 #38
JI7 Dec 2020 #46
LeftInTX Dec 2020 #91
Buckeyeblue Dec 2020 #48
mtnsnake Dec 2020 #120
smirkymonkey Dec 2020 #83
mtnsnake Dec 2020 #121
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #122
mtnsnake Dec 2020 #123
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #125
mtnsnake Dec 2020 #126
miss-nasty Dec 2020 #12
Kaleva Dec 2020 #39
SlogginThroughIt Dec 2020 #47
Kaleva Dec 2020 #53
SlogginThroughIt Dec 2020 #55
Kaleva Dec 2020 #60
exboyfil Dec 2020 #49
Kaleva Dec 2020 #57
Caliman73 Dec 2020 #102
treestar Dec 2020 #95
Roisin Ni Fiachra Dec 2020 #20
JI7 Dec 2020 #5
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #6
MontanaFarmer Dec 2020 #21
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #33
exboyfil Dec 2020 #61
PaulRevere08 Dec 2020 #42
Mariana Dec 2020 #87
JI7 Dec 2020 #8
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #86
femmedem Dec 2020 #9
redstatebluegirl Dec 2020 #37
scrabblequeen40 Dec 2020 #10
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #17
Turin_C3PO Dec 2020 #13
RazzleCat Dec 2020 #62
durablend Dec 2020 #15
RandiFan1290 Dec 2020 #18
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #26
betsuni Dec 2020 #128
BannonsLiver Dec 2020 #81
Raster Dec 2020 #16
In It to Win It Dec 2020 #23
ansible Dec 2020 #24
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #28
bullwinkle428 Dec 2020 #30
jcgoldie Dec 2020 #41
BannonsLiver Dec 2020 #80
frazzled Dec 2020 #25
treestar Dec 2020 #96
brooklynite Dec 2020 #27
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #29
LeftInTX Dec 2020 #104
jcgoldie Dec 2020 #44
JI7 Dec 2020 #50
HughBeaumont Dec 2020 #76
treestar Dec 2020 #99
jcgoldie Dec 2020 #31
Skittles Dec 2020 #124
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kacekwl Dec 2020 #34
Chainfire Dec 2020 #36
llmart Dec 2020 #40
BelieveCassandra Dec 2020 #58
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Kaleva Dec 2020 #43
Mariana Dec 2020 #90
Hortensis Dec 2020 #51
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OneGrassRoot Dec 2020 #56
RAB910 Dec 2020 #63
joshcryer Dec 2020 #92
GoneOffShore Dec 2020 #109
OneGrassRoot Dec 2020 #59
doc03 Dec 2020 #64
UCmeNdc Dec 2020 #65
Kaleva Dec 2020 #66
rockfordfile Dec 2020 #74
Mariana Dec 2020 #94
Happy Hoosier Dec 2020 #68
StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #70
rownesheck Dec 2020 #71
HughBeaumont Dec 2020 #73
marmar Dec 2020 #75
Bradshaw3 Dec 2020 #77
Bigredhunk Dec 2020 #78
LeftInTX Dec 2020 #112
Nimble_Idea Dec 2020 #79
Docreed2003 Dec 2020 #82
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #97
Docreed2003 Dec 2020 #101
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #106
BusyBeingBest Dec 2020 #84
treestar Dec 2020 #100
joshcryer Dec 2020 #85
Seasider Dec 2020 #117
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #88
bluecollar2 Dec 2020 #89
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #110
bluecollar2 Dec 2020 #116
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #119
treestar Dec 2020 #93
ismnotwasm Dec 2020 #98
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #107
ismnotwasm Dec 2020 #114
maxsolomon Dec 2020 #115
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Spider Jerusalem Dec 2020 #103
Cosmocat Dec 2020 #105
Azathoth Dec 2020 #108
dawg Dec 2020 #113
pat_k Dec 2020 #127
Silent3 Dec 2020 #129
betsuni Dec 2020 #131
betsuni Dec 2020 #130

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:08 AM

1. trump lost

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:10 AM

3. The State Legislators we needed to pick off to control redistricting didn't...

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:09 AM

2. democrats suck at messaging while GOP knows how to manipulate with fear. Its a winner for GOP

 

in rural America every time.

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:19 AM

7. Right

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:10 AM

4. But WHY does rural America vote red?

Afraid there will not be enough for them?

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Response to apcalc (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:25 AM

11. Obama nailed it back in 2008 and we have yet to learn by what he said. Bottom line

 

rural america is vast and democrats lose this folks all the time. Why? Its not rocket science at all.

- rural america FEARS CHANGE and everything democrats talk about is about CHANGE
- democrats come across as elitist and looking down on rural America values and ideals
- democratic messaging SUCKS

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:31 AM

14. You forgot about there being a whole lot of racism out there

 

This isn't a messaging problem.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:34 AM

22. I agree. Sad to admit, but there are a lot of toxic, broken people in America...

...tRump* spoke their language of hate and acted just like how they wish they could act, which is now a moot point, because most of them now act like tRump*.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:47 AM

35. Racism and (for lack of a better word) Ruralism . . .

I'm from a small town in a rural county, and I've been to plenty of rural counties and tiny towns across the region.

Walk into any store or restaurant (if you can find any still in business other than Casey's or the gas station) in plenty of these places and you will get The Look. Like the diner we walked into, stopping all conversation by doing so. Not race - we're white - but we're not from there.

Plenty of decent, intelligent, hard-working, friendly people out there. I know, I've met a bunch and grew up with more. Plenty of fearful, angry, poorly educated people out there too.

Maybe they never left town because there was a family business or farm to run. Maybe they never left town because they didn't have to skills or education to work elsewhere, or they were just frightened of others, of change, of anything except what they already knew.

Throw in 40 years of Republican economic destruction, centuries of bullshit fundamentalist religion and decades of high-octane fear courtesy of Rush and Fox. Add meth and opioids, along with constant assurances from politicians and shouting heads on the tee-vee that they're the "Real Americans" (as opposed to the rest of us who are apparently figments of Hugo Chavez' imagination) and you've got a mess that "better messaging" isn't going to do a damned thing to fix.

There's an attitude as old as America, that goes all the way back to Thomas Freaking Jefferson, that the country is the fountain of American virtues - self-reliance, hard work, thrift, godliness and independence. The city, meanwhile, is a cesspool of vice, poisoned by speculators, idlers, crime, vice and depravity. It's an attitude that some of us still believe, and is always useful for political gain, and it's not changing anytime soon.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:03 AM

72. This!! All of this

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:09 AM

45. yes, its a messaging problem. Yes racism is at play as well and believe me the GOP USES that

 

as much as possible but democrats make it easy when fringe elements echo defund the police and otherwise nitwit comments. You can tailor a messaging to rural america that does NOT alienate rural america. First step is to understand THEIR priorities and its obvious by postings here in DU that not many of us do,

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #45)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:18 AM

54. Oh, please

 

Democrats untold effort and energy "understanding" and catering to the priorities and interests of rural America and bust our asses tailoring messages to them. The problem is not a lack of understanding or the message. It's the content of the message - diversity, inclusion, fairness, other people matter, too, etc. - that a large portion of rural America is rejecting.

Interesting that no other segment of American society demands or exacts the kind of attention and deference that this particular group does. And whenever certain groups even ask for some attention, we're accused of "playing identity politics" and when we demand that our interests - you know, like not getting killed by police - be addressed, we're told that OUR message is wrong.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:54 AM

69. kinda like this, having control of Congress is 100x easier for GOP as long as democrats fail at

 

winning significant rural voters. I have lived 20 years in rural america in a small town of less 1000 back in the day and I tell you even back in 1980s' democrats struggled to win in those areas. Its obvious so many democrats lack the understanding. So if democrats are happy with losing state and local offices and having limited opportunities to win congress and the Whitehouse, continue to think and act the same way.

BLM has no interest in rural america on any level, why? They don;t have problems that URBAN areas have
Green NEW DEAL is of NO interest to rural america? Why? They don't have an issue with what they got NOW and looking out 10-20-50 years is less important than existing TODAY


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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:33 AM

19. The last one is probably the most important

but, it's not that Democrats come across as elitist - the media selectively portrays Democrats as elitist and out of touch because Fox News & Rush Limbaugh created that image and push it 24/7. Minor players like AOC are elevated on Fox News to be the driving force behind the Democratic Party when she's not.



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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:08 PM

111. I don't think you are being particularly honest

How many times on this board have people from the south and rural areas been mocked? It isn't just the politicians they see as elite, believe it or not they can read.

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:56 AM

38. In MI, Trump got far more votes in urban counties then he did in rural counties

In Wayne County alone (Metro Detroit), Trump got more votes there then he did in all the 15 counties of Upper Michigan and many of the counties of northern Lower Michigan combined.

What gave Trump a chance in Michigan is the votes he gets in the urban counties here.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:09 AM

46. I come across many of those types . I see them in liberal California in Los Angeles

They are greedy and selfish types that just care about having a good time . There are a lot more Democrats here. But there are more Republicans in California than the total of Republicans in some of the reddest states combined.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:05 PM

91. Cuz that's where all the voters live!

It's probably the same in Texas!

I won't analyze Texas, cuz we don't have an UP...but we do have some counties with extremely low populations!

A county can be red as hell, but if it only has a population of 1,000, it will deliver less Trump voters than my urban precinct which delivered 1200!

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:11 AM

48. I agree that it's change that they (and most people) fear the most

Working in corporate America the last 20+ years, it's fear of change that causes people the most anxiety. And the irony is that the corporate model is set up to adapt to constant change. But people find their niches and the don't want to give that up.

If you apply that to rural America where people are either self-employed or work for smaller organizations, the fear of change is even greater. These people settle into their lives and are, for thg he most part, happy. There lives are predictable and repeatable. This brings great comfort and joy. When we talk about single payer system, Medicare for all, electric cars, high speed trains, systemic racism, etc, these people think to themselves, I like my life as it is.

The question is how do you talk to a young professional who lives in Atlanta, who lives a very fast paced life using public transportation, works from home and the office, is forced to change, because of their job, on a daily basis, whose work life balance is blurred (they may have to step out of a social setting to take a work call) with the same message that you talk to someone in Middelburry, IN?

The Republican message of do little, cut taxes and love Jesus resonates well with rural people because it doesn't ask them to do anything. It resonates with enough wealthy people because it doesn't ask for more money.

The Democratic message, by contrast, is more complicated. Needs explanation and justification. We have to identify a problem in a space where many people see none.

That is our problem.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #48)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:26 PM

120. +10,000

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:06 PM

83. +1000

All those things, and the racism.

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Response to beachbumbob (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:29 PM

121. Yup, that's it way more than all the racism excuses we always hear. nt

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Response to mtnsnake (Reply #121)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:31 PM

122. "racism excuses"?

 

You have to be blind to think that attributing much of Trump's support in rural America to racism is an "excuse."

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #122)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:41 PM

123. Yes, racism excuses. Exactly that

All this talk about racism being the most significant factor in why most rural people vote for Trump is simply bullshit. It's a lazy way of giving up on rural voters over the false notion that they are all racists.

The reasons they vote for Trump has more to do with them not wanting government to butt into their lives and telling them what they should and shouldn't do with their land or their possessions or whatever. Stuff like that, not racism.

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Response to mtnsnake (Reply #123)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:47 PM

125. Yeah

 

That "we don't want the government butting into our lives" has been a favorite tune in the racist hit parade for decades.

But if you're not paying attention, I can understand why you think that racism couldn't possibly be involved in their political choices.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #125)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:50 PM

126. JHC I never said racism couldn't possibly be involved in their political choices.

I said it has MORE to do with other things that I mentioned than it does with racism. Of course racism also plays a role.

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Response to apcalc (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:25 AM

12. Out of fear

They fear for their gun rights and the people of color moving into their communities.

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Response to miss-nasty (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:59 AM

39. Does that explain why so many urban voters voted for Trump?

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:10 AM

47. I don't see how that applies.

 

Rural voters can still be fearful of urban folks while some urban folks may vote for trump. What is the point you are trying to make?

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Response to SlogginThroughIt (Reply #47)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:18 AM

53. Large numbers of urbanites voted for Trump

Trump got more votes (250,000 ) in Wayne County (Metro Detroit) then he did in all 15 counties ofrural Upper Michigan and many of the northern Lower Michigan counties combined.

W/O this support from urban counties, Trump would have had no chance in Michigan.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #53)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:19 AM

55. Ok great. That has nothing to do with the premise.

 

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Response to SlogginThroughIt (Reply #55)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:26 AM

60. I am saying that concentrating on rural voters ignores the bigger problem of the urbanites..

who voted for Trump.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:11 AM

49. What do you mean by urban

Pockets of white suburbs will have the same sentiment as rural counties. There motivations are the same. For example my next door neighbors might as well live in Mississippi or West Virginia or rural Iowa - they are more like my high school friends and family than me their next door neighbor. I live in a smaller city with a small minority population next to a somewhat bigger city with a much higher minority population.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:30 PM

102. Not specifically, but yes, fear explains urban Trump voters too.

Fear and grievance. Fear that "law and order" are breaking down and by order I mean controlling non-White and non conservative people.

Conservatives can be counted on to fear and resist any challenges to the "traditional order". For rural conservatives it is the idea of self reliance and "hard work" equals success. For urban conservatives it is reinforcing "social norms".

Republican propaganda attributes the challenges to social change rather than economic exploitation. Rural people see their livelihoods threatened, but by watching Fox (which is always free on basic cable) and listening right wing radio (which saturates the AM band) they are told that there problems are the result of "coastal elites" disrupting the natural order, rather than the subsidies that conservatives love to give large corporations that help them displace small businesses. Urban conservatives get the same message and are taught to see that Black people, LGBT people, and other undeserving people are given "special advantages".

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Response to miss-nasty (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:09 PM

95. how to get them to fear

big corporations instead?

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Response to apcalc (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:34 AM

20. There are several factors, but the primary factors

are that rural counties are heavily populated by racists, and rural counties have been heavily propagandized by RW hate radio and Fox News, creating an institutionalized RW culture, in which there is intense peer pressure to conform to the majority RW culture.

I highly recommend that urban and suburban folks watch the Netflix series, The Ranch, beginning to end, in which Sam Elliot, Ashton Kutcher, the rest of the cast, and the script writers do an excellent, and profoundly accurate, tongue in cheek satirical representation of institutionalized rural RW redneck culture in the western US.

I grew up surrounded by it, and am still there, because I am only comfortable in wilderness and wide open spaces.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:18 AM

5. Same shit over and over again . We have heard from them why they vote Republican

Because they don't like "those people" . They vote Republican and they LOVE Trump because he does things to "those people" that makes them happy.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:19 AM

6. This author then goes on to blame national Democrats for not doing enough for rural communities

 

Rural people want to share in America’s prosperity, but the economic divide between rural and urban America has widened. Small-business growth has slowed in rural communities since the Great Recession, and it has only worsened with Covid-19. As capital overwhelmingly flows to metro areas, the small-town economy increasingly is dominated by large corporations: low-wage retailers like Dollar General or agribusiness firms that have no connection to the community.


I don't buy their premise, which is just a rehash of the "economic anxiety" excuse. And the fact that the piece makes no mention of race and the racism that underlies much of the Republican support in rural areas makes this piece highly suspect.

This isn't a "rural v. urban" issue or a simple case of Democrats not doing enough for rural communities. Republicans don't do jack squat for them - at least not economically - but that hasn't undermined their support. Black and brown people also live in rural America and they aren't voting Republican in overwhelming numbers. And plenty of white people who DON'T live in rural America and who AREN'T economically insecure also voted for Trump.

I'm over the excuse-making for why a large element of white rural Americans keep voting Republican - it's not because they're neglected, or looked down on or economically anxious. It's cultural and racial and the sooner we stop pretending it's anything else, the better off we'll be.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:34 AM

21. There are undoubtedly cultural and race issues

at play, perhaps cultural moreso even than race. I live in a very rural place, and was raised by a generation that loved to travel off the farm, see national parks, go to cities and experience new food, cultures etc. People in my generation don't do that; they go to the bigger areas of Montana or fly to visit snowbird parents in retirement communities on golf courses in Arizona, doing their best to avoid seeing any "diversity."
Second, almost every major tenet of rural life is influenced by policies supported more by democrats than republicans. Public education is huge here, health care is a significant problem; on agriculture the things we support poll well. We haven't told rural voters our side very well in my opinion, aided by right wing radio beating on us all the time.
The first point is at least as salient as the second, i believe. The inverse of the popular media narrative is actually true; rural people don't care about suburban and urban people because they've not been exposed to them, their experiences, and don't care to be. The way back will have to be started at the state level, where my state and others are getting ready to be run over by the koch-hell express. Can we take advantage politically after they ruin our states? Let's hope so.

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Response to MontanaFarmer (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:47 AM

33. The fact that this author doesn't even mention race or racism us very telling

 

And makes this piece have no credibility for me.

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Response to MontanaFarmer (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:27 AM

61. Public school private school for all intents and purposes

in rural Iowa for example. You have the majority of the children that go to one of three churches (Lutheran, Catholic, and Presbyterian or Methodist) and have maybe one adopted kid who isn't of European descent.

Healthcare may be huge, but they aren't buying the Democratic solution.

It seems we could get traction with post offices and a move towards public internet through the Rural Electrification Administration since the alternative is UPS/FedEX and Mediacom, but we don't message well.

In my old rural Iowa community, the Democrats couldn't even field a State Senate candidate.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:02 AM

42. It would not help but I would love to shove the fact that blue, urban areas are

subsidizing much of rural America down their throats.

From a recent Brookings study:

Given this, cities matter greatly to rural revitalization, for at least three key reasons.

Prosperity in cities and metropolitan areas effectively subsidizes public investments in rural areas. Nationally, many of the states that receive the highest per-capita rates of federal investment have greater shares of their population in rural communities, such as South Carolina, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Meanwhile, many of the states that receive the lowest rates of federal investment have greater shares of their population in urban centers, including Delaware, Illinois, and Ohio.

This pattern holds for state government spending, too. Studies in Minnesota, Georgia, and Wisconsin reveal that metropolitan areas contribute more to state coffers than they receive in education, infrastructure, and other public services investments. In Georgia, for instance, metropolitan Atlanta provides 61 percent of state revenue but receives just 46 percent of state investment. State spending on roads, broadband networks, schools, and other public services in small town America is funded, in part, by the economic prosperity of cities.

https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-rural-america-needs-cities/

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Response to PaulRevere08 (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:02 PM

87. If you tell them that, they simply refuse to believe it.

They imagine that blue states and urban areas are the parasites, and are sucking them dry.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:20 AM

8. Why did 40 percent of DEMOCRATS in West Virginia vote for a Felon against Obama ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:58 PM

86. "Legacy" Democrats.

They may once have been Democrats when Unions were strong in WV, but not for a long time now.

That Manchin holds on is a freaking miracle.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:21 AM

9. Meaty article with great points about high speed internet access and anti-trust legislation.

Thanks for posting. I hope plenty of DUers read the full article.

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Response to femmedem (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:54 AM

37. They won't they want to think that all rural

people are racists and stupid. Democrats who understand that is not true also understand we need these rural voters to win state legislatures who are in charge of redistricting. This is not just about the presidency.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:24 AM

10. Like a Jewish doctor treating a Nazi patient

Rural voters act against their self interest. This has been proven repeatedly - the do not respond to messaging or education.

The good news is, we don't need them to win. And we'll still serve them right, despite their irrationality at the polls.

... Just like the Jewish doctor who treat the Nazi covid patient.

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Response to scrabblequeen40 (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:33 AM

17. They may be voting against their ECONOMIC interests, but they have other interests

 

and those interests are far more important to them.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:27 AM

13. It's racism.

Economic anxiety has nothing to do with it.

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Response to Turin_C3PO (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:28 AM

62. Racism plays a part

There is a lot more going on. I live in a red state, I have in-laws that are rural republicans. Are they racists? Yes. They are also "simple thinkers", not necessarily stupid, just naive. Complex problems do not respond well to simple solutions. Yet to a what I call a "simple thinker" they do. More crime = longer sentences. Fewer jobs = stop immigration. Simple solution (that is not a real solution) to a complex problem. They do believe in "pulling oneself up by ones bootstraps", they do believe that welfare is wrong, but on the same side, government assistance such as social security for disability is there "right" because they worked for it: enter racism here because you just know others did not (read anyone who does not look like me). Again racism plays a part, but it is not the entire picture.


It's easy to take a simple solution, its also hard to explain to someone who has no life experience why simple is not always better.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:31 AM

15. Ah, another Politico "Dems in disarray"

"Why don't Dems try to understand what Trump voters are really feeling?"

FUCK THEM AND THEIR SNOWFLAKE FEELINGS

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Response to durablend (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:33 AM

18. It's necessary to 'catapult the propaganda'

trump lost and they can't have us getting along.

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Response to durablend (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:39 AM

26. I know, right?

 

The sad thing is none of this is an accident. It is the result of decades of policy decisions—by Republicans and Democrats—that deplete our communities.


Followed by a litany of what Obama supposedly didn't do for them during his term ... Whereupon they completely skip over the last four years of Trump and write:

It was not for a lack of effort that the Biden campaign was unable to connect with rural voters this year. In May, Biden convened a virtual “rural roundtable” in western Wisconsin to show the candidate listening to stakeholders about rural economic development, health care and the crisis in Wisconsin’s dairy industry, brought on by chronically low milk prices. Nor was it for a lack of policy proposals: The Biden campaign released an exhaustive “rural plan” for anyone to read. All of these political gestures, however, are filtered through the lens of what political scientist Katherine Cramer calls “rural consciousness”—including a perception that cities are where decisions are made, culture happens and resources flow, and that rural communities are not in control of their own futures. Even as a kid from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden was seen as a creature of an establishment that has marginalized rural communities for decades.


In other words, no matter WHAT Democrats do FOR them or say TO them or what Trump and the Republicans do to them or fail to do for them, they still vote Republican and that's the Democrats fault.

As I said, BS.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #26)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:20 PM

128. +1000000000000000000

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Response to durablend (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:04 PM

81. Yes, another tired worn out Cletus safari into the hinterlands.

One of the biggest cliches in journalism post 2016.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:32 AM

16. "...the national Democratic Party has not offered rural voters a clear vision...

... that speaks to their lived experiences."

But the 6-times bankrupted, pedophile, sexual-assaulting, toxic narcissistic sociopath does?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:37 AM

23. ...but what exactly does the national Republican Party offer rural voters?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:37 AM

24. Talking about stuff like gun control really doesn't help win rural voters

 

If Biden goes forward with his proposals to ban all semi-automatic firearms then expect a lot more republican votes.

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Response to ansible (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:40 AM

28. If responsible gun safety measures loses them, then screw them

 

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Response to ansible (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:46 AM

30. What are you talking about? Show me one piece of evidence of "Biden's proposals

to ban all semi-automatic firearms".

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Response to ansible (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:02 AM

41. They accuse Democrats of coming for their guns anyway

Fuck that shit. Pandering to fools who do not support responsible gun control is a ridiculous policy especially when they have no intention of voting for Democrats who they fear will erode their white privilege.

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Response to ansible (Reply #24)


Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:39 AM

25. I'm not sold on this argument

If there were some explanation of precisely what Republicans have done for these small rural communities, I’d be more inclined to see the author’s point of view. If the 12 years of Bush and Trump administrations did not better the situation of a rural town like this, why are the people there still preferring Republicans over Democrats? What kind of rural plan did Trump have that was better than Biden’s? And what did he do to help them over the past 4 years? Why does the author’s state government not come into play here? Or local efforts to find new solutions?

As far as I can tell, there are simply more Republican leaning voters who respond to a message of (white) grievance there. Messaging is not the answer.

This person has been a Democrat for at most 4 years, and organizing for less than that. It’s going to take time. You can’t build a strong local party by simply appealing to the national party once every four years during a presidential election. You can’t appeal to saviors to rescue you from afar. You have to build from the ground up, by electing local, county, and state Democrats who represent your values and needs first. Believe me, when that happens, you’ll start getting some national attention. Campaigns can’t spend limited resources in places where results are against them. And Presidents are not magicians who save you.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:13 PM

96. Well said

This person has no suggestion on exactly what the national party should be doing. But it's what they should be doing locally that will matter more.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:40 AM

27. For everyone reflexively yelling "racism", the author says that Obama won the County twice...

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:44 AM

29. Obama winning the county twice doesn't mean that racism isn't behind Trump's wins

 

The reflexivity isn't coming from those of us who honestly assess what's going on in those communities but from those who continually and instinctively twist themselves into knots in order to avoid facing facts about their fellow tribesmen.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:50 PM

104. This county also voted Democratic in the 2000, 2004, 1996, 1992, 1988

And even the 1980 presidential election!

It voted for Reagan in 1984.


Obviously this was a Democratic County that flipped for Trump.
It could be racism. It could be populism. I don't know...

I'm sure there is racism because rural Wisconsin is white, but voters obviously supported Democratic values for decades and then flipped when Trump showed up in 2016

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:07 AM

44. Just about every racist I have met has "black friends"

Obama was a generational charismatic talent who arrived at the perfect time after Bush had failed miserably. He inspired enough nontraditional voters to sweep away the riff raff. He also through absolutely no fault of his own motivated the people in question to veer right to the most racist autocratic candidate they could find because they feared for white privilege and they feared people of color in cities getting federal support for their basic citizenship rights in places like Ferguson.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:12 AM

50. OBama avoided talking about racism and played to their "post racial" bs

He had to in order to win . That along with the recession and Romney being Mormon and McCain and Romney avoiding appealing to bigots helped Obama.

They saw McCain and Romney as part of the problem .

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:19 AM

76. Obama won SlowHio twice.

SlowHio is now a deeper red state than TEXAS. SlowHio is Trumper country. We're the 7th largest state in the nation, and we're carrying water for a silver spoon indebted Fascist who busts unions and stiffs small businesses.

Biden won LESS Ohio counties than Hillary did. That's freaking EMBARRASSING. We're not RICH, so why the fuck is anyone voting for Trump even after the deaths and millions of job losses?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:21 PM

99. That does not mean that they aren't racist

by itself. Obama has charisma, he may be exceptional to them. He was raised by a white family - I have heard Republicans say that, as if that's the reason he is so smart.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:46 AM

31. Lived on an Illinois farm my entire life

Spent 15 years teaching in a rural high school. Spend hours each week with farmers at the elevator and the hay auction and the livestock sale barn... I hear the political discussions daily and sometimes join...

The problem has nothing to do with Democrats failure to express their message. The problem has to do with selling a message of diversity and multiculturalism to a large group of racist people.

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #31)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:43 PM

124. CORRECT

I am so tired of hearing the mental gymnastics required to make people try to believe it is about ANYTHING else.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:46 AM

32. If they don't think Democrats take them seriously, why do they support Repubs who have done nothing?

You cannot have a rational discussion with these people when their reality consists of lies and delusions. Repubs have done nothing for rural America except harp on guns and abortion (neither of which improve rural America’s well-being). Throw in a healthy dose of racism and farm bailouts (which is socialism no matter how much they despise the term) and that’s all Repubs have offered them. No jobs or economic lifelines or improvement. No minimum wage increase. No improved housing or health care. No broadband internet to connect and work with the rest of the world. Repubs have offered almost nothing and rural America has a form of Stockholm Syndrome with Republicans and it is downright baffling.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:47 AM

34. Republicans especially trump has

Offered a clear vison ? Unless you're blind that clear vision republicans offered is racism and to own the snowflake liberals. You have got to be kidding. I'm not attacking rural communities but if that's their excuse to vote trump then they may be stupid.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:54 AM

36. I live in a rural area

I grew up here, left for 30 years to make a living, and returned to the solitude.

I believe that the biggest part of the problem is deep set racism.

Many of the people I grew up with, never lived outside of the county. They are the hard core Trumpets. They never moved physically or mentally from the 60s when White men were the only power in the country. They go to all white churches, participate in the all white civic clubs, and only associate with other white people. They feel threatened by the blacks and Hispanics (who they have always mistreated).

These folks look at the world through a drinking straw and think that they see everything. Change, for them is something to be feared. A promise to return to the "good old days" is their way "forward." The Make America Great Again theme offered them everything that they longed for. The name stated that they were return to the past. A rich, old, white man, who understood what being white was all about offered them a solution. He is "one of them." It is a wink and nod understanding of what "one of them" really means." For them, it is time to put certain groups back into their proper place in society. The Republicans understand this, and they keep feeding it to the people through their Right Wing "news" organizations.

Now that their idol has been rejected, they blame, a corrupt system, the blacks, Hispanics, and Socialists for the "stolen" election. "Real Americans" voted for Trump and they know that Real Americans are the vast majority of the country.. If you voted for Biden, you are one, or a combination of, the three groups above, you hate freedom, you want to kill babies, you love "Illegals", and you are coming for their guns.

I think that the only way that the biggest part of this will change is for the biggest part of us rural baby boomers to die off. Hold on people, it will only be ten or so more years before we are sufficiently thinned out.

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Response to Chainfire (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:01 AM

40. +1000

The only thing I might add is that it's not only the racism - it's the misogyny. They (both women and men, but mostly the men) see more and more women in positions of power and they are threatened by that.

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Response to llmart (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:25 AM

58. It feels like taking a step backwards in time - it is the late 1950's, early 1960's again

I moved from rural to suburban (Dallas) to rural East Texas. I swear somewhere east of Dallas there is a time warp line, I cross it, and I am back in time, refighting the battle for equal opportunity. There is racism of all sorts, but as a woman (and white) I really notice the misogyny.

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Response to Chainfire (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:39 AM

67. Amen. NT

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:05 AM

43. The author is overlooking the fact that a very large number of urbanites voted for Trump.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #43)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:05 PM

90. But the majority of urbanites did not.

The majority of rural voters did vote for Trump - and it's the rural voters in so many states get their votes amplified by the Electoral College.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:14 AM

51. "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives..."

Last edited Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:46 AM - Edit history (1)

John Stewart Mill.

Rural areas lose many of their best and brightest to the cities, and of course always lag seriously in levels fo education and experience. That's the way it's always been. And in this era, millions of enabled conservatives are leaving cities for nicer homes in rural areas, but the biggest draw is to leave broad experiences behind and and join communities where most people look and think like them. A national sorting out by personality.

Mill, English politician who lived at the same time as Lincoln, was attacked on that statement of course, and enlarged on it with some humor and force of truth. He explains the power of today's GOP far more succinctly than Politico.

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

Suppose any party, in addition to whatever share it may possess of the ability of the community, has nearly the whole of its stupidity, that party must, by the law of its constitution, be the stupidest party; and I do not see why honorable gentlemen should see that position as at all offensive to them, for it ensures their being always an extremely powerful party . . .

There is so much dense, solid force in sheer stupidity, that any body of able men with that force pressing behind them may ensure victory in many a struggle, and many a victory the Conservative party has gained through that power."

Much as we Democrats don't miss the often rabidly fearful Southern conservative faction of the past, our nation was much more stable when conservative stupidity was divided between the parties. And now we're increasingly polarized geographically.

As we see, even being kicked in the teeth for years by the GOP has not been enough to turn most conservative voters against it; they are their own teeth-kickers. We need to continue to energize moderate, unengaged nonvoters, liberal and conservative, but I don't believe we can say anything that will draw conservatives for whom virtuous opposition to Democrats has become their identity and ideology. Any real epiphany must be delivered by the Republicans, and didn't we hope it had been!

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:18 AM

52. An interesting article, and as one or two other posters have said

it mentions some factors i hadn't known before--particularly the failure of the Obama administration to prevent or at least try to slow corporate consolidation of mega farms and to support the labeling legislation that would have helped small farmers.

And as other posters--the majority thus far--have pointed out, there is also the ingrained racism (and I would add homophobia and misogyny) so common in rural America at work here. Not to mention the enormous impact of right wing media--particularly talk radio--which has no counterpart on the left that is widely available across much of the country.

What I find ironic is the idea--which for the sake of argument i will accept--that rural people feel the political system favors urban areas over them. Considering that rural voters have been outvoted in seven out of the past eight presidential elections--and yet we had 12 years of Republican administrations despite the GOP losing the popular vote--and that the Senate is grotesquely weighed toward red state voters--this to me feels quite delusional. The fact is that programs and policies favored by majorities of urban and suburban voters are blocked time and again by a GOP which has now also seized control of the federal judiciary, most especially the USSC. One prime example is gun control. The majority of Americans favor reasonable, common sense gun laws which time and again have been blocked by the intransigence of the rural minority. Another would be health care. The majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act, but it's now on the verge of being entirely repealed thanks in large part to rural red state voters who elect senators who confirm judges who are diametrically opposed to policies favored by us city slickers. And don't get me started on the Electoral College.

When there are disparities in federal resources, these favor rural voters as often if not more often than urban voters. The draining of funds from domestic infrastructure--mass transit being a great case in point--in favor of defense spending that pours tens of billions of dollars into rural--red--areas is just one example. The allocation of Homeland Security funding to "protect" sites in areas that would likely never face a threat, at the expense of protecting genuine targets in NYC and elsewhere, is another. The fact is that the tax dollars of urban and suburban voters subsidize red and rural areas. And the thanks we get is to be perpetually berated as immoral "welfare cheats," "un-Christian" (as if that's necessarily bad), baby killers and child sexual predators.

As far as rural voters feeling dissed by urban "elites"--I've spent enough time in rural America to have had my fill of rhetoric about "real America" and "the heartland" and how coastal America is a deep well of decadence, weakness, and other "un-American" traits. To hear my rural acquaintances tell it, people in rural America pull together as a community, whereas us big city elites lack compassion, neighborliness, "gumption." This despite the example of how New York City pulled together after 9-11. A great example of this was Ann Coulter saying--to much right wing applause--that residents of New York City would turn tail and run if ever confronted by a terrorist threat, this statement made AFTER 9-11.

Finally, to complete my rant, there is the fact that every time a blue state or urban area suffers a major natural catastrophe, we hear some red state (and generally rural) representative moan and groan about providing federal relief. You don't hear this sort of grousing when Oklahomans need support after a tornado, or Mississippians ask for assistance after a flood.

Despite all this, I still hope the Biden administration will do all it can to assist rural areas in climbing out of the hole that decades of mostly GOP control of their local and state and federal governments have dug. And when that happens I'm hoping it will sway at least some rural voters to come around to voting in their own self-interest, and tone down the anti-urban hate mongering.

But I'm not holding my breath.

End of rant. It felt good this morning to get all this off my chest.

Like I said, interesting article from a well-intentioned progressive. But I wonder if an article stressing the points I make would receive a sympathetic reading from rural voters, or any reading at all.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #52)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:22 AM

56. Well done. Thank you. n/t

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #52)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:29 AM

63. Excellent point- The right wing anti-American hate radio is no doubt the driver here

I would have bought into the whole argument if not for the farmers supporting uber-urban Donald Trump

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #52)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:07 PM

92. "this to me feels quite delusional"

Exactly. It is a grand delusion of the poor rural victim complex. These are people who get every fucking thing. They are a blight. They use more resources than any other subgroup. They accept more welfare than any other subgroup. They provide less to the society than any subgroup (be it taxes, be it technology, be it innovation, be it jobs). It is an extremely hard pill for people to swallow but they live in their own world and have controlled American politics for decades. They are harmful to America. They are not patriots. Hanging a flag doesn't make you a patriot. Demanding everything under the sun but not giving back doesn't make you a patriot. Whole rural towns are run and operated by crony subgroups who get taxpayer money from the people who live in the county, often taking the vast majority of their money from the actual hard working people in higher population centers, so that they can live far away from anyone. They are the most selfish people in the country. They don't care about the country. They care about their little pocket of isolation where they can have their racist views, where they can sit and victim blame everyone else.

The thing is that if there's anything about "rural voters" you can be sure of, is that they are the most projecting, selfish, people out there. Every metric, every single one, every one, proves that rural voters are the worst part of our society, they are lazy, they aren't actually hard working, they are exploitative, they are wage thieves, tax thieves. Hell you can look at registered sex offenders and the vast majority of them are in rural areas.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #92)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:05 PM

109. Thank you. I've been saying this for a long time. But not as eloquently.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:26 AM

59. Collective Narcissism

That describes right-wing conservatives/GOP so well, especially now that it's the Trump GOP.

This is a fairly deep dive and can't really select excerpts to share, but this is a good read:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352154619301445

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:29 AM

64. In this area the economy was built on coal and steel. People blame Democrats for the loss of

those industries. The two things that have destroyed our local economy are imports and environmental regulations.
Over the last 50 years years coal and steel have declined until now they are on their last legs. Then about 10 years
ago they started drilling for gas here and that has helped make up for the jobs we lost in coal and steel. I live about
1000 feet from a 40" high pressure gas line but we can't use it, it goes to Canada I think. There were thousands of acres
of abandoned farms. Then the gas companies came here and paid farmers $10000 an acre just to drill under. You have a farm
and they put a well 2 miles away and drill horizontally under your land and you get a million bucks. Now here again
it's some Democrats that want to eliminate that industry. You think they are going to vote for that? They are building a
gas processing plant nearby in PA and they are planning to build one in this country that will bring thousands of good paying jobs
to the area now we have people trying to shut them down before they even open. The Democrats held every
local position in this county 30 years ago now you don't have a chance of getting elected if you are Democrat.
It's the economy stupid.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:30 AM

65. Plus Conservative TV and Radio is all across Rural America. The Democratic message is never heard.

The Democratic message is never heard in their living rooms are on car radio.

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Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:37 AM

66. That doesn't account for the large number of urban voters who voted for Trump

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Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:07 AM

74. This is a large part of the problem

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Response to UCmeNdc (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:09 PM

94. It's also in the churches.

Thousands of churches, along with many TV and radio ministries have been preaching that loyalty to Trump and the Republican Party is essentially a tenet of their Christian faith. They have had no fear of losing their tax-exempt status, because the Johnson Amendment has not been enforced at all.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:42 AM

68. More of this bullshit.

What are the GrOPers offering as a "clear vision." Simple: Bigotry. These rural GrOPers don't oppose socialism. They love it. They benefit from it. They hate BROWN PEOPLE benefiting from it. They hate WOMEN having authority. They hate queer people. This all goes back to the Southern Strategy. It works. It is still working. The GrOPers have leveraged bigotry into a sense of grievance to get large swaths of white people to vote for plutocratic policies.

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Response to Happy Hoosier (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:00 AM

70. This!

 

If this were an economic anxiety issue, black and brown people would also support Trump and Republicans in large numbers and wealthy white people would not. If this were about not wanting to be looked down on by "the elites," rural white people would not vote for them. If this were about messaging (at least, messaging that didn't trigger racism), rural whites would vote Democratic since the Democrats have been messaging to them until they're blue in the face.

It's none of those things.

All one needs to do is look at the largest common denominator of Trump voters. It's not economics. It's not elitism. It's not geographic. It's not messaging. It's not elitism.

It's race. Just race. Republican/Trump voters are almost all white. And they're almost all racists or racism isn't a deal breaker for them. It's the only thing those voters have in common.

So I've had quite enough of the "they're economically insecure" and "they're looking down on us because they're elitist" and "if only you talked to me nicer" excuses for what is right in all of our faces.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:02 AM

71. Lots of willful ignorance

and racism in rural counties. They also don't want government "interfering in their lives", yet they have no problem driving on the government provided roads or using the government provided mail system. Lots of them survive on government assistance too.

I wish there was a way to show these moronic arseholes how badly their lives would suck if government didn't "interfere" in their lives. Knowing people like this, they would probably just double down and say shit like, "I may be starving to death, homeless, and have to pay the private road contractor $75 per month to use his road, but at least the gubmint is outta my life!"

I've given up on these people.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:06 AM

73. "I sure hate this arson, but the arsonists just make more compelling points than the firefighters."

E'erone can JD Vance, Thomas Frank and George Lakoff their asses off, blaming a party that has to play by an ever-moving set of rules to combat garbage Fascist incompetence that's done nothing for ANY non-wealthy person since Nixon.

Being too nice is bad. Telling them the truth is bad. Criticizing Capitalism is bad. Attacking opponents is bad. Being extra woke is bad. Being what the Hoyer/Pelosi/Schumer wing deem as "too far left" is bad. You need to be absolutely perfect in messaging against a party that flat out steals your money and gives it to the wealthy.

I say it's the hatred and the racism, and you can't correct that.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:14 AM

75. I don't get the obsession with rural counties/voters. .....


.... this is less than 20 percent of the total US population and shrinking fast. Quite honestly, why would Democrats put a great deal of energy there? The Dems future lies with metro areas, and energizing its core base in a country where people of color will be collectively the majority in a few decades.

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Response to marmar (Reply #75)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:29 AM

77. It's not obsession but dealing with electoral facts

The electoral college and the fact that every state - including of course rural states with little population - get two senators. Throw in the 60-vote rule in the senate and those are three major factors why the Democrats have to address their problems in winning over rural voters. None of those factors are going to change anytime soon, so Dems either deal with it or the obstacle to fixing this country remain for years to come.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:41 AM

78. Jesus

"The pain and struggle in my community is real, yet rural people do not feel it is taken seriously by the Democratic Party."

Yeah, the republican party takes them so much more seriously.

WTF do republicans offer them? What do republicans do to help them? Off the top of my head the Democratic party offered them healthcare. I know more than a few people here in ruralass IA who have benefited from the ACA's Medicaid expansion

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Response to Bigredhunk (Reply #78)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:11 PM

112. Trump is their "Larry the Cable Guy"

He doesn't do anything for them..........He just entertains

This county voted Democratic in every presidential election from 1976-2012. There was one exception: 1984. This county voted for Mike Dukakis. This county voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980...

Obviously they liked something about Trump. I really think it is cult of personality.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:46 AM

79. REPUBLICAN and RURAL BIGOTS LOST. GET OVER IT

Drinking Salty magat tears gooooooooood

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:06 PM

82. I'm so tired of this "Democrats have done nothing for us" bs excuse

Please name the ways that national Republicans have met the needs of rural communities more than Democrats. The voting patterns in counties like this have nothing to do with what Democrats have or haven't done.

I grew up in an extremely rural community and currently work in that same county and provide medical care for the same rural folks I grew up around. While my experience should not be taken as a monolith of the rural experience, it certainly does provide insight in to many rural communities in the South. The reason these communities are and have been full throated supporters of the GOP is multifaceted and have very little to do with what Democrats have or haven't done for them. In my experience, the following sheds insight onto why this division exists:

A). The rural/urban divide. As others have said in this thread, many people within rural communities and even suburban communities bordering rural areas, view their way of life and worldview as being superior to any urban perspective. They truly view themselves as "true America". There are many reasons for this belief but, frankly, that ideology has permeated the rural US since the time of our country's inception. Within rural and bordering suburban areas, they view any urban center with distrust and as a breeding ground for sin, crime, and violence. They can't imagine why anyone would want to live within such an environment. This ridiculous bias allows them to insulate themselves from any and all ideas of progress or any concept that might be different from how they were raised in their backgrounds. Because of this insulation, many folks in these areas have a distrust of education and exposure to anything outside their bubble because that education might fracture the very basis of the ideology that holds the whole bubble together. Thus, you've seen a huge increase in home schooling and religious schools.

B). Religion. These are folks that attend services two and sometimes three times a week on Sunday morning/Sunday night and Wed night (yes, I'm speaking about evangelical churches mainly..I'm fully aware of daily services at most Catholic Churches). Their churches, whether a small country church or a massive mega church are an extension of their community and their circle of friends and serves to reinforce the backwards beliefs of their communities. Women shouldn't be leaders, gays are going to hell, and Democrats are servants of Satan. These themes aren't just outrageous concepts, they are believed whole heartedly. Once you have convinced yourself that God is on your side and that your beliefs are supreme, they you understand why these types have no desire for compromise. Because these communities are largely insulated and self-confirming, they become much easier to manipulate. Anyone who doesn't fit into their view of Christianity is viewed with suspicion and distrust. Notice I said Christianity because if you don't fit into that particular religious group, they you can forget about ever being accepted in many of these communities. People have no problems asking "where do you go to church", shortly after they meet you because they are judging you and sizing you up.

C). Racism. Our country needs to have an honest discussion about race and these communities are unwilling to do so because they can not see how not only their own historic past but their current insulated ideologies continue to preserve a social construct based on white supremacy, whether they want to admit it or not. Sure, there are plenty of overt racists KKK types in many communities, but the more severe form of racism is one that is culture and built in to the fabric of many communities. Drive around any community in the rura areas around me and there are areas where the majority of people of color live that are completely separate from the majority white areas. These communities are segregated by race and as a result every other aspect of their life is segregated. Poorer quality grocery stores, run down gas stations, fewer services. It's disgusting and it's just accepted as "normal". That's just scratching the surface of the racism in these communities. Go to any of these mega churches and take a look in the audience and tell me that these are communities that welcome cultural melting.

D). The GOP have been masterful at convincing these communities that they and only they are the party that represents these values. Democrats are demonized from the pulpit to the coffee shops. The GOP have done nothing to actually provide for the needs of these communities. What they have done is feed into the insulation and the distrust of "otherness" and played it to their advantage. This isn't something that just happened in 2016, this has been in the works for decades.

I refuse to accept the idea that these communities didn't vote for Democrats because we aren't doing enough for them...that's bullshit

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:15 PM

97. Well said.

Here in WA, there is a constant grumbling from Seattle & environs to the rural counties of "you sure like all the roads and schools we pay for".

Indeed, rural WA receives far more in tax dollars than it puts in, yet continues to judge the economic engine of the state morally; it's dirty (it isn't), it's dangerous (it isn't), it's crime-ridden (it isn't), it's full of junkies and schizos and homeless (yes, and they come from all over because it is possible to survive here).

But institute an income tax to be able to address the states pressing social needs? NEVER! THAT'S SOCIALISM!

The situation will never change.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #97)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:23 PM

101. Funny how, although we are culturally separated, here in TN it's similar nonsense

Left and right rural hospitals have been closing across the state and people are up in arms, rightfully so, over why this is happening....but mention the fact that had the state accepted the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA many of these hospitals would have been able to stay open and immediately people say "Oh we can't be havin' none of that soshulized medicine"

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Response to Docreed2003 (Reply #101)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:53 PM

106. So, when Dems TRY to help Rural Counties

it's rejected.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:34 PM

84. White people who identify most strongly with white christian culture.

No one will convince them to vote Democrat. It's NOT ECONOMIC. It's almost purely tribal now. They may mention economy or taxes as their reason to vote for Trump but that's probably not the main factor at play, deep down--I think that throws analysts off, and they get sidetracked searching for concrete policy and messaging reasons for rejecting the Democratic Party.

Just as a specific example of what I'm talking about: reading recent headlines, look at how Biden's administration picks are being touted--first all-female this, first black or latino that, most diverse this/that. Democrats respond to this in a positive way, they cheer these types of headlines. White Christian (GOP) culture either doesn't care, or thinks this is affirmative action, or even a virtue-signaling repudiation of white straight males. Fellow Democrats, you aren't going to attract these people in large enough numbers to matter, so stop trying.

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Response to BusyBeingBest (Reply #84)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:23 PM

100. Definitely tribal

They will protect their own, they often declare. That's why they need the gunz. Often they will be rather charitable. It's just only to "their own." They want control of that in their tribe, not the federal gubmint taking care of those people - that does not give them control over those people.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:52 PM

85. Rural Americans live in their own selfish self-idealized world.

A delusional existence, that is reliant on government welfare more than any cultural subgroup, that has the highest unemployment, lowest wage growth, highest drug abuse, etc, etc.

They are a people who are self-idealized as the "great individual" but they are the truest form of selfish, non-patriotic, out for themselves people in the country.

And we can placate them all we want because of the land fetish we have, it won't do shit. Any concept that actually helps everyone equally and fairly, any concept that wants to benefit all Americans, is against their ideology. Therefore there is nothing you can do. Nothing.

Drove out to my brothers house to feed his pets, there's this side road that is sort of a short cut and intersects a private two lane road that's a shortcut. The road is a public road that intersects, but there's a piece of dirt there that people drive across to cross the lanes. I cross the dirt part with my car and a lady, presumably from the million dollar houses in the community, yells at me to "Please don't cross there, we're trying to get the grass to grow." I apologized instantly, "Oh, I'm so sorry!" and then, retorted, "You should put a road there." You see, the public paid for the road to be modified there, but the private road, because it intersects, is now able to have its own free one way public road, if they could get people to stop crossing that dirt path. It's so, utterly petty.

I assure you, that if you sit down, talk to these people, they are the epitome of selfish, self-serving, crony people that exist. They work in the local government buildings, everyones a cop or knows a cop. And I know that this generalization isn't totally true for everyone in rural life, but it's close enough, and I apologize if anyone is rural here and reads this and disagrees.

The reason it works is that generally everyone lives far enough from one another they are inoculated from one another. All I'm saying is it's a lost cause.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #85)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 03:06 PM

117. Decades of conservative talk radio has done its damage

For a lot of these farmers and small town folk, many of them don't high-speed internet or cable tv so a lot of their news comes off radio. When I lived in rural Iowa back in the 90's and visiting farms. Nearly every one had Rush Limbaugh blasting on their radio speakers while they were milking cows and bailing hay and that was every day. We're basically dealing with a whole generation of people who have been indoctrinated since childhood on right-wing propaganda.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:03 PM

88. Why Democrats keep winning Urban Counties like mine

2.2 million is 50 Dunn Counties.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:03 PM

89. The second to last sentence nailed it....

In particular the last 18 words.

Until the party comes to terms with the real needs of rural voters and goes to work on them, the rural parts of america will remain Ruby red...

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:07 PM

110. Electrification didn't do it, I guess?

Last time I was in Eastern Washington, the roads were beautiful fresh blacktop, paid for by the gas taxes of Urbanites. The Schools and Hospitals are funded by the taxes of Urbanites.

Dems DO address the "real needs" of Rural America, but they can't break the bubble.

One thing no one can do is bring back good jobs for undereducated White Men in the country. Coal is dead, many factories were shipped to China (by GOP-donating Capatalists).

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #110)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 03:05 PM

116. Did you read the eighteen words I cited?

As for getting good jobs for undereducated white men...

I'm not buying that statement.

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #116)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:09 PM

119. I did. I've read similar over the years.

David Brooks just wrote about this in the NYT Op-Ed. He said the solution was "contact", and that it was "the work of a generation". Secondly, by policy: "making life more secure for those without a college education." Pretty weak sauce as a solution - Dems are already trying to do that, through policies such as the ACA.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/26/opinion/republican-disinformation.html

What I mean by "good jobs" is that there has been structural change in America that depleted the job base in Rural America. Resource extraction jobs aren't coming back.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:09 PM

93. OK, so does he know what the national party could say or do?

Or is he just sitting there vaguely saying the national level of the party does the wrong thing?

Sounds like he is trying to avoid blame himself. He did everything right. The national party let him down.

No, he's in the location to do something. He needs to convince more voters that the Democratic platform helps them more. If they were so well organized, and not needing instant gratification, they could keep it up until they get to where they might actually win. On the state level. Dump lost, but they could try for a Democratic state house. I bet they don't have a Democratic representative. They just worry about the presidency only and miss opportunities.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:20 PM

98. In Forks, Wa while we were visiting family, a few years back

There was a group of maybe 5-10 people protesting Trump. With signs out on the only Main Street.

The town in general, is full of racists and bigots. Hard core Trump supporters. There are four main “families” that run the town, generationally. It’s a little corrupted as many small towns that struggle are. A Twilight tourist town, one that used to be rich and mighty in logging funds, reduced to cardboard sparkle themes.

Democrats could reach out there if the Spotted Owl decision was reversed, maybe, because there are many people who STILL blame the decline of NW logging on that. If the town wasn’t right next to a Native American reservation. If generational racism didn’t exist. If there was a real future for youth in that town. They HAVE to go to the nearest cities.

But no. Unless you want to work for prisons, own a campsite or lodge, or maybe charter fishing boats, there’s not much there. One black man in that entire town. You drive through it and it’s gone. Or maybe you stop at the Twilight tour, stop for gas and a stretch. People are ok. Stressed, ..uninteresting.. in a way small towns rarely are. In my experience small towns have a vibrancy and character that pulls you in. (All that energy was put into the Twilight lifesaver, and it shows).

Not isolated Forks, with their giant Trump signs and their overt racism (reported to me by my daughter, who does not live IN town, but very rurally outside of it)

Democrats are never going to reach this town, although as boomers die and millennials age out, I have hope for new generations.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #98)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:59 PM

107. Did you read the Vice profile on the "Antifa Schoolbus" incident?

It takes in Sequim/PA, too, but Forks does not come off well. My wife finds Forks creepy AF, but we love La Push.

Regardless, we try to spend money there whenever we go through - the diner, buy gas, weed store, or groceries. There's nothing else to buy.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/akzem5/the-incident-on-the-a-road

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #107)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:53 PM

114. Oh I did!

Forks *is* creepy, but to be fair, 101 runs through it and there’s tons of Meth and heroin around.

My daughter says the locals have a different side to that story but I forget what. Anyway. She’s thinking of moving to move to Eastern Washington, as the whole peninsula area is kinda fucked up, in a lot of little, to large ways. Even the price of land.

It is gorgeous though.

I know way too much about Forks lol.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #114)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 03:04 PM

115. "Different Side", huh?

Figures.

I'd wager the "different side" is that they were lied to by that Gun Store owner in Sequim, they acted out of civic pride, and it's not their fault. Besides, they were just "joking around" and only dropped a couple small diameter trees across the road.

The Gun Store owner's rumor mill also turned out dudes with MSSAs and Guard Dogs to confront a BLM rally of moms and children.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #115)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 03:28 PM

118. I think it was something like that, blaming the victim

It was weak. We texted back and forth about it, I should see if I can find it, or just ask her.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:36 PM

103. "let's ask why Dems lost counties that are 90% white without ever mentioning race or racism"

Inconvenient fact: whiteness is a stronger predictor of Trump support than any other single factor.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:53 PM

105. Living in a similar setting the only thing Rs

Speak to that resonates with these people is grievance. From a policy standpoint 95% of what Rs DO fucks them over. But, they certainly appeal to their psychic discontent.

We cant complete with it because it's all bullshit.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:02 PM

108. This nonsense is easily rebutted by asking: What is the GOP's appeal to rural voters?

OK, let's say the Dems are out of touch coastal elitists who are too busy banning guns and eating vegan foie gras to care about the plight of small farmers and rural Americans. Their agenda and messaging are broken.

So what's the GOP alternative that is winning such loyalty from these folks? Obama proved Dems don't care about small farmers by allowing a merger between two agribusiness giants. Ok, fine. So naturally the answer is to fall in love with the GOP's Middle America-killing trade wars and their policy of rolling back every single regulation preventing big business from exploiting, poisoning, killing and tossing aside the bodies of poor rural Americans?

Or maybe healthcare concerns. Rural healthcare is a nightmare, elitist Dems don't address it. OK. So clearly we need to form a cult around a party whose entire healthcare platform is repealing access to health insurance because it was named after a black guy? And of course we need to oppose mask-wearing during a global pandemic 'cause that's tyranny.

We could go on and on with this nonsense. It's absurd and everyone who isn't in denial recognizes how absurd it is.

Rural Americans vote Republican because of cultural reasons. That's their "team" and everyone knows you don't switch teams unless you're disloyal. And their team's messaging to its fans is simple: we're gonna stick it to liberals and minorities and secularists and immigrants and gays and Jews and Muslims and the Chinese and promiscuous women and socialists and globalists and the media and Hollywood and egghead scientists and city-dwellers and people with college educations and so on. We're gonna make the libs cry and and we're gonna scapegoat and pay back everyone who isn't you.

That's the messaging rural Americans are voting for. And in almost every instance, they're voting for it in support of policies *diametrically opposed* to their own interests.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 02:46 PM

113. Honestly, articles like this one always sound like bullshit to me.

My roots in the rural Georgia county I live in go very deep. Our needs are the same as Americans' everywhere. We need better, cheaper access to good health care. We need better, cheaper educational opportunities (including trade schools and apprenticeship programs). We need higher wages and better working conditions.

I can't think of any special "rural" problems that aren't addressed by Democratic policies. Sure, we have meth and opiates. But urbanites have drug problems as well.

Perhaps I have slightly more of a legitimate need to own a shotgun than someone living in a more civilized part of the country. So most gun control proposals go over like a lead balloon in counties like mine. But that's about it as for differences in policy needs.

The bottom line is that many of my neighbors are racists, homophobes, and religious nuts. They think only atheists vote for the Democrats and that we're all "baby killers" and "sodomites". They hear that shit from the pulpit every Sunday and Wednesday night, and belonging to the "church" group is an important part of their social identity. Even many of the educated ones who "know better" go along to get along.

Also, one key fact about people in need of better access to education is the fact that they ain't all that educated. And they're a little pissed off at me because I am. I don't know everything!!! I might be book smart, but they have "common sense". Sigh!

We are mostly doing the right things. These people just aren't all that into us. It's not us, it's them. (Or, maybe I should say, "It's not y'all, it's us."

The best way to get some of them to eventually come around is to get them better health care, educational opportunities, and wages. Also, maybe lighten up a little on the gun control thing.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:59 PM

127. Not just ineffective in rural areas.

The problem is more general. My thought in a recent post.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1017&pid=620481

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:31 PM

129. Exactly what "clear vision that speaks to their lived experiences" do Republicans offer?

Republicans play off prejudices, petty grievances, and the misinformation they feed their voters. They don't offer solutions.

If that bottom-feeding form of appeal that Republicans use works as well as it does, if you're talking about idiots capable of believing that Trump, of all people, understands their "pain and struggle", what the fuck form is the Democratic appeal to these voters supposed to take? Is there really something truthful and uplifting that actually can overcome the ugliness that works for Republicans?

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Response to Silent3 (Reply #129)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:58 PM

131. Exactly.

Makes me so angry. Common sense is dead.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:55 PM

130. Blame Democrats when your state is run by Republicans, Trump was your president for four years,

Republicans obstruct anything Democrats want to do starting with Gingrich in the '90s and became 100% with the Obama administration to now. The Republican Party doesn't even have policies anymore. But people vote for Republicans because Democrats don't offer rural voters a clear vision? What a horseshit excuse. Go cry to the Republicans in charge of everything. It's as if they can't admit to themselves the real reason they vote the way they do.

Everybody is so much happier when Democrats are in charge. Even Fox News people must feel silly trying to incite outrage about Democrats when the government is Republican. With the Biden administration, they can yell all day at the president, R voters can benefit from health care and better wages and so on while still enjoying that delicious anger and hate (they know what the Democratic Party stands for -- health care and redistribution of wealth), Republicans in Congress can stop pretending they do anything.

The idea that if Democrats just explain things or have the right message, people will vote for them: wrong. How many times does this have to be proved?

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