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Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:58 PM

The Resistance Is Infiltrating Trump Country

What the hell has happened to Trump Country? That vast imaginary region of hate-fueled, white-trash Donald Trump dittoheads a joint creation of hillbilly-bashing memoirist J.D. Vance, The New York Times, and coastal liberals who need somebody to blame has been behaving very strangely of late. Kansans electing progressives and raising taxes? Yep. Teachers in West Virginia walking out for two weeks in the first mass strike that America has seen in eons? Uh-huh. Republican governors in deep-red Kentucky, Arizona and Oklahoma being publicly humiliated and forced to pony up billions of dollars for schools, health care and public employees? Believe it. The Resistance is fully underway in Trump Country, and it's a humdinger not to mention a serious mind-fuck for people on both the right and the left.

In retrospect, we could have seen it coming. Ever since November 2016, Democrats have been racking up victories in red-state districts where they haven't even bothered to field candidates for years, with some spectacular turnarounds: In a Kentucky House district where Trump won 72 percent of the vote, for instance, a Democrat won a Republican seat with 68 percent this year. In eight special elections held in Oklahoma, Democrats outperformed Hillary Clinton's share of the 2016 vote by a whopping average of 32 percent. (In a pair of Kentucky special elections, the spread was even higher.) Something weird was happening here, though nobody much took notice. White people in Trump Country weren't supposed to be part of any Resistance. This was not part of the script.

But when West Virginia teachers shut down every school in the state and refused to go back to work until every public employee, from sanitation workers to prison guards, got a juicy raise, it became hard to look away even if cable news was mostly too obsessed with Trump, Trump, Trump to pay much notice. Suddenly, amassed at the state capitol in Charleston, were tens of thousands of "Trump Country" denizens, demanding higher pay for teachers and state workers. It was a spectacle, a sight for sore eyes. "Imagine the world's largest PTA meeting sprinkled with some dudes with tattoos in camo hats," reported organizer and journalist Krystal Ball. They taunted billionaire Governor Jim Justice with a most excellent chant ["Tax your friends!"]. They lustily cheered their new hero, a progressive populist and military vet named Richard Ojeda who's running for Congress, as he hollered such apostasies as, "I don't give a shit about Big Energy!" And they won, big-time.

Nothing creates chaos like a teacher strike. Hundreds of thousands of West Virginia parents suddenly had no free child care during school hours. But for two long weeks, as teachers rejected fig leafs and empty promises from the governor, the parents conservative, liberal, moderate, Democratic, Republican continued to raise hell alongside the teachers and public workers. Their elected officials, like those in other red states, had used the Great Recession as an excuse to slash spending on schools and public services while continuing to give massive tax breaks to coal companies. And now, Justice insisted, there was just no money to meet the teachers' demands. Until, suddenly, after nine days of no school, those funds magically manifested voila! and every state employee got a minimum three-percent raise.


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Reply The Resistance Is Infiltrating Trump Country (Original post)
Zorro Apr 2018 OP
Squinch Apr 2018 #1
appalachiablue Apr 2018 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 03:11 PM

1. Red state Trump voter are figments of the imaginations of the Times and coastal liberals?

No one paid much notice to the WV strikes?

The fact that economically abused people eventually strike back no matter how long they have been drinking the Kool Aid is a "mind fuck" for those on the left?

Is this author high?

You know what I think is going on? The red state Trumpers got their candidate. Then they realized what an asshole he is. And it made them look at other candidates and policies. And they are beginning to see they have, themselves, been assholes who have been eagerly participating in economic abuse against themselves.

Am I happy they are seeing SOME light? Yes I am. Should I be, as the author of the article suggests, "out in the street" cheering them on? I'll answer that by asking another question: should I be out in the streets congratulating that author for not smearing his own feces on walls? Why no. Nor will I be in the streets cheering those red state voters for ceasing to poke themselves in the eye with sharp sticks.

(You may have noticed, I disagree with the author of this article.)

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Thu Apr 19, 2018, 11:41 PM

2. K & R. The author makes interesting points on several key issues.

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