(I wrote a comment on Booman’s recent post MT Loss Shows Dems Still Have Rural Problem. It grew, so now I am posting it as a standalone. Read on if you are interested.)


Booman wrote:

…Donald Trump inexplicably won the election.

I am sorry, Booman, but I do not buy this on any level whatsoever.

First of all, you are way too smart not to understand why he won the election. He won the election because he reached a wide swathe of voters who admired his anti-PermaGov rhetoric and behavior.

Anti-PermaGov and anti-PermaGov Media.

Secondly…since I am quite sure that you do understand that on some level…why do you continue to write things as if you are innocent of the truth of the matter?

Take this latest Gianforte tempest in a teapot. About 90% pro-Gianforte in Garfield County??? Who knew!!!??? Duh. That’s because he did exactly what 90% of the population there would like to do…and quite probably would do if they were strong enough and/or armed…if some big city fool with a camera aggressively got in their face asking them hostile questions while they were walking down the street of Garfield County’s county seat, Jordan MT.

Blow this up real good and you have the answer about why Trump won. He won because he said…and acted out…the things that his supporters wanted to say and do but felt that they could not say and do because they were in too weak a position to get away with it.

All the rest of the excuses from the Dems are pure bullshit.

Read on for more.
There is a good article up today in Counterpunch that covers this idea pretty well. Here’s a sample. Go read the whole thing. (The title pretty well says it all.)

It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics by Paul Street

Liberal and other partisan Democrats have spent no small effort trying to evade adult responsibility for Donald Trump’s presence in the White House and Republicans’ control of all three branches of the federal government along with most of the nation’s state governments – this in a nation that loathes the Republican Party.  I’ve written extensively about the remarkable lengths to which Democrats have gone to block honest discussion of how their party’s craven captivity to the corporate and financial elite and their related allegiance to the values and ideology of the professional class have demobilized their “progressive base” and delivered a considerable portion of the white working class over to the arch-plutocratic, white-nationalist Republican Party. Ever since the election they couldn’t lose, the dismal dollar Democrats (DDDs) have been blaming others for their fiasco: the Green Party for running a “spoiler” campaign; Bernie Sanders’ backers, for daring to note and challenge the Goldman Sachs-greased global corporatism of Hillary and the Clinton machine; former FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute e-mail insinuations; Russia, for supposedly intervening in the United States’ supposedly democratic political process.


“It’s Going to be Okay”

Confronted with statements of concern and/or disgust over how they are giving the nation state away to an ever more neofascistic, white-nationalist Republican Party, “Indivisible” liberals I know tell me that “things are going to be okay” since their party will “win power back in 2018 and 2020.” The secret to this great transformation by these Democrats’ reasoning is that Trump’s white rural and working class voters are going to come back to their (dollars and) senses and vote their “pocketbook interests again.” This “rational” working class voting behavior will emerge when formerly deluded Trumpenproletarians realize that Donald Trump is a big super-rich bastard who played them with his faux-populist shtick and who is only in it only for himself and others in his billionaire class.

 “Endless Sellouts of Working People”

Donald Trump certainly is that bastard. And if the normal historical pattern holds, the Democrats should pick up Congressional seats in next year’s mid-terms.

Still, there are four great problems with the liberal “things are going to be okay” argument.

First, the Democrats kicked the working class – white and non-white – and its lunch-pail “bread and butter” issues to the curb a long time ago. It hasn’t been anything remotely close to the “party of working people” since at least the middle 1970s Carter Interregnum. Its leading figures since –  the Clintons and Obama – have been slimy and duplicitous vanguard neoliberals deeply committed to the rightward Big-Business friendly abandonment of the poor, the working classes, social justice, and the common good. The Democrats are the globalist and automation-happy party of NAFTA, financial deregulation, welfare shredding, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Wall Street – along with the socially liberal majority wing of the “educated” professional class (more on that entity below) and the giant Pentagon system, which pre-empts the social state with a war machine that eats up more than half of federal discretionary spending (even the “democratic socialist” Bernie F-35 Sanders is a noted “military Keynesian”) while functioning as a giant form of corporate welfare to high-tech firms like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.


Believe it or not, the so-called “deplorables” that elected Trump are quite familiar with these Democratic/Republican/PermaGov problems…on a corporeal level. They see their culture(s) and economic position(s) being progressively minimized by “identity politics” (read “racially and culturally-based politics”), and Trump promised them that he would end those problems.

So…they voted for him.

They didn’t support Bush III, they didn’t support Kasich or Cruz or any of the other front-runner Republicans any more than they supported HRC, because they correctly surmised that those pols were one way or another all part of the same PermaGov problem.

In a comment above, Ocotillo covers a number of interesting points.

My job requires me to go into rural areas (driving) in places like Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, etc….

These places are like a foreign place to people that live in cities or college towns, even in the same states.

To entertain myself while driving from point to point, I listen to radio.  You know where I am going with this.  There are no alternatives regarding talk and news to right wing radio and “christian” radio.  I knew of the regular rogue’s gallery of right wing talkers but the christian stuff is even more troubling.  Limbaugh and Beck and the others can often be considered entertainment of sorts, the christian radio really beats the drum on the good under assault by evil.  Of course, evil is defined by gays and abortion.

We can talk about messaging and I agree with the anti-trust issue you have been beating the drum for but how on earth are they ever going to hear it?  

By the way, I try to listen to NPR when I can but in most rural areas, NPR plays classical music rather than having their news and talk shows on.

One thing that is going on that may offer the faintest glimmer of hope.  These areas are getting more diverse as the ag and meat processing plants need labor and they are getting more and more immigrants in these small communities.  The diversity is opening some minds.  

When immigrants accumulate enough money to get out of the meat packing plant, they are opening small businesses, shops and restaurants to serve their communities.

I also get your point that we don’t have to convert all of the white folks in the rural areas, we just need to move the needle more back to your direction but the monopoly of where they get their information and news from makes any messaging extremely difficult.

I only disagree with a couple of things said in that post. When I realized that Trump was likely going to win the presidency in early March, 2016, I too was driving through other “badlands” (north/central PA/, western/central NY) while listening intently to the radio, and it was quite evident that the overwhelming information that the residents were receiving was virulently pro-Trump. Where I disagree here is as follows. Even if the Dems raised millions and millions of dollars and somehow magically produced a localized, country-wide network of rural, pro-Dem radio stations, unless they simultaneously completely reversed their various stands on economics, so-called “morality” and job loss, the residents would simply not tune in to listen. Besides which, if the Dems did that on their current, absolutely huge media network they wouldn’t need local radio in the first place. Everybody has a TV and everybody is exposed to CNN and other establishment TV news every time they walk into a Dunkin’ Donuts or the local bank. They presently just ignore the centrist propaganda for what it really is…centrist propaganda.

Ocotillo’s observation is quite accurate that minority members who have moved to areas like this and joined the community rather than remaining separated from it have been overwhelmingly accepted in most areas. I have seen this myself in rural Maine and elsewhere…over and over and over again for 30+ years.

There goes the “racist” idea…


So…what are you left with as a Democrat?


If you think that you can sell that in Bozeman, MT, Scranton, PA or any other damned semi-rural, majority white, semi-depressed area of the country, you are sadly deluded.

So…what’s your solution, Booman?


More of the same?

You are familiar with the definition of insanity as “Repeating an action over and over again, even after it has been proven to fail”, right?


Whatchoo gonna do about it!!!???

You end your post with this:

I have a piece in the upcoming issue of the Washington Monthly on how the Democrats can do better in rural areas without compromising their principles. Keep your eye out for it, because I’m hoping to kickstart this conversation and get it out of the well-worn ruts its been trapped in since Donald Trump inexplicably won the election.

Until you and the other well-meaning Dem workers…media and otherwise…stop categorizing Trump’s successes as “inexplicable,” you are not going to reach the people who elected him. They don’t much like big, negative words like “deplorables” and “inexplicable,” especially when they are applied to their own actions…actions which they themselves do not consider either deplorable or inexplicable. And if you were to insist that you are right and get in their face about it, they well might be tempted to “bodyslam” you. They feel like they have lost any other powers to resist…might just as well smack somebody in the face and get it over with.

So it goes.



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