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Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:07 AM

 

Frank Rich: No Sympathy for the Hillbilly

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/03/frank-rich-no-sympathy-for-the-hillbilly.html?mid=fb-share-di

Long but makes good points...

This is a separate matter from the substantive question of whether the party is overdue in addressing the needs of the 21st-century middle class, or what remains of it. The answer to that is yes, as a matter of morality, policy, and politics. Americans below the top of the heap, with or without college degrees and regardless of race, have been ill served by the axis of Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, and the Davos-class donor base that during Bill Clinton’s presidency helped grease the skids for the 2008 economic collapse and allowed the culprits to escape from the wreckage unscathed during Barack Obama’s. That Hillary Clinton pocketed $21.6 million by speaking to banks and other corporate groups after leaving the State Department is just one hideous illustration of how the Democrats opened the door for Trump to posture as an anti-Establishment champion of “the forgotten men and women.” In the bargain, she gave unenthused Democrats a reason to turn to a third-party candidate or stay home.

But it’s one thing for the Democratic Party to drain its own swamp of special interests and another for it to waste time and energy chasing unreachable voters in the base of Trump’s electorate. For all her failings, Clinton received 3 million more votes than Trump and lost the Electoral College by the mere 77,744 votes that cost her the previously blue states of Michigan (which she lost by .2 of a percentage point), Wisconsin (.8 point), and Pennsylvania (.7 point). Of the 208 counties in America that voted for Obama twice and tipped to Trump in 2016, more than three-quarters were in states Clinton won anyway (some by a landslide, like New York) or states that have long been solidly red.

The centrist think tank Third Way is focusing on the Rust Belt in a $20 million campaign that its president, a former Clinton White House aide, says will address the question of how “you restore Democrats as a national party that can win everywhere.” Here is one answer that costs nothing: You can’t, and you don’t. The party is a wreck. Post-Obama-Clinton, its most admired national leaders (Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren) are of Social Security age. It rules no branch of federal government, holds only 16 governorships, and controls only 14 state legislatures. The Democrats must set priorities. In a presidential election, a revamped economic program and a new generation of un-Clinton leaders may well win back the genuine swing voters who voted for Trump, whether Democratic defectors in the Rust Belt or upscale suburbanites who just couldn’t abide Hillary. But that’s a small minority of Trump’s electorate. Otherwise, the Trump vote is overwhelmingly synonymous with the Republican Party as a whole.

That makes it all the more a fool’s errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day. They will stick with him even though the numbers say that they will take a bigger financial hit than Clinton voters under the Republican health-care plan. As Trump himself has said, in a rare instance of accuracy, they won’t waver even if he stands in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoots somebody. While you can’t blame our new president for loving “the poorly educated” who gave him that blank check, the rest of us are entitled to abstain. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Frank Rich: No Sympathy for the Hillbilly (Original post)
Fast Walker 52 Mar 2017 OP
TEB Mar 2017 #1
TheMastersNemesis Mar 2017 #2
TEB Mar 2017 #5
WhiteTara Mar 2017 #4
TEB Mar 2017 #6
WhiteTara Mar 2017 #8
Fast Walker 52 Mar 2017 #10
underpants Mar 2017 #3
Fast Walker 52 Mar 2017 #11
wcast Mar 2017 #7
WhiteTara Mar 2017 #9
Fast Walker 52 Mar 2017 #12
BeyondGeography Mar 2017 #13
sharedvalues Mar 2017 #14
Zorro Mar 2017 #15
Paladin Mar 2017 #16
Missn-Hitch Mar 2017 #17
SharonAnn Mar 2017 #18

Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:15 AM

1. I agree

I'm 51 originally from small steel and coal town in western Pennsylvania when I was young kid unions were strong and there was middle class and people were democrats today when I travel back home to visit am amazed at how all are far right the mills mines there gone. Even as union teamster I was surprised by the number of my colleagues were voting trump and to edit this back home in Appalachia opioids are real problem big pharma is nothing more than legal drug dealers two years ago I was taking trash out in my bedroom slippers I slipped not the sharpest move and the ice on sidewalk cut the bottom of my foot went to docs they sewed it up and he gave me script of pain killers 90 of them well I never filled them but my cousin back home wanted me to and give them to her she was willing to travel to Harrisburg pa area to get them I told her no and she was mad at me that I would not this is what big pharma drug dealings do to good people

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Response to TEB (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:17 AM

2. Voting For Their Executioner. Take Away Their Health Care.

 

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Response to TheMastersNemesis (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:23 AM

5. Yes

Over pabst blue ribbon they watched the campaign and actually bought into hair hitler line of bull and as my wife jokingly refers to my Appalachia relatives and friends as a tribe it amazes me how gullible and willing they always are in voting away there own asses I used to wonder how people in Germany could have followed hitler and I am seeing it today and I try explain it to them and I waste my breath

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Response to TEB (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:20 AM

4. ...

welcome to DU

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:35 AM

6. Thank you

I love this site it keeps me sane in times we find ourselves living I cannot even bring my self to refer to trump as like I could with PRESIDENT OBAMA

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Response to TEB (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:55 AM

8. I've been here since *co

and you're right. It does help keep one sane. Being in the company of intelligent and funny people helps me know I'm not alone in this sea of red.

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Response to TEB (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:15 AM

10. wow, thanks for the story. I've heard oxycontin is used as currency in places like that

 

and pharmacies get robbed

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:19 AM

3. Read that last week. Very good tough read. Notice how many times opioids are mentioned

Last edited Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:23 AM - Edit history (1)

Rich is a great writer and definitely well researched. That was tough to read as most of the election analysis has passed and he comes back with some tough pills to swallow. I like that he mentioned the press which, to me, was at least 50% of the reason.

Yes very long read. I thought it was just going to be a trashing of the Dems at the beginning but he goes into detail on the Trump voters. The take away for me is that we really can't reach them, many are too far gone. The number of times he mentions opioids is alarming. His mention of the number of people (specifically males) on disability is rare but it is a real problem.

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Response to underpants (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:18 AM

11. yes, a long read and it kind of distracts from the main point

 

but I agree with the main point-- Dems need to write off trying to win over the FoxNews-addicted right. There are more important battles they can fight and win.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:45 AM

7. I listened to Rich on MSNBC on Saturday, on Sirius Radio as I was driving.

The host brought up some criticism that others had written about his article, basically stating it was an elite position and acted as if Rich was talking about everyone who had voted for Trump. (The elite argument reminded me of how republicans always shout class warfare when they want to help the rich with taxes.)

Rich went on to explain that he was talking about a certain segment of Trump voters, and that he felt we shouldn't pander to them. He also stated something that I agree with and have posted before on DU, that democrats need to concentrate on policies that help all working class peoples. Fixating on the supposed white working class would not gain us the numbers we need. Instead, turnout of our base would have, and still will, win elections.

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Response to wcast (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 09:57 AM

9. I think this is another version of the 2 Santas

and the tax cut thing resounds louder than we are a collective society and pool certain items for the greater good.

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Response to wcast (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:18 AM

12. yes, well said.

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:35 AM

13. Yes to this

After the debacle of 2016, might the time have at last come for Democrats to weaponize their anger instead of swallowing it? Instead of studying how to talk to “real people,” might they start talking like real people? No more reading from wimpy scripts concocted by consultants and focus groups. (Clinton couldn’t even bring herself to name a favorite ice-cream flavor at one campaign stop.) Say in public what you say in private, even at the risk of pissing people off, including those in your own party. Better late than never to learn the lessons of Trump’s triumphant primary campaign that the Clinton campaign foolishly ignored.


Trump polled higher than Hillary for honesty down the stretch in 2016. Why? He was seen as more authentic, which he is actually. An authentic asshole, but real nonetheless.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 10:51 AM

14. Disagree. These voters need to hear Democratic values

The Trump base does have a reason to complain -- they have lost jobs due to globalization and the new jobs in this economy are being generated elsewhere- in cities.

The conservative media has persuaded Trump voters that problems are caused by vague liberal-elites, rather than the true cause of Trump voters' problems - the wealthy and corporations and CEOs that are squeezing down minimum wage and cutting benefits.

It's actually a short leap to getting those voters back -- Democrats hold the substantive advantage. It's all about communication. Liberals need to fix their communication. As well as developing a job retraining program as in Germany.

Fix communication, enumerate liberal values, and go after the Trump base. That will lead to a renaissance in this country.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 11:55 AM

15. You can't fix stupid so don't bother trying

It's an exercise in futility.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 12:26 PM

16. Rich gets it correct, as usual.

The Democratic Party can do without the trump die-hards. I've lost all sympathy for them.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 26, 2017, 01:28 PM

17. Hear, hear!!

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Response to Paladin (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 30, 2017, 03:17 PM

18. Moved to East TN 17 years ago. Worked with locals on many things. I don't see any hope.

I've stepped back from volunteering to help with most things. Most of them seem determined to continue as they are, they just want our money to allow them to keep doing it.

I honestly don't know that anything can be done since they don't want any change, except more money.

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