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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
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Thomas Frank: The Democrats' Davos ideology won't win back the Midwest


The tragedy of the 2016 election is connected closely, at least for me, to the larger tragedy of the industrial midwest. It was in the ruined industrial city of Cleveland that the Republican Party came together in convention last July, and it was the deindustrialized, addiction-harrowed precincts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that switched sides in November and delivered Donald Trump to the Oval Office.

I am a Midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of the last 15 years trying to understand my regionís gradual drift to the political right. And I have spent the last three weeks driving around the deindustrialized Midwest, visiting 13 different cities to talk about the appeal of Donald Trump and what ails the Democratic Party. I met labor leaders and progressive politicians; average people and rank-and-file union members; senior citizens and Millennials; sages and cranks...

And what I am here to say is that the Midwest is not an exotic place. It isnít a benighted region of unknowable people and mysterious urges. It isnít backward or hopelessly superstitious or hostile to learning. It is solid, familiar, ordinary America, and Democrats can have no excuse for not seeing the wave of heartland rage that swamped them last November.

Another thing that is inexcusable from Democrats: surprise at the economic disasters that have befallen the midwestern cities and states that they used to represent.

Too many Democrats ditched the working class, and unsurprisingly, much of the working class ditched them.

As Frank put it elsewhere, a 'liberalism of the rich' will not hold up:


How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich"

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon May 1, 2017, 07:43 PM (14 replies)
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