by Matt Vespa, The Burning Platform:
As some media outlets venture out of the liberal bubble to get a flavor of Trump Country, what about the Acela Corridor? What about Clinton Country? What’s changed in this deep-blue slice of America since the 2016 election? Well, Adam Wren, an editor with Indianapolis Monthly, wrote a lengthy piece for Politico about his 72 hours in Clinton land and found pretty much that nothing has changed. These voters still love Clinton, they hate Trump, and nothing he can do could change their minds.
Oh, and they turned out to be the insufferable snobs we all thought they were, many whining about how their six-figure income lives are terrible since Trump won. While rural America suffers, these folks don’t seem to care, with a few waiting for an “I told you so” moment to rub in the faces of their less wealthy and less educated red state brethren. In short, the real deplorables are Democratic voters—and Wren found that the liberal bubble is not only strong, but also denser than ever. And from that virtually impenetrable bubble comes a gross out of touch aura that has infested Democratic politics. Yes, to a person who lives here, $1,000 is not a lot. To the struggling working class family, the families that the Left says they’re champions of, $1,000 bonus is a lot—and it goes a long way. These families are now denigrated and mocked for thinking that this bonus and the tax cuts that followed are beneficial to them.
The Democratic mindset to all of the good news from the Trump tax bill is: How dare you think this is good, you dumb redneck; we’re the Democrats. We know better. Or it’s the more abrasive ‘you’re too poor to start saving’ mantra. The closer Wren got to D.C., the more he found that people were not willing to speak with him about this subject of Trump, Clinton, and the 2016 election. In all, this piece proved that Obama was wrong (no shock in that); there are blue states and red states. There are two Americas. There is a rural-urban divide. And there’s probably no way to bridge that gap (via Politico):
Once on the decadent East Coast, I would luxuriate in its undiluted upscale liberal consensus at bookstores, wine bars, cafes and other Blue State institutions peopled by NPR tote-bagging sophisticates. Perhaps I’d drop in on something activist-y, a meeting of Resistance types. It was a trip that would take me across three states, from a food co-op in Brooklyn to an unabashedly liberal bookstore in Bethesda, all in counties Clinton won by at least 60 percent or more of the vote.
But as much as I thought I knew what to expect, I was wrong. The deeper I plunged into the Blue Abyss, the more I realized how broad the political chasm between Clinton Country and Trump Country really is.
In nearly three dozen interviews, all but two people told me they did not regret not voting for Trump. This pair, whom it took me nearly two dozen people to find, were Trump supporters, the only ones I encountered on the trip. Everyone else was a loud and proud Trump hater.
“He’s a moron,” said Meghan Early, a real estate broker still sweaty from a Beyoncé-drenched SoulCycle class on International Women’s Day in NoHo, the tony Manhattan neighborhood.
“He’s absolutely stupid,” said Barbara O’Grady, a retired 76-year-old browsing the aisles of Politics & Prose, the woke Chevy Chase bookstore owned by Bradley Graham, a former journalist at the Amazon Washington Post, and Lissa Muscatine, a former Post reporter and speechwriter for Crooked Hillary’s State Department. When I asked her what she thought of Trump’s presidency, she doubled over in pain, as if she had ulcerative colitis. “How could you do this to me?” she said. “I was having a good day.”
But I also found there was something more to the Trump hatred—a kind of closed-off complacency that also translated into how they treated me. The more I persisted, and closer I got to the beating heart of D.C., the more reluctant people were to talk to me on the record. The whole trip would leave a sour taste in my mouth over how difficult it is to perforate the Blue Bubble. It wasn’t just the clichéd dispatches from Trump Country that Clinton Country voters had come to loathe—it was Trump Country itself.
It wasn’t always so: For a fleeting moment after the election, citizens of America’s bluest areas seemed genuinely curious to learn something about the vast swaths of Red America that propelled Trump to a surprise Electoral College win…
Now, though, the bubble seems to have closed back over Clinton Country. What voters here have learned about their fellow citizens in states such as my own Indiana has left them discouraged and dispirited that they share a nation with such benighted, gullible voters.
I discovered 64-year-old Jack Shalom, a retired math teacher who lives in Brooklyn. He voted for Stein. “For me, it’s about critiquing capitalism,” Shalom told me. The Democratic Party was no longer a “worker’s party,” he said.
What did he not like about Trump? He shrugged. “So many things,” he said. He cited Trump’s support of the “Janus SCOTUS decision,” which I’ll admit I had to look up. He was referring to Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, a case that, if it went the wrong way, was “going to destroy public unions,” he said. It wasn’t a case you heard folks bandy about back in Trump Country.
Shalom introduced me to Jennifer Cook, 49, a Clinton voter. Cook, who said her family earns more than $200,000 a year—including dividend income from a family business—cited a “malaise” that has gripped her and her friends since Trump entered office. Is there anything Trump could do to win her over? “Nothing,” she said. “Absolutely nothing.”
The best quote that Wren got, which was taken during a SoulCycle session in Manhattan, was asking Early if she ever went to the areas that Hillary Clinton described as “backwards.” She responded, “No…but I’ve flown over it.”
Yeah, sorry—you’re making $200k a year…and there’s a “malaise” taking over your life because Trump won. Get a grip, folks. Conservatives didn’t whine about 2012. Well, maybe for a few hours—at least I did, and then we worked to dominate the state legislatures and retake Congress, which we did in 2014. Not going to lie, there is a very real possibility now that Democrats could do that, but hating Trump, pushing for more taxes, peddling Russia collusion nonsense, and hoping history just plays you a good electoral hand are not the best ways to generate a wave. With the GOP, the massive stimulus package, the unpopularity of Obamacare, and the notion that spending was out of control (it still is) are universal concepts that can be embraced beyond the rigid confines of America’s cities and Democratic bastions. We’re 218 days away from the midterms. There seems to be some data to suggest that Democrats are making inroads with rural voters, but it’s not enough to suggest anything definitive yet.