“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.”
I live on the edge of one significant enclave of “Clinton Country” and I am not quite as pessimistic as the author of the attached piece. Over the past year I’ve seen the unhinged (that word again) anger toward Trump, and the part of the country that voted for Trump wane a noticeable amount. Of course the true believers are still as angry as ever. There are people who will never recover from the collective hysteria that has gripped them like some Victorian era social disease. It’s too comforting.
In a world gone “crazy,” many on the “progressive” savanna soothe themselves by thinking that even though Clinton lost and Trump is taking apart every piece of the Obama era, at least they are the SMART ones. If nothing else they can feel secure in that.
Many on the Clinton Country savanna seriously think this even though they have no idea why Trump actually won. Even now. (They think they know, but in my experience and it looks like the experience of the author of the attached piece, many of these folks just have no clue. HINT: It wasn’t Russia or misogyny.) Worse, though as I said, I’ve seen some progress, they don’t want to know.
…The idea: Just as reporters from New York and D.C. trek into Trump Country to visit greasy spoons and other corners of Real America™ to measure support for the candidate, I’d venture from Trump Country to the most stereotypical bastions of coastal liberal elitism, and ask the people I met whether they still support Hillary Clinton. An innocent abroad, I would leave Hamilton County, Indiana, a deep-red suburb north of Indianapolis that Trump won by nearly 20 points, the kind of place where the Koch brothers are presently carpet-bombing Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly with $2 million in television and digital ads for his vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 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.