Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Trump Won Wisconsin: Smug Progressives and Others

It seems the Leftists and some on the Right are finally beginning to understand that their insufferable smugness actually helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency.

This is an interesting piece about Wisconsin's Pepin County, a place that hadn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972.

It offers a take on why Trump won Wisconsin and the election.

From Politico:

The population of the county is barely more than 7,000 people, which can give it an everybody-knows-everybody sort of allure. But in this tiny county, the smallest in Wisconsin, wedged against the east bank of the Mississippi River, [Andrea] Myklebust and so many other Democrats and progressives woke up November 9 jilted, deeply confused about where they lived—where they had lived for years, decades, even their entire lives. Wisconsin, after all, hadn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1984, and Pepin County itself had gone blue in every presidential election since 1972. This put it near the top of a sizeable, nationwide list of similarly flipped counties—the rural, out-of-the-way spots on the map that made Trump president. It left those on the losing end of the tally roundly stunned.

...Democrats and progressives thought they lived in one kind of place. It turns out they live in another. That’s true in the nation as a whole, and it’s particularly, poignantly true here. Pepin County at first glance doesn’t seem like much of a microcosm of America—it’s 98 percent white, the overall population hasn’t changed in 120 years, and the unemployment rate this past fall was an infinitesimal 3 percent—but what I found in a week of talking to farmers and small-business owners, longtime residents and transplants, was a startlingly precise reflection of the national rift that animated Trump’s campaign. “Stronger Together” versus “Great Again.” Move-ins versus natives. Urban versus rural. The loss wrought by long-term change here isn’t so much a visible picture of a closed, rusted factory as it is a less measurable communal decline in morale, a slow seep of self-worth, a perceived slippage of relevance in the national conversation.

...If more people from more places had been talking to the people of Pepin County—and if the people of Pepin County had been talking more to one another—the notion of a Trump victory wouldn’t have seemed farfetched in the least. But my interviews, with Democrats and Republicans alike, started to feel to me like listening to disconnected halves of conversations that had never occurred. And still weren’t.

“We have found a whole community here,” said Pat Carlson, Wally Zick’s wife, “of very like-minded—it’s going to sound elite—but bookish, artsy, I’d say compassionate … organic foodies, the whole nine yards. It’s all transplants. It’s mostly liberals.” As for this election, and the locals, she continued, “I think they thought the liberal elite was looking down on them, and I guess, in some ways, we were. Because we couldn’t believe anybody would vote for Trump.”

The article attempts to understand the Trump voters and presents them somewhat sympathetically. But in the end, they are cast as the forgotten men and women, as victims, left behind, threatened by encroaching progressivism, and, in short, not too smart.

The takeaway from the piece is that the liberals intend to stay in Pepin County, to fight, and to win.

...After I [Michael Kruse] left Pepin County, I called Myklebust, the sculptor and weaver who owns the sheep. She had told me at the pie shop that she felt “militant”—far more than she ever has. “‘Radicalized’ is a word I’ve used about how I’m feeling,” she told me on the phone.

What she sees as a grave threat to the republic, she said, is why she will not be moving back to Minnesota. “This is America, and I’m going to fight for it,” she explained. “And I’m going to fight in the ways that I do. It doesn’t involve violence. It doesn’t involve hate. It doesn’t involve guns. But I’m going to fight. Because this matters. I’m going to fight down to the last conversation.”

She’s going to fight, she said, by trying not to fight—by being a move-in who talks more to the locals, by interacting more with her neighbors around Pepin County who don’t think the way she thinks. Democrats and progressives in cities on the coasts were surprised by this election because they’re so removed from the Pepin Counties of the country. Here, though, it’s different. Proximity could be opportunity.

“When I was in the city, you could choose to ignore people,” Myklebust said. “Here, the person with whom you have strenuous political differences is also the person who drives the ambulance or the fire truck or teaches your kids at school. You have to engage with people with whom you disagree. We have to figure that out—if America is going to survive as a democracy. It sounds dramatic to say, but that’s really where we are.”
Good grief.

The Leftists understand their smugness was part of the problem, but they aren't changing. Their level of smugness is as off the charts as ever. They just realize now that they need to talk to the locals to enlighten them. No more assumptions. They need to engage, gently teach them, be more patient, and connect with these unenlightened rubes.

How condescending!

It's the Trump voters that need to be converted and brought into the Leftist fold.  Nothing smug about that!

There needs to be analysis of why Hillary Clinton was such a failure. Time to examine why people could not bring themselves to vote for her. It's time to look at why Democrats are being rejected on the local, state, and federal levels of government. The Leftists just don't seem ready to deal with all that yet. So, for now, their smugness is the focus. Although it's far from the whole story, in terms of self-analysis, Leftists' acknowledgment of smugness will have to suffice. It's a start, I guess.

Bottom line: The smug liberals of Pepin County are emblematic of the smugness of Leftists and Never Trump people all over the country.

Trump supporters have been told for well over a year now that they're racists, misogynists, and lacking in intelligence.

Nothing has changed.

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