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The American city-rural political divide

Though the article at the link focuses on how in this year’s election the Democratic Party has lost its traditional support from white blue collar Democrats, I think it illustrates quite forcefully the increasing political polarization between the cities and the rural parts of the country.

“There are 490 counties in Appalachia technically, which is defined by federal law. Hillary Clinton won 21 counties in that region,” he said. And that is it. She did not win a single county in Appalachia that is mostly white, non-college-educated and has a population of under 100,000 people.

Not one county.

Looking at the map, the 21 counties she won were either college campuses like Virginia Tech, Cornell, Penn State and Mississippi State or counties in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Winston-Salem, N.C., Youngstown, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. And she also won five counties in Mississippi that are nearly majority black. “I went back and looked at the home precinct in Tennessee where I grew up and Bill Clinton wins it, Al Gore gets forty percent, Obama gets 28 percent and she got 18 percent. In short, Donald Trump got 80 percent of that vote,” he said, astounded at the cultural shift among Appalachians.

What does all of this data tell you about America? Todd says it is simple, “There are absolutely no more blue-collar whites in the Democratic Party. They just don’t exist, even the ones who want there to be have recognized there is no room for them,” he said. These voters had stayed with the Democrats forever and now 80 percent of them in Appalachia have voted Republican. “That means they don’t know anyone who voted for her,” he said.

This polarization also explains why it is becoming more common for the choice of the electoral college to not match the popular vote. Democratic voters are increasingly packed into big cities that cover very small amounts of area. The electoral college as well as Congress were specifically designed to prevent such concentrations from dominating elections.

These results also show that the Democrats are not doing a very good job convincing anyone to vote for them outside of their reliable core constituencies. In fact, if anything the policies of the Democratic Party has been repelling everyone away from it, except in those big cities where a large percentage of the voters are their direct welfare clients, dependent on government aid.

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  • wodun

    The Democrats reaction to this development to to call everyone that doesn’t live in a big city racist.

    I read an article in the local paper about the riots in Portland, Oregon. It said the riots were a reaction to Oregon’s racist past. Apparently Oregon was founded with racial exclusion laws and there was a Klan presence in the 1920’s. The article didn’t mention that Democrats controlled Oreon while it was a territory and had a lot of influence over the writing of their state constitution.

    The article portrayed Portland as having changed from their racist past while the rural areas had not changed. The riots were justified based on this incorrect view.

    Democrats have stopped being racist against black people, unless they are Republicans, which is a step in the right direction. But their identity politics of racial tribalism is still extremely racist. And the real parallel between the past and the present is that Democrats still view violence against people they hate as acceptable if not required.

    The problem with how Democrats behaved in the past wasn’t just their views on race but how they used violence. They are making progress on one front but not so much on the other. Of course, if you view scapegoating people in rural areas for societies problems as racism, then they haven’t really come all that far.

  • eddie willers

    I was a lifelong Democrat until the night they (Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden) attempted the “high tech” lynching of my fellow Georgian, Clarence Thomas. Seeing the venom from their eyes I realized that all their “tolerance” was empty rhetoric.

    I vowed never to vote for a Democrat ever again.

    I have kept that promise.

  • “. . . except in those big cities where a large percentage of the voters are their direct welfare clients, dependent on government aid.”

    I believe and hope 2016 is when the majority of Americans realized how much of their country has become a Progressive plantation where people are willfully segregated and votes are grown and harvested with the fertilizer of the money from responsible Americans. It has been blindingly apparent for some time that Progressivism is all about enriching the relative few by dividing and agitating the many. It’s the default setting for humanity, and it’s coming back willfully aided and abetted. The silence on the post-election riots from Obama on down damns them.

  • wayne


    Good stuff.

  • pzatchok

    I have been saying this for years.

    The left has finally reached its own bitter end.

    This election cycle they assumed all Latinos would vote ‘immigration’ , all blacks for more hand outs, all collage kids for free education and all women for the female candidate.

    Sorry but not all Latinos are immigrants some have been here longer than the Europeans. And no they do not appreciate the illegals coming in and taking jobs and services from their children. They also do not appreciate the lefts attacks on their religion.

    The black population is getting wise to the democrats lies about their racist past and ‘plantation’ present. Every next election will have a larger and larger percentage of the black population voting republican. We just need to keep educating them about the democrat party and the republican party.

    And quite frankly the only thing the Democrat party has to sway the female vote if Roe v Wade. And now with “free”medical there is even less reason to use it as a form of birth control. Just keep educating the black and Latino population the left wants it as a form of population control on the”lesser”races.

    Keep up the attacks through PSA’s for the next four years and the left will loose even some of the urban vote.

    You no longer win elections just during the elections. You really win it during the times in between.
    During elections we fight over the undecided who are at best about 5% of the electorate. But during the times between elections we can fight for and win permanent voters maybe even more than that 5%.

    You don’t win the fight during the fight, you win the fight training for the fight.
    We need to start training seriously.

  • wayne

    Good stuff.

    These people at the Federal level, will not control themselves. They just won’t.

  • Edward

    wodun wrote: “Democrats have stopped being racist against black people

    Well, actually, they haven’t; they have merely changed to more subtle methods. Affirmative Action is a policy that was implemented by Democrats in order to teach everyone that minorities are not capable enough to compete with whites. All kinds of policies of giving free stuff are for the same reason, that those who are needy — minorities — are that way because they are not capable enough to work alongside the capable — whites. It is a subtle form of racism, a soft racism, and is especially difficult for those who receive the free stuff to detect, especially since the freebees are said to be deserved for past discrimination.

    Such soft racism is difficult to spot, and wodun has missed it, too.

    But they are still racist. Who were the two Democrats who pointed out in 2008 that only a few years earlier Obama would have been serving the two of them rather than running for president?

    The identity politics is more blunt, so it is easier to spot. It divides people into groups at odds with each other, and it makes it easier to conquer these smaller groups. Especially when you have free stuff to pass out to some of the groups. They even use words and phrases that make these adversarial relationships between groups seem reasonable. After all, what monster could be against “Social Justice?”

    Blair Ivey and pzatchok have this figured out.

    pzatchok wrote: “You don’t win the fight during the fight, you win the fight training for the fight.

    Sun Tsu said something similar: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

    This may go along with his saying:
    We need to start training seriously.”The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

  • eddie willers

    Such soft racism is difficult to spot, and wodun has missed it, too.

    George W. Bush said it best: “The soft bigotry of low expectations.”

  • eddie willers:

    The quote is usually attributed to Micheal Gerson, George W. Bush’s speechwriter. The point is salient.

  • Dolf Fenster

    Yeah, no one’s on welfare in Appalachia, Bob. Jeez.

  • Dolf Fenster: Sigh. This is a perfect example of why it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a civil intelligent discussion in America these days.

    No where in my post do I imply any such thing. Nonetheless, the largest welfare populations remain concentrated in the inner urban cities, most of which are also Democratic strongholds.Consider New York City. Out of its 7 million or so population 1 million have been on welfare now for close to a half century.

    Nor does your point contest any of my post’s main points. The Democrats in this last election lost badly everywhere but in the inner cities. They also lost badly in areas where they once were strong, with their support shrinking across the country, even if it remains undeniably strong in the concentrated inner urban cities. These facts remain undisputed. It would be wise for Democrats and their supporters to learn from them, and maybe try to figure out why.

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