I don’t know anything about how to actually win elections, so it may well be that from a purely pragmatic standpoint, the advice to Democrats in this op-ed from a 29-year-old Maine state senator and her campaign manager (they have a book to sell) is really good.
From an intellectual standpoint the argument is deplorable on various levels. Let’s go to the tape:
What much of the party establishment doesn’t understand is that rural life is rooted in shared values of independence, common sense, tradition, frugality, community and hard work. Democratic campaigns often seem to revolve around white papers and wonky policy. In our experience, politicians lose rural people when they regurgitate politically triangulated lines and talk about the vagaries of policy. Rural folks vote on what rings true and personal to them: Can this person be trusted? Is he authentic?
I wish Chloe Maxmin well in terms of her political and literary ambitions, but speaking of authenticity, you’re talking about a demographic — old rural white people — (Maine is the oldest and whitest state in the nation) that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, who is without question the least trustworthy and least authentic politician in American history. Trump is so inauthentic that he basically isn’t even a human being any more.
So the common clay of the Pine Tree State is made up of either morons or liars, because anybody who says they vote for Trump and Trumpist Republicans (a tautology at this point) because they’re so trustworthy and authentic has to be in one or both categories, unless “authentic” means “authentically willing to let their fascist freak flag fly,” which I more than suspect it does.
Moving right along:
Chloe has knocked on more than 20,000 doors over the last two cycles, listening to stories of loss and isolation. One man told her she was the first person to listen to him; most campaigns, he said, didn’t even bother to knock on his door — they judged him for what his house looked like. Another voter said she had been undecided between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump until Election Day but ultimately voted for Mr. Trump because, she said, at the Republican convention, he talked about regular American working people, and Ms. Clinton didn’t at her own convention.
Is it 5 PM yet?
Because of a combination of The Wisdom of the Framers and of the presidential primary system American politics pretty much consists of nothing but constantly kissing the asses of rural white voters. Nevertheless or more accurately therefore these most special of special snowflakes will still never shut the fuck up (sorry Mami) for even five minutes about how nobody listens to their endlessly dreary stories of loss and alienation, except of course for the gaggle of national journalists who show up like clockwork every other Thursday to chronicle those stories again and again in the New York Times etc.
Oh and Chloe I get that you’re a young woman on the make and again I wish you nothing but the best, but must you parrot the most absurd and outrageous lies of the right wing scream machine while you’re slinging your political career/book? Hillary Clinton talked and talked and talked about “regular [white] American [white] working [white] people,” over and over again, because that’s how the game is played (see above), although she did make the unforgivable mistake of uttering the truth — that a lot of Trump voters were a bunch of racist crypto-fascists — that one time, which of course cost her the election, because if there’s one thing regular American working people can’t handle, it’s the truth.
OK I’ll stop now.