Andrew Yang recently wrote, “If Democrats want to end the accelerated mistrust in institutions that got Donald Trump elected, they’ve got to embrace policies that will create noticeable differences in people’s lives.”
Yang’s right. Rural America has gone from being a fairly bipartisan universe to one where Republicans enjoy nearly complete domination.
Is there a pathway back to rural relevance for the Democratic Party? On this week’s Fallon Forum, Kathy Byrnes, Charles Goldman, Pascha Morgan, and Chris Adcock (pictured at right with KHOI program director Ursula Ruedenberg) join me via Zoom to discuss that and related matters.
Which brings me to an announcement: In 2021, a key collaboration between the Fallon Forum and Bold Iowa will be “Fifty-two Conversations With Trump Voters.” Each week, I’ll have an hour-long conversation with someone who voted for Donald Trump. I’ll publish a summary of that conversation in my weekly blog and also interview that voter during my talk show.
This will, no doubt, anger some of you. “Ed, how dare you give any more coverage to those people!”
A key element of our way out of the current divide is through dialogue. I reject the rhetoric that most Trump voters are racists, misogynists, and “deplorable” — as Hillary Clinton so memorably referred to half of Trump’s supporters in 2016.
There are good people who, for various reasons, voted for Donald Trump. We need to understand why. We need to listen. We need to identify our common ground. And given the growing urgency of the climate crisis, addressing climate change also needs to be part of this conversation — and of every conversation.
I’ll wrap up by again quoting Andrew Yang:
“When I was running for president, I spoke with many of the people who hold some of our most common jobs in America — truck drivers, retail clerks, waitresses and more.
“When I told them I was running as a Democrat, a lot of them tended to flinch.
“We have to acknowledge that there’s something wrong when working class Americans have that response to a major party that is supposed to be fighting for them.
“So, you have to ask yourself in that situation, what is the Democratic Party standing for in their minds?”
CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S FALLON FORUM: “Has the Democratic Party given up on rural America?”
Watch the Facebook livestream conversation on KHOI’s Facebook Page.
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