I spent the week traveling across the state of Mississippi visiting hospitals and community organizations. The Delta Region in Mississippi is arguably the most impoverished and under served part of our country. Having grown up in rural Appalachia near eastern Kentucky, I know their pain and their challenges. Despite our rhetoric, tattoos, and marches, we on the so-called left have further marginalized and polarized the rural working class. We mock them and infuriate them with our frivolous calls for sanctuary. My ancestors supported democrats because democrats supported them. Yellow dog democrats fiercely supported the party that had empowered labor unions and respected their heritage. We say that southerners vote against their own self interests, but we forget that a fundamental self interest for everyone is to be respected. Yes I know, Republicans don’t really respect them but they do a better job art acting like than we do. That’s for damn sure!
To think that progressive archetypes like Pantsuit Nation or #Resist will attract those most adversely affected by conservative policies is idiotic and more importantly arrogant. We cannot simultaneously champion and ridicule southerners and then expect them to join us. Roosevelt, Shriver, Kennedy, and Johnson helped set up and protect the identity of my ancestors. Dressing up like Hillary does not count.
Many progressives living in their gated communities portray themselves as victims, calling for safe places and protection against the oppressive establishment. Give me a fucking break! Get out of Decatur and go talk to a Mississippian. Tell her how oppressed you are, how Trump’s policies have made you seek a “safe space”. Tell her how you worry about your child’s future. Afterwards, step back (seriously do not stand too close after saying that) and listen to what she has to say. I bet you’ll come back (if she doesn’t kick your ass) with a much different perspective and appreciation for their views.