Choose Your Own Political Narrative: Iowa State Fair Edition

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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15 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    Can’t wait to hear Saul complain about Mrs.Miller. “How dare she make demands of Democrats!”

    I watched David Letterman’song interview with Barack Obama on Netflix last night. I disagreed with that man, passionately at times, but he never embarrassed me. Never thought I would be wistful for the good ol’ days of the Obama years… I feel certain Trump is going to bleed off a lot of voters, but I’m far less certain Democrats will produce a nominee that can pick them up.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      You share my general concerns about Democrats as well, though probably for different reasons. Honestly I’m not paying much attention yet to the Democrats – the field needs to winnow significantly, and we have a spectacle of a governor’s race going on in Mississippi right now – Two prominent republicans are going neck and neck into a mini-runoff in two weeks . . . and neither is actually popular in their home counties. Meanwhile the centerist Democrat running unopposed is rolling along with his farming and guns adds . . .Report

  2. Chip Daniels says:

    My takeaway of the parents is the same as it is of most self described moderate Republicans.

    They don’t seem to have any powerful interests in this fight. They aren’t farmers who are being hurt by tariffs. The immigration raids don’t affect them or seem to alarm them. The general drift towards authoritarianism and corruption aren’t on their radar.

    So their decision process is reduced to tone and mood. If Trump spoke with the vocabulary and diction of Mitt Romney their votes would be locked in. If Harris were to raise her voice or use a curse word they would revert to Trump.

    If they have no powerful ideas or principles that motivate them then their vote isn’t going to be gotten by articulating some new idea or principle.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Here is the paradox though. Romney tried to be really hard on immigration and other cultural stuff (remember “self-deportation”?) and he lost. He lost the popular vote and the electoral college vote rather handily. I think the reason for this is because Romney is too formal, too country club. Romney received two million less votes than Trump. There is something about Trump’s demeanor, that combination of rich slob, blowhard in the bar, and carnival barker that repels as much as it attracts. Trump’s demeanor was enough to get a freak electoral college victory.

      I don’t know if your first and second paragraphs are completely right. Maybe for some of the electorate. I think that some people who might have been traditionally Republican are turning away quickly. This is most pronounced in college-educated white women (who take the anti-abortion fanaticism very seriously) and spreads to other groups at lower but noitceable rates. At the current pace, the GOP is becoming more white and more male as everyone else leaves. This might accelerate their nihilism, authoritarianism, etc.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I alternate from optimism to pessimism daily.

        And maybe I shouldn’t be so critical of low passion voters. Like I keep saying, in even the worst regimes there are plenty of people who live placid untroubled lives, and wonder what all the fuss is about.Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Romney was also running against Barack Obama. I don’t know who could have run against Obama without seeming like an Old-Guy-Racist Dude or I-Need-To-Speak-To-Your-Manager Woman; but Romney definitely wasn’t that person.

        I mean, in 2016 suddenly we had Democrats talking about how great Romney was and why wasn’t he running and The Adult In The Room and blah, blah, blah…Report

        • pillsy in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Both are… more or less true.

          My really spicy take is the two archetypes in question are heads of the same coin.

          Also like I have never been a fan of Romney even when I kind of hoped he would turf out Ted Kennedy’s horrible old ass in ’94, but one of the little-remarked-upon things about his campaign is it was better than McCain’s (and he did better electorally, not that the two necessarily have much to do with each other).Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Here’s a good example-
      Rod Dreher’s interview with J.D. Vance, on his conversion to Catholicism:

      Dreher asks him about how his faith informs his views on politics, and Vance gives the sort of bland anodyne answers about social teaching:
      “I hope my faith makes me more compassionate and to identify with people who are struggling….
      Part of social conservatism’s challenge for viability in the 21st century is that it can’t just be about issues like abortion, but it has to have a broader vision of political economy, and the common good.”

      That’s very good! Very uplifting, and something we can all agree on.

      But then:
      “To me, fundamentally the issue that most Christians confront is, which of these two political parties is the least offensive to my faith? When that’s the question, the answer is almost always going to be unsatisfactory. I am definitely critical of the way some Evangelicals have reacted to the president. But I also know that most of them aren’t doing it because they are sycophants. They’re doing it because they don’t think they have a better option.”

      He views the Trump Administration as being roughly equal to the Obama/ Hypothetical Clinton Administration.

      Although he didn’t specify the “equally offensive” parts, what else could it be except abortion/ same sex marriage/ trans rights?
      Did he find the ACA to be offensive to Church teaching? Did he find the expansion of opportunities for women offensive?

      Conversely, the pattern of deliberate racism and hostility to the personhood of immigrants isn’t offensive to him, it doesn’t violate the entire ostensible premise of Christianity?

      For Vance, none of these issues seem real, or urgent. There isn’t any compelling issue at stake.
      Instead, it is all abstract theology, or reactionary disdain for other people’s sex life.

      The very real terror and anguish that is being inflicted on millions of people doesn’t even cross his mind as a consideration.
      No matter how he ultimately votes, it won’t be in solidarity with his brothers and sisters in Christ, it will be determined by whichever candidate offends his personal litmus test the least.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        J.D. Vance is a super-conservative through and through in generally super-liberal San Francisco-Bay Area. We do have them believe it or not. They generally come in three flavors:

        1. Really, really rich venture capitalists or those that aspire to be really, really rich venture capitalists. This is J.D. Vance;

        2. Old immigrants from the former Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc that have an automatic distaste of anything left-sounding even though most of them live in government housing for low-income people;

        3. A small group of really old people who can remember a very different San Francisco that existed before 1967.

        Now the kicker with people like Vance is that they are almost certainly interacting with people who are LGBT and/or very liberal on a day to day basis in their professional lives unless J.D. Vance figured out how to never interact with anyone.Report