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A Buckeye’s Lament: What Has Happened to Ohio and the Midwest?


#1

A Buckeye’s Lament: What Has Happened to Ohio and the Midwest?

Mike Lofgren

By now, you’ve almost certainly seen the photo taken at a Trump political rally in central Ohio, my native state. It has sparked a lot of comment, the substance of which suggests that even for journalists and pundits, it is no longer easy to sustain the firewall between judgments about Donald Trump and judgments about his supporters.


#2

I am a descendant from immigrants.

These, "I’d Rather Be A Russian aholes, should be referred to Law Enforcement for rounding up, and given a one way trip to Moscow.


#3

Plenty of dysfunctional neo-tankie leftists prefer Vladimir Putin and his gang of opponent-murdering oligarchs to the Democratic Party too. The neo-tankie far left is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from the far right. And no I’m not referring to the questionable “horseshoe theory” of centrist liberals. Something far more insidious is going on.


#4

Good article.

I have always found the “economic distress” theory of Trump followers to be questionable. Because, as someone who has one foot firmly planted in Trump country, I can’t fail to notice that most of them are not in much economic distress, or if they are, it is because they are living beyond their means with all their tens of thousands of dollars worth of IC engine powered toys.

The people in real economic distress - in the opioid and heroin filled neighborhood bordering mine - largely did not vote if white, and voted solidly Democrat if black.

Most of my federal govt. employee co-workers who have low 6-digit household incomes, love Trump.

I think that history will judge a certain presidential candidate’s characterization of a large part of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” as essentially an accurate statement.


#5

You are definitely on target. Look at all the lying about there is no evidence that Russia tried to influence the US election. Why are some people on the left joining the coverup. Anyone who has looked into this issue knows the denial over Russia is totally bogus. There are mountains of evidence. And the social media companies like Facebook also have found a tremendous amount of evidence. It is crystal clear that Russia has launched a cyber attack against the US. Trump as been wavering on this which has to make you wonder where he is coming from. Russia has not attach physical systems and probably won’t because the US security agencies could take Russia down with a cyber attack within seconds. Both countries would be stupid to go that route. But Russia is trying to get US citizens to vote their rights away in our elections by voting for autocrats like Trump and has been succeeding, There are people on the left who continue to lie through their teeth about what is going on apparently hoping the Russians can take down capitalism and somehow what will emerge with be some wonderful socialist society. I would not bet on that outcome.


#6

What is so bitterly comical about the authoritarian and crimes-against-humanity leaders the “alt-left” joins the neo-fascist right in supporting, in the name of “anti-imperialism” is that they are not only not socialists - but the exact opposite of socialists. Not that their humanitarian crimes would be excused if they were, of course. That is why I call them “neo-tankies” instead of “tankies”.

But having said that, the media and liberal establishment spends entirely too much time on the Russian electoral meddling story - which largely was a psychological-propaganda operation for which he USAns can only blame themselves for falling for.

There are far more substantiative issues to be covered in any effective opposition of Trump - but the corporate media cannot cover those issues, or they will piss off their owners and advertisers who pay their bills and inflate their stock prices.


#7

We have been fed so much revisionist history depicting unified, patriotic Murkins while the past 242 years have been anything but.

These culkt45 members likely descended from the many folks who didn’t want Murkin independence in 1776 and who wanted the US to go fascist concurrent with Germany, Italy and Spain going fascist during the 1930s.


#8

At this point, it’s no longer useful to get inside Trump supporters’ minds to see what makes them tick. Two years of Trump and his insanity proves that his base is beyond facts, logic and reason. They can’t be shamed or made to feel guilty about any crime, no matter how horrific.

It’s time to accept the bitter truth that a significant percentage of the population is racist, okay with torture, okay with locking children up in cages and drugging them, okay with men abusing women in every way, okay with bombing the shit out of third world countries, no matter how many innocents are killed, okay with hating and abusing immigrants, the LGBT community, other religions and just hateful of anyone different, in general.

And, now, with a dysfunctional and corrupt cesspool of a political system, there’s enough of them to elect someone like Donald Trump. The truth is that these people have ALWAYS been here, but they are no longer constrained by this country’s cultural values or political system. Time to get them out of power and wonder what happened to Ohio, the Midwest and other parts of the country, later. By all means, know these people for what they are, but while you’e scratching your head to understand them, be prepared to get your head bashed.


#9

Spend some time in Athens County, it’ll make you feel better for a bit. Ohio is the least categorizable state I’ve been in. A lot of different zones, and diversity in each. Clearly Cincinnati and Athens are different planets, but within Franklin County for example you can find a strong competition of ideas about politics and social justice. I just am not fond of generalities anout states, regions, etc (which I have just been guilty of myself I suppose). If I have a point, it’s that it’s all contested space… we should never write off areas or groups, change can be astonishing under the right circumstances.


#10

Kris Kobach, Steven Miller, GWB, so many others, all educated at Ivy League schools. We focus on working class racists and reactionaries, certainly plentiful and in their own way dangerous, and tend to ignore the way reactionaries with elite education truly drive bad policy. Also seemingly less mentioned are the racist suburban whites who actually turned the election for Trump. I guess it’s easier to focus on people who get rallied at, and have the least access to education and media. In this case they are white, and very often racist, but other times they are black and walking around with a target. In both cases, we spend too much time listening to professional talkers and not enough time addressing the existential crises facing working class people in the US.


#11

There was a time when their fellow conservatives would have had them jailed and interrogated by Joe McCarthy. The irony… Conservatives and Russians getting along? These people disgust me endlessly. They really are revealing their true colors.


#12

“Why does economic distress cause people in Ohio and similar states to rally to the side of those responsible, directly or indirectly, for that same distress, and place their own well-being into their hands?”

That is the $15.3 trillion national debt question.


#13

At last I find common ground with the Deceivables!
I wish those assholes were Russians too.


#14

#15

My maternal ancestors from Ireland, Prussia and England settled western Indiana with a land grant from Andrew Jackson. Brutal hard people winnowed through brutal pioneer trials. They are mean, worldly ignorant , racist and pious, but not stupid. They are the spawn of Europe and the cannon fodder of a militarist America. Their brutal hard realities have made them brutally mean. You can try to reason with them, but don’t fuck with them; they will hurt you.


#16

I absolutely agree! During the Revolutionary War, conservatives were the Tories and supported the Crown. It was a LIBERAL notion to have a democratically elected gov’t. A person cannot be american and not be Liberal. A true conservative gov’t is an ARISTOCRACY. That point needs stressed over and over till these conservatives start being ashamed of having that title. Look at how the rich conservatives behave, They really think of themselves as nobility and expect to be treated that way! Look at rump’s autocratic leadership! he betrays himself. The narrative that conservatives fool themselves with that they are “true” americans needs to be aggressively countered. They can’t be left to feel so smug about themselves. Their false foundation needs to be shaken.


#17

The conservative base is motivated more by fear and ignorance. The two guys in the picture are probably retired from good union jobs (thank FDR for that) and are enjoying a mix of public or private pension and a Social Security pension too. (FDR again!) And don’t you dare touch their VA ( socialized medicine!) or their Medicare (Johnson’s Great Society)
One thing cons do best…hypocrisy.


#18

The irony and cognitive dissonance are unbearable. I know educated progressives who side with Trump because they are so happy we’re not moving towards a nuclear war with Russia, as if oligarchy is OK. I prefer colluding with the Russians as communists rather than the mafia state kleptocrats they’ve become. The far right appreciate strong man dictators like Putin as long as he isn’t collecting taxes for socialist handouts! Dictators are A O K just as long as they aren’t providing free rides for the lazy bums!


#19

and then there is…


#20

My alleged “stronghold of derivative Southernism”, a predominantly working-class Illinois town whose major industries have long since pulled up stakes and where many local businesses have succumbed to big box stores, is full of more people who loathe Donald Trump than voted for him. A majority of us voted for Clinton/Kaine and a significant number of us voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and would be pleased to have a chance to vote for a candidate like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’m sure that pieces like this serve some cathartic purposed for their authors and some readers, but I don’t think they’re at all helpful beyond that.