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Nobody Likes Trump


Well, Dara, this is the author. I included a hotlink in the article that gave my source, since this is a nuanced phenomena. Had you clicked it, you would have been aware that the statement wasn’t “ridiculous,” it was accurate. Here’s the direct link to make it easy for you. https://www.prb.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Lichter_Rural20Population20Change.pdf



Sorry, I feel stupid missing that link (I’m not color blind and see the link showing up now). I just reread your piece and agree with the sentiment 100%. I’m not happy with most of the press either (I have to listen to Real News or Democracy Now - I just can’t take NPR any longer), I’m not happy with the Democratic party overall not getting the progressive message, and I also think Sanders has perhaps the best chance of anyone running or predicted to run.

I read the 2nd half of your piece too quickly the first time and also missed the link to your pieces on Clinton in 2014 up to the election - I’ll have to check those out.

On rural depopulation, the total numbers make it sound pretty insignificant (and based on the USDA data that @dpearl pointed me too, the overall rural birth rate - death rate is positive still), but I can see how from the perspective of a white rural Trump voter they see their community on the decline (so really it is the white population change I should be looking at). More reason to push for a National Popular Vote. I so wished the Democrats had taken the opportunity when Trump said he could win such a vote (but he would have campaigned differently) to say, “OK then, let’s do that in 2020.” Now, I don’t know when we can get there - the compact is still 10 or so Electoral Votes shy of 270.

Now that I know you do read these forums, I’ll try to have something more intelligent to say next time. Take care.

PS: strange that the first page on Lichter’s set of plots doesn’t explain wha the numbers are (I assume millions of people) or what the difference between blue and green bars are (both grouped as metropolitan growth). I hope I live to see the day that the height of the three bars starts coming down.


I’m just curious, what do you mean by this? The Party, as in its voters and its elected officialdom, appears not be decided on any one candidate at the moment. Obviously, Biden and Bernie are frontrunners—Sanders never really stopped running and has the best organization—but things seem far from settled to me. Speaking for myself, I’m certainly undecided. After listening to a couple interviews with Pete Buttigieg, I appreciate how he actually tries to engage questions beyond applause lines. Does he have a shot? Probably not. But I may toss him some pennies just to see him on the debate stage.


John Atcheson isn’t the first person I’ve heard with the analysis that on the issues, progressive views on issues are better supported by the people than the DNC’s position on these issues. I think this is true on Medicare For All (I know your position on soft polling), Green New Deal (I know your position here too and I’m in agreement with some of your points but not enough to remove my support), and Free Public College (actually I don’t know your position on this).

You should. I did end up hearing his town hall after I said I wouldn’t. I didn’t come away as impressed as you, and as you know I’m completely against the strategy of trying to first do a ‘Medicare for All who want it’ (i.e. a public option) and not strongly fight for the right answer now. But I like his style better than O’Rourke and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him in the debate (unlike someone like Schultz who isn’t running as a Democrat I realize - I wish he would just go away). I feel the way you feel about Tulsi Gabbard, though I wasn’t happy with her Town Hall (she was too evasive on private insurance and on drug legalization), but I’ve liked her on other podcasts and interviews. I don’t always agree with her, but she is capable of speaking in a straightforward honest manner (hopefully she hasn’t given that up) and she has mostly the right progressive opinions and she has the number 1 best answer on Venezuela. I’ll send her some money for the same reason (I don’t think she has a chance, but I want her in the debates). For me, I hope it is Sanders or Warren or someone I don’t know very well yet who is actually good (I don’t have that impression of Harris, Booker, or Gillibrand, but know very little about Inslee or several others).


Fair enough. I disagree fundamentally with Atcheson’s interpretation of history though. Ronald Reagan won two massive elections running against government, low taxes on the wealthy, with strong sides of white racial resentment. He had massive coattails behind him. Historians call it the Reagan Revolution for a reason. It’s popular pseudo history on the Left to pretend his victories, and the political realignment they spawned, were for lack of willpower and true progressivism, a convenient stab-in-the-back narrative always told by losing sides. In reality, Americans rejected traditional program-focused New Deal liberalism, with some exceptions, by massive margins. It’s akin to pretending Republican losses in 1936 were for lack of commitment to Hooverite budget austerity. Like the Republican Party at that time, elected Democrats (and democratic voters) adapted to the new reality.

The good news is, every realignment plays itself out. It’s always a matter of when and what follows. We, of course, don’t know the answer yet.


I don’t have a response on the Reagan revolution. My dad was suckered in and many others were. I’d like to think we’ve evolved in 40 years but maybe not. If Carter were smarter there were things he could have done to avoid the hostage crisis and would have likely had a second term but we’ll never know what would have happened then.

I thought you might give me your opinion on free public college - is at a plank you want to see?


I think it’s fine. Personally, I would rather see investments in preschool and early childhood education since I think studies show early education is critical to better later-in-life outcomes. However, education is by far a local and state issue, to the tune of roughly .83 out of every dollar. I’m not quite as big on this particular topic as others for this reason. In fact, I would expect, just as with the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, multiple states would choose not to participate in the Sanders (really Clinton-Sanders) plan since it relies on matching state funds.

Of course, I don’t mind the idea getting out there, but my feet are grounded about it. Even if Bernie wins the general, barring a new Senate that eliminates the filibuster, it’s not going anywhere, just like all the other stuff we talk about. And that’s without knowing what our new judiciary has to say about these things.


If it is going to stay that way (my preference is to use 100% federal funding), then I still want out of state students to have free tuition (and I don’t want quotas for in state students either).

Tulsi Gabbard talks of wanting to be very careful with this progressive goal since the costs are out of control now with too much administration which ideally should be changed before we start paying with a public system. She’s not wrong about that.


My point is there are local changes needed since states and local governments are the primary operators of education and its financing. It’s why your school board exists, to make decisions about education. It’s also why striking teachers in LA were discussing prop 13 here in California (recently expanded by voters). I’m not as big on this as a specific plank item as a result, though I have nothing against it either.

Personally, I’d like to see universal (or close to) TK and preschool first. I think this may be easier to achieve in the political climate we are in since the federal government offers grants-in-aid already. With a Republican Senate, or close to, for the foreseeable future, it’s important to have plans that are possible and working through existing programs, like Head Start, could be key. I know folks looking for just the right words to tickle their ears won’t like to hear that, but it’s something I am looking for.


Question What have dems done for the people since Dump took office? Answer: Complain a lot!


That is true for K-12 but not true for higher education which is the issue @dara brought up. There is more Federal funding for higher education than state funding and that has been true for some time now. At research universities like mine the imbalance is stark with state funding making up only about 5% of our budget.


I believe that’s specific to research funding, right? My understanding is that parity is reached through loans and Pell grants, but money for university operations, etc., largely comes from states. In California, the majority of higher education funding for public universities is still via the state, though there was a brief period of parity during the recesssion. Other money comes via donors, private partnerships, tuition, and other fees.

I believe I answered her question though, which is that I think the issue is a fine platform plank, but not make or break for me. Unless Mitch McConnell has a sudden turnabout, or Republicans lose the Senate by massive unexpected margins, it’s a nice idea that’s likely to go nowhere.


no - I was talking about total budget. Though you are correct that for the issue of a possible federal “free” college tuition assistance program for undergraduate education, we should only consider the part of the budget affecting undergrads. In that case the state support goes up to about 25% at big universities.

Nope. California does do a better job than other states but saying “majority” is just wrong. State funding barely cracks a majority for two-year colleges (60%) in California - and for the public universities (UC & Cal State systems combined) total state funding is less than funding from tuition and fees (i.e. not even majority status when you just look at those two sources and no where near majority status when you also include other sources).


I’m not sure it is make or break for me (I’m not even sure Tulsi supports it) assuming the candidate meets my make or break stance on the other two (GND, MFA) and there is some plan to handle the student debt crisis.

As you know, I do support shedding the filibuster if the Democrats can get 51 or more seats and get 51 of them to go along with it. I’m aware there are some procedural hurdles even with 51, but I don’t think it is impossible. I have absolutely zero respect for the Senate being set up correctly in the first place (I’d ditch it for proportional representation) and don’t have any respect for the filibuster either.

Not that it matters here (I bring it up on topics related to women) and just FYI, but I am a 56 year old man (I need to figure out how to get my picture in the circle - it is on all my other Disqus uses).


It was federal funding we were discussing, correct? I’m not a expert on this topic, but I believe you are oversimplifying things if so. Community colleges in California are by far majority funded through prop 98 funds. Federal funding for community colleges here is very low. State colleges are the same, while the UC system sees more federal funding for research. The bulk of UC funding is not federal though, the closest to parity it came was in fiscal year 2011-2012 I believe, and that was roughly a 1/4 of system funding (Pell Grant increases, loans).


The sad reality is unless the filibuster is ditched, most of our back-and-forths here are an interesting, and often informative, pastime. There’s a reason in our country that historians often look at key periods, like the post civil war era or the New Deal, as mini political revolutions. Large congressional majorities passed significant legislation and enabled changes in policy in ways that don’t happen a lot. LBJ had 68 seats to work with on the Democratic side in the Senate, for example, when Medicare was passed. That’s not our current political situation, to say the least.


Federal funding of tuition actually.

You made statements about states providing a majority of college funding that were simply not true and readily checkable as the data I provided were all directly from institutional budgets. In a state like California the state gives a little more than the feds while nationally the feds give more than the states. In no state is the state share anywhere near a majority since tuition/fees revenue is so much of the total. Regarding just the government component of revenue - Tuition assistance is primarily at the federal level. Operating costs outside of medical and research are primarily at the state level.

If were are discussing a major tuition assistance program then the federal level would seem to be the logical choice for that to happen.


I don’t think I was ever that specific, not in my initial reaponse to Dara. And I think I was pretty upfront about what the federal government does cover via Pell Grants and loans here in California. My point was that I see early childhood education being easier to tackle given the Senate we are dealing with and likely to deal with in the future. And that’s a very weak feeling at best. Maybe I should have changed that first sentence, “majority,” but I wasn’t talking about college specifically. Sloppy writing on my part.