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HomeNewsOpinion | Blue-state residents are ‘real’ Americans, too

Opinion | Blue-state residents are ‘real’ Americans, too


PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — I’ve been feeling very blue this summer season. Oh, I don’t imply I’m depressed — I’ve been having a ball. However I’ve been spending time in among the most liberal enclaves in America: first Martha’s Winery (the place former President Barack Obama has a house), then Provincetown, Mass., an LGBTQ mecca the place satisfaction flags are ubiquitous. I even took my step-kids to a drag present. (Don’t tell Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis!)

I’ve to confess that even this reformed ex-Republican did a slight eyeroll on the automobile subsequent door to our rented seashore home in P-town. It sports activities bumper stickers proclaiming “Biden-Harris,” “Coexist” (with Christian, Jewish, Muslim and peace symbols), “Resist” and “Bye Don” underneath a shock of yellow hair. Naturally, it’s a Subaru station wagon with a motorcycle rack. How cliche are you able to get?

It’s straightforward in such environs to think about that you just’re not within the “actual America.” In reality, a pal who lives, as I do, in New York Metropolis — yet one more Democratic bastion — made exactly that remark in a half-joking method. “I’m glad to not be in America,” he informed me, which means, presumably, he was glad to be in a spot the place drag queens are thought of regular and Trumpkins usually are not.

However you realize what? Provincetown is the actual America. So is Martha’s Winery. These communities are undoubtedly on the left and vulnerable to excesses of political correctness that make for straightforward punch traces. However, in some ways, they may be extra consultant of 2022 America than the Rust Belt diners the place reporters like to take the heart beat of Trumplandia.

There’s an implicit assumption, shared by many Republicans and Democrats, that “actual” Individuals are White, rural, conservative, Christian and poorly educated. (“I really like the poorly educated,” Donald Trump said in 2016.) Extremely-MAGA Republicans assume that their coverage preferences — anti-immigration, anti-gun management, anti-abortion, anti-“woke” — are the one professional views that may be held by “actual” Individuals, and that anybody who disagrees is a pointy-headed elitist or “globalist” who’s out of contact with actuality.

But it’s White, Christian, rural, conservative voters who are actually within the minority. Certainly, a lot of the rationale that MAGA Republicans sound so hysterical a lot of the time is that they know that the tides of financial and demographic change are leaving them behind. The White share of the inhabitants has declined from 80 % in 1980 to simply 60.1 % in 2019. By the 2040s, America is projected to develop into “majority minority.”

Accompanying this demographic shift is an financial shift that places a premium on brains over brawn: In 1970, 31.2 percent of non-farm employees have been employed in blue-collar jobs. By 2016, the blue-collar share of the workforce had fallen to simply 13.6 %. There’s even a non secular shift: Atheists and agnostics are the fastest-growing spiritual group within the nation, whereas the proportion of Christians declined by 15 factors between 2007 and 2021.

Demography shouldn’t be essentially future, and Latinos, particularly, are not as Democratic as they was once. However these traits are hardly favorable for a Trumpified Republican Celebration whose base more and more consists of White, evangelical Christians who haven’t graduated from faculty.

A extra various, better-educated nation is extra liberal, significantly on cultural points. In different phrases, extra like P-town and the Winery. Simply take a look at the large shift on same-sex marriage. Even Obama came out towards marriage equality in 2008 when it had the help of solely 40 percent of Individuals. Now same-sex marriage is supported by 71 % of the general public — and even by 55 percent of Republicans. It has develop into a nonissue.

The hardcore MAGA base would possibly thrill to the sort of cultural warfare practiced by Trump and DeSantis, however it repels many of the voters — which is why so many Republicans who touted their opposition to abortion in the course of the primaries are actually soft-pedaling an unpopular stance.

Our political system has a pointy minoritarian bias, however there’s little doubt that Democratic positions are far more widespread than Republican ones. Sixty-seven million more Americans dwell in counties received by Joe Biden than by Trump in 2020 — and the Biden counties produce 71 percent of U.S. gross home product.

The Biden strongholds are in main cities and suburban areas — and that’s more and more the place most Individuals dwell. Even in crimson states, main metropolitan areas are typically fairly blue. The largest city Trump received in 2020 was Oklahoma Metropolis, whose complete inhabitants (681,054) is less than half that of Manhattan, the New York borough the place the previous president was as soon as feted and now could be a pariah.

The entire nation may not be practically as progressive as Provincetown or Martha’s Winery, however these blue havens are nearer to an more and more liberal mainstream than the MAGA redoubts the place pickup vans sport “Let’s Go, Brandon!” bumper stickers. There’s a good cause so many MAGA Republicans are embracing “semi-fascism”: Their views are too unpopular to command majority help anymore. They actually don’t converse for the “actual” America — to the extent that such a factor even exists.

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