Just yesterday I attended a fair in Port Oneida, Michigan celebrating rural culture.
While the focus on Michigan, when it comes to economic matters, tends to be on the manufacturing sector, largely, of course, because of the dominance of the auto industry, the importance of the rural economy and population loom large, not just in terms of their essential role in U.S. life but also as a voting issue and bloc in the 2020 presidential election.
Indeed, it is not uncommon, driving in this area of the country, to see bumper stickers that read, “No farms, No Food.” Urban folk would be wise to be cognizant of their reliance on this rural culture for their very life.
The success of Democrats in the 2020 presidential election may very well hinge on their ability to forge a unity between rural and urban voters and to underscore not just the interdependence of rural and urban populations and economies but the common issues and interests these communities share.
President Trump has done his best to drive a wedge between rural and urban voters, trying to obscure the common suffering people have experienced under Trump’s mis-leadership. While speaking in Ohio last August 2, he continued, for example, to berate Baltimore for its problems, having referred to the city as a “rat and rodent infested mess,” as if, despite occupying the most powerful political office in the nation, if not the world, the people of Baltimore did not fall under his purview and he did not shoulder any responsibility for Baltimore or, really, any of America’s inner cities. Baltimore residents are not part of Trump’s “United Base of America.”
As Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS news, noted, however, while Trump was speaking recently in Ohio, he neglected to address the suffering experienced in that very state. She tweeted: “
The president was in Ohio, home to Masury, OH — a city nicknamed Misery, OH because of the struggles and economic devastation there. But President Trump went on extended riffs about cities much more farther [sic] away last night.”