Rural Voting Key In Presidential Race

27 08 2008

I have been preaching this for months.

From the Dallas Morning News:

And rural voters have been key — in helping former President Bill Clinton offset slippage in the suburbs and President Bush make up for declining urban support.

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder, who made history as the nation’s first elected black governor, said that the rural vote is key to an Obama victory and that he must campaign aggressively there.

“I told him, ‘Go to the sticks,’.” said Mr. Wilder, now the mayor of Richmond. “People there want to see you, touch you, hear you.”

And then there is this:

.S. Rep. Chet Edwards of Waco said Mr. Obama should highlight his opposition to the privatization of Social Security and his plan not to tax seniors earning less than $50,000.

“I think he can make real inroads in rural America,” Mr. Edwards said.

On Monday, Obama surrogates talked jobs, health care and rural highways at a meeting of the Democratic National Convention’s rural caucus.

The Obama rural platform includes promoting recruitment of doctors to rural areas, restricting the sale of methamphetamine ingredients, boosting incentives for ethanol and biodiesel production and use, and requiring country of origin labels on imported meat.

I realize that Barack Obama and John McCain are not going to come to Hooterville but they should go to some rural areas that are being impacted by higher gas and food costs as well as 26 manufacturing plants shutting down in the past 7 years. (Umm, that’s Hooterville and much of West Tennessee. Whoops.)

Working class folks could care less about words but are ready and need action.

I can tell you that the first thing folks here would bring up is NAFTA. It’s a hot-button issue here.

I have been talking about rural communities since I began this blog nearly three years ago. I will do the awful and link to myself. And Rep. John Tanner needs to be paying attention too. If you have money, things are rosy so how are you going to know what’s going on unless you go out to where average, real people are. People with money do not understand people without, and thus we head back to the Sneetches with the haves and have nots. Rural issues are somewhat tied into class issues, but I guess that happens everywhere.

A coffee shop, a tavern or other places that aren’t media events is what I’d say. Talk to the people serving low-income people who have nowhere else to turn.

Currently, I say to both political candidates and to our local ones as well, there are some things you don’t know that are happening. We are experiencing crimes of necessity (that’s the word local law enforcement uses where food from freezers is being stolen but not $5000 tractors. It’s happening quite a bit), gas pump drive offs, shoplifting of food and empty parking lots that used to have bustling businesses.

This is one of irritations with the political process right now. Rural voters in the south are so stereotyped by the media that it’s appalling. And politicians take their cue from MSM.

Wilder got it right.

One thing about rural citizens though. If the candidates came, they need to listen and not talk.

Then they will get a real view of what it’s like and then their words will have substance for people barely making it.

Thanks for listening.

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3 responses

27 08 2008
grandefille

Bravo. Once again you nail it. Get that hay down where the goats can get at it now, Barry. Come ON with it.

I must admit, though, that every time HRC said something about “your jobs going overseas” last night, I said, “Yes, and that red-nosed fella up there in the balcony leering at you is the one who signed that into law, and I’d still like to whip him upside the head for it. Not only have people lost their livelihoods, but it proved Ross Perot right, OMG.”

27 08 2008
jim voorhies

I have doubts that NAFTA really did much to move jobs away. When a business can pay some Guatemalan or Chinese ad $2 a day to make stuff for 10 hours a day and no benefits instead of using somebody in Hooterville that wants $10 or more and benefits, it doesn’t take legislatin to pull the jobs away. I’ve always thought of it more as a scapegoat. Sure, lowering tariffs made it even easier, but it was already easy.

27 08 2008
newscoma

I know what you are saying, and for the folks around here, that’s what they want to talk about. When a plant shut down a couple of weeks ago, the anger toward NAFTA (and actually Tanner) was amazing. It seems though that it got easier after NAFTA happened.
I do think that it would be interesting to hear what the farmers are also saying. I’ve been talking to them. They had their fields “guarded” in the spring because people were stealing diesel from the tanks.

Used to be anhydrous. Times have changed.

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