Tougaw: Why the Republicans won the whole goddamn election

Taylor Tougaw

If you’re like me, your social media has exploded with hate and vitriol towards the new president-elect, Donald Trump. The hatred spewed towards ‘white men’ and Republicans in general is enough to make you want to delete Facebook for four years. This widespread discontent is a result of one man, as if he is the one with the power to change what many people think is going to change. But here’s what all of the social media keyboard warriors are forgetting: Trump didn’t just win. The Republican party won. In an election where literally the entire political system was up for grabs, the Republican party took every single branch of government. This doesn’t just happen by accident. These votes are a cry — no, a scream — by rural, conservative voters for help. A lot of people think that the vote for Trump was a vote against a certain group of people, mainly minorities and LGBT people. This may be, in a very small sense, true. This vote was definitely a protest vote. But this vote wasn’t just against something. It was also for something. The conservative way of life is disappearing, and it’s taking with it a massive swath of the country. If you don’t listen to this scream, then you truly do not care about this nation.

Go Google search a picture of the 2016 electoral map by county. Once you do, you’ll see that our election map looks like someone gave a toddler a red paint brush and a bottle of Adderall. The vast, overwhelming landmass of America votes Republican. “But Taylor, Hillary won the popular vote, idiot!” I know this. The reason Hillary still lost the election is because Democrats are so intensely smashed together into the cities in America that they live in their own little bubble, completely separated from the rest of the world. Suburban city America has literally no clue about how the ‘other side’ lives. Liberals live in a city, where their policies and intentions feed off of one another and eventually grow into a massive snow globe that completely shuts off influence from the rest of the country. This is what creates the ‘us vs. them mentality.’

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It is easy for some to say that rural folk are equally as oblivious to the lives of more urban people, but this is absolutely false. Think about where our pop culture comes from. Want to be a singer or an actor? I bet your local bar or tavern in Montana is going to help you get there. Where is your favorite movie actor from? I bet it isn’t Wyoming. Meanwhile, Hillary’s campaign tried to use these pop media icons to sell the election to those plebeians living out in the sticks. If Miley Cyrus goes knocking on doors for Hillary, that means I should vote for her, right? Wrong. These pop icons aren’t role models to everyone, but especially not people like Miley Cyrus and Madonna, who are seen as everything that’s wrong with modern pop culture.

Even aside from the massive influx of pop culture, career and industry opportunities are extremely limited outside of the city. If you want to be a doctor for your local community, either move to a city hospital, or wait for your current doctor to literally die. Cities can keep up with a loss of workers. Smaller, more rural areas simply can’t.

Take Kentucky, for example. Kentucky used to be the heart of coal mining country. Now, its Appalachian area is one of the most destitute and unemployed areas in the entire country. We’re talking almost 50% unemployment and communities that don’t have running water or electricity. But who cares, right? They’re just dumb, inbred hillbillies.

These are the people that are screaming for help.

Again, its easy to say that inner cities are also struggling with this. Except that they’re not. Almost the entirety of the recession recovery went smack dab right into the cities. If you look at a map of where businesses opened coming out of the recession years, its almost entirely in large cities. With little in the way of jobs, economic help, or cultural relevance, many of these people either leave entirely, or fall into another, much worse category.

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The suicide rate among adults and teens in rural areas doubles compared to suburban areas. Let me say this again for emphasis: The suicide rate doubles in rural areas. The hopelessness in areas of the country is so soul crushing that the suicide and drug rates bloom exponentially. In fact, according to an article in The Atlantic titled “Why Are so Many Middle-Aged Americans Dying?, they write that “In seven southern states—West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Arkansas—the gap between actual and expected mortality in 2014 exceeded 200 deaths per 100,000 people. In West Virginia, mortality rates were higher than at any time since 1980.” While drug arrests over marijuana in the city are oppressive and keep poor people subjugated, according to the left, methamphetamine usage in rural America has absolutely skyrocketed, leading to tons of deaths and arrests. But again, who cares, right? Yet these are the people that need help. These are the ones that have been completely forgotten.

Source: El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), U.S. DEA

I don’t mean to make these people all seem like inbred, poor subsistence living people. The vast majority are middle class workers that send their kids to school and go to work in a factory. The problem for them is that their factory jobs are fleeing the country at a rate that’s unprecedented, and the core values that their communities hold are eroding faster than the ozone layer. For them, watching the direction America is going is like being buried in sand up to your neck and watching the high tide roll in.

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The worst part about this is that these people aren’t allowed to complain about it. In his article “How Half of America Lost its F**king Mind,” David Wong sums this up more eloquently than I can ever hope to do. I highly recommend giving it a read, but to sum it up, conservatives are upset because their jobs are fleeing the country and soldiers are dying to suicide bombers while liberals sit in their ivory tower complaining about which bathroom people can piss in and telling them that gluten causes cancer.

As I said before, the conservative way of life, and literally its people, are dying. Rural conservatism is generally founded on the values of faith, hard work, and independence. In their eyes, these things are all disappearing. Everyone — the media, the polls, the elites shouting form their ivory tower — told them that Trump wouldn’t win. They said he couldn’t do it. And thus, 60 million people walked right out their front door to prove them wrong.

While many people have said that Trump is a reaction vote to spite liberals, you aren’t wrong. These people are tired of being called privileged racists. But this vote was so much more than that. You cannot forget that it wasn’t just Trump that won, but the entirety of the Republican party. It wasn’t just against the condescension of the left, it was also a vote for something. It was a vote for help. A vote to turn things back to the way they used to be. As much as you want all those Trump voters to be racists, they have better things to vote for. They want to know if their values and morals will be saved. They want to know if jobs will come back and keep their town from drying up into nonexistence. They want to have hope, and it isn’t the Democrats that are going to give that to them.

This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone protesting his election. There are people out there that not only aren’t being helped, but aren’t even being acknowledged. You now have two options: You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that all Trump supporters are racist assholes, or you can open your ears and listen to people that desperately want to be heard.