Marching To The Beat Of A Different Reality

Friday, November 11, 2016

The 2016 Election; A Victory for Middle American Values?

The election is over.  Trump has won.  Celebrities are running for the hills, rioting and protests have broken out in major population centers across the country, and I heard from a friend watching, that a talking head at Good Morning America (the Thursday after the election) felt the need to explain the vote as a reality not a nightmare.

Trump, trumped Clinton - there's no way around that. With the media projecting Hilary as the winner most of last year and throughout the night - even after he took Florida - it was clear by Wednesday morning that the media, liberal America and the celebrity class were shocked beyond reason at the result of this election.  I'm not surprised - their total inability to understand the thought processes and lives of middle America represent a majority of reasons for the outcome of this election.

Entertainment and news celebrities live in crystal bubbles surrounded by drooling fans, where they rock swag bags, red carpets and all the free crap designers and beauty companies can throw at them to garner their endorsements. If their movies stink or their news shows can't make it on cable for even a season, it matters not, they'll shuffle off to another show created to entertain the masses, dutifully do their stand up-sit down-line recitation or read off their prompter and go home to their glorious three bed three, three bath, three and a half million dollar vintage ranch-style house in the Hollywood hills - or their overpriced Manhattan flat - to spend 15 minutes with their Armani-clad tykes before they trundle off across hand-scraped floors rescued from a 300 year old farm house live-in nanny in tow, housekeeper not far behind warning of their impending dinner cooked by the celebrity chef who will be along shortly.

This isn't middle America by even the broadest stretch of the imagination. 

We here in middle America get up in the morning and work all day - sometimes two jobs to make ends meet - only to watch our health care costs eat up our paychecks, yet we can't even go to the doctor if we need one because we can't afford the deductibles for the policies we have because we're expected to pay the healthcare costs for others who can't or won't shoulder the burden themselves.  

We here in middle America can't take a vacation because our tax rates have gone up to the point that we're now working twice as hard and yet the huge chunk of Social Security benefits pulled from our checks monthly we'll likely never see because the country holds a deficit of over 20 TRILLION dollars and Social Security funds have been raided to plug other gaping federal budget holes for stuff the Constitution doesn't support and middle Americans could take care of on their own.  

We here in middle America get home from a full day of work to cook our own dinner, clean our own homes and stay up late into the night helping teach our kids what they don't get in public schools where teachers are so crushed under the burdens of endless state and federal mandates - that now include who can and can't use school bathrooms - they don't have time to actually teach our children and though a lot of us homeschool, not everyone can do that when both parents have to hold down jobs to keep food on the table and a private education for most of us is way beyond arms length.  

We here in middle America have lots of jobs in the energy sector - so highly regulated by the EPA under the Obama administration in deference to Global Warming concerns and trade imbalances - that we're never sure we're going to even have our back-breaking, sod-cracking, dirty, oily job from day to day that keeps our kids in clothes and food on the table.

We here in middle America get up at the crack of dawn, climb up to the seat of a tractor and endlessly plow our red dirt to grow the food you eat for which we're paid a pittance - but that which we're happy to have to fuel our simple, self-sufficient lifestyles that don't actually need or require handouts from benevolent dictators who then want to tell us what, when, where and how to plant what we toil over to grow because someone who has no concept of where food comes from feels that an endangered boll weevil has rights and must be preserved to eat our next crop down to the nubs.  Then, when we try to grow cleaner food without the use of pesticides and growth hormones for ourselves and emerging markets, we're subjected to even more regulation.

We here in middle America see the break of day from the back of a four-wheeler as we patch fences that hold in the cattle that become your hamburgers and steaks in your five star restaurants all the while knowing that at any minute, a non-elected bureaucrat from the EPA can step onto our land and condemn it because our water isn't pure enough or in the right place or tell our kids they can't take the farm truck out to drive hay out to the field. We're told how and when we can milk our cattle and what we can sell in the marketplace, restricting not only our own means of income, but consumers ability to buy what they want.

We here in middle America are gracious people - we'll help you out if you're stopped by the side of the road or if your life has been uprooted by a tornado, fire or flood - but we love our Bible and we're sick to death of being called bigots and homophobes because, while we'll give you the shirt off our backs if you need it - gay, straight, black or white - we will stand on our principles and respectfully decline to celebrate your wedding in deference to our religious views.  We'll allow anyone to express their view or live their lifestyle of choice we only ask to be left alone and given the same consideration in turn.

I'm not the only one who's reached the consensus that middle-Americans are simply sick of having to bend their lives around those on either coast.  I'm not the only middle-American unsurprised about the Trump victory.

Probably one of the most telling post-election headlines read, "The Man Who Put Oregon Christian Bakers Out Of Business Just Got Beaten At The Polls By a REPUBLICAN". 

Though the Oregon bakery served gay and lesbian clientele but balking at baking a wedding cake for a gay wedding because of their religious principles, the state drained Melisa and Aaron's bank accounts to the tune of $144,000, putting them out of business. The article says, in part:
Oregon political analyst, Rob Kremer, told Independent Journal Review that Avakian campaigned on the idea that he would use the Secretary of State's office to further his progressive political agenda and — surprisingly — that turned off a lot of Oregon's liberal voters.
Okay, let's think this through. If you're going to turn off liberal Oregon voters, what are you going to do to the people in the Heartland who have the same belief system as these Oregon bakers? Scare them to death? Pretty much. What do scared people do? Well, scared middle Americans don't riot, they vote, and vote they did.  

Unlike this Roll Call writer who feels he has the pulse on the Heartland because he once lived in Ohio, we who live here don't feel we have a lock on 'Americanism'. We understand there are real problems in some of our communities with bigotry, drug abuse and other outgrowths of poor education and the effects of regional culturalism, but we're willing to work on those, knowing they're in no way even sort of representative of the whole of its inhabitants. I dare anyone interested in checking to Google up photos of public school football teams anywhere in the Heartland and you'll see shiny, smiling brown, black and white faces altogether in one picture, altogether on one team, altogether in the name of football and their hometown school.

I tend to think Robby Soave sums up the Trump election quite well in his piece at Reason. Trump won because middle America can only be pushed so far - oh we'll bend - but we've been bending to the point that we're nearly broken. 
Eat the food we grow, use our oil to power your TV's movie screens and sports venues - and do it with our blessing and appreciation - but don't throw our values under the bus and regulate our lives into oblivion because as we go, so does the rest of the country.
A Jason Aldean song seems to resonate here, so I'll leave you with the words of Flyover States to give you even more to think on (written by Neil Thrasher and Michael Dulaney). 

A couple of guys in first class on a flight
From New York to Los Angeles
Kinda making small talk killin' time
Flirting with the flight attendants
Thirty thousand feet above, could be Oklahoma

Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms
Man, it all looks the same
Miles and miles of back roads and highways
Connecting little towns with funny names
Who'd want to live down there in the middle of nowhere?

They've never drove through Indiana
Met the man who plowed that earth
Planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me
Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas
They'd understand why God made
Those fly over states

I bet that mile long Santa Fe
Freight train engineer's seen it all
Just like that flatbed cowboy
Stacking US Steel on a three day haul
Roads and rails under their feet
Yeah, that sounds like a first class seat

On the plains of Oklahoma
With a windshield sunset in your eyes
Like a water colored painted sky
You'll think heaven's doors have opened
You'll understand why God made
Those fly over states

Take a ride across the badlands
Feel that freedom on your face
Breathe in all that open space
Meet a girl from Amarillo
You'll understand why God made
You might even wanna plant your stakes
In those fly over states

Have you ever been through Indiana
On the plains of Oklahoma
Take a ride