This is a post by my colleague Mark Bonta, who was born, raised and still lives in western Pennsylvania
The Trump Train at Curtin Hollow has become quite the tourist attraction, with several admiring (I think) passersby stopping to snap photos in the 2 minutes I was there. It’s parked along busy Route 150 right next to a faded and battered “McCain For President” sign.
Don’t cry, disheartened Hillary voter, fight back. The best way to do that is to galvanize yourself now to recapture the white working class voters in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin from Trump in four years–because he picked them up from Bernie and Obama, and this allowed him to squeak by in the Electoral College.
Focus on strategy and tactics — how to get yourselves out of your cities on the weekends and really get to know Trump Country, talk to the people who are still afraid to say they voted for Trump–educate people on the evils of Neoliberalism, stay away from moral quandaries, and more than anything, don’t be afraid of “us”, your toothless rednecks from Deliverance, since you are aware that Bernie resonated with them.
Understand and attempt to empathize with our very limited horizons (particularly in PA) and how scary the world is to us, how left behind we feel, how humiliated we feel in front of our kids.
More than anything, show Bernie and particularly Warren that there is some sort of will to do this.
This is also a personal invitation – I will happily take you to bars and other places of ill repute outside of the Penn State Happy Valley bubble so you can really get to know Trump Country.
Earlier Mark wrote:
A little perspective, gringos–we already made it (barely) through 8 yrs of George W. Bush, the worst and possibly stupidest president the US has ever had.
During his term, we launched a disastrous and deceptive global war on terror that has wrecked countries, taken millions of lives, and brought us to the brink of WWIII.
We normalized torture, drone warfare, and massive surveillance of ourselves.
We did that. So, I mean, without getting started on the sins of Wall Street, the Doomsday Clock at 3 minutes to midnight, etc., etc. we’ve already made fools of ourselves many times over, and scared the rest of the world shitless in the process.
Of course we are stupid enough to be duped by a reality show and a series of twitterstorms; we think and speak in vicious soundbites and childish memes, we have the attention spans of chipmunks, we are afraid of our own shadows.
We are literally told to compress our thoughts into a few characters, and not write lengthy emails or posts because people will lose interest.
What did we expect?
We need to have our credit cards taken away and our television privileges revoked until we come to our senses.
Despite all this, ironies abound–I actually do think Facebook is a positive force–even the endless photos of your brunch–because at least we are able to communicate with each other, albeit often trollishly, and create these wonderful virtual communities.