I’ve about had it with these incessant articles from an incredulous press, where some reporter runs off to some exotic (to them) rural locale where the locals mostly voted for Donald Trump,
and they goggle a bit and report back that, amazingly, the people here belong to the genus Homo
and have two legs and two arms and two eyes, and gosh no, they ain’t racist, no, not a bit — they’re just economically distressed. It’s a genre of lazy reporting that also includes all those interviews prior to an election with “the undecided voter”, as if finding the least informed, most chicken-shit citizens in the country will reveal some great insight.

Finally, though, one reporter turns that all on its head and journeys to the heart of anti-Trump country to report on the savage opinions of the well-educated. He goes to Mount Airy/Germantown in Philadelphia. I knew those places well, although I was apparently not well educated enough, liberal enough, or wealthy enough to actually be able to afford to live there.

In Philadelphia’s 22nd Ward, which covers Germantown and parts of Mount Airy, Clinton got 12,050 votes in 2016, and Trump received a mere 342 — and I did not run across any of those lonely 342 during my reporting. One of the more ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city, Mount Airy and Germantown are also well-educated spots, described once as “a Ph.D ghetto.” More than the numbers, though, I wanted to see a place where, in the words of one Nobel laureate, there was “There was music in the cafés at night/And revolution in the air.”

As you might expect, all is not well among the aboriginals.

“Everybody here hates Trump — that’s why I like to live here,” said Raab — a sentiment I heard from more than one person. “I have a neighbor who couldn’t eat for four days” after the election. Like many folks, Raab has turned to activism — joining the January 21 Women’s March in Center City and giving away what she called “tons of money” to groups like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Despite all that, Raab said she feels pessimism about where America is at after one year of Trump, hours after the president used Twitter to threaten war with North Korea. “I don’t have hope,” she said, “as everyday there’s something worse and worse.”

I’m not giving up all hope just yet, although it is only hanging on by a sliver. I’m still hoping the next election will be a massive uprising to overthrow the known-nothings and bigots.


  1. fishy says

    Is this what drives us? Maybe we become inured or complacent when we have acceptable circumstances.
    I don’t want to hate all the time. I lose sleep over it. It kills me and makes me a worse person.

  2. Anders says

    342 votes is still like 3% or something , I mean , from my perspective, if Trump got 342 votes total , nation wide, I’d still got WHAT!!? Over 300 votes ? Who ARE those freak lunatics??

  3. robro says

    I stumbled on this article yesterday and enjoyed it. I would like to see more of these.

    It would also be interesting to see reports on districts in states where Trump narrowly won…Pennsylvania (1.2%), Wisconsin (1%), Michigan (0.3%), even Florida (1.3%)…throwing the Electoral College to him, and delve into how people voted. Or perhaps more importantly, why didn’t they vote?

    In light of the fallout between the Mercers and Bannon, Huffington Post re-ran an article from last year about Rebekah Mercer’s involvement in politics. It notes:

    Around 2012, Robert Mercer reportedly invested $5 million in a British data science company named SCL Group. Most political campaigns run highly sophisticated micro-targeting efforts to locate voters. SCL promised much more, claiming to be able to manipulate voter behavior through something called psychographic modeling.

    Psychographic modeling is an alarming concept.

  4. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Or perhaps more importantly, why didn’t they vote?

    We know this one. They didn’t get the pony they were promised.

  5. Akira MacKenzie says

    Azkyroth @ 4

    No, they were told the had to take a dead cow with a saddle on it’s back when the pony was readily available.

    In fairness, I also voted for the bovine-carcuss-cum-hobby-horse; as rotten as the more of the status quo under Clinton would have likely been, Trump’s rule makes it look like Utopia in comparison. That said, I understand the frustration of the angry young liberal who stayed at home last election year. The Democrats have to learn that they cannot take the Left for granted anymore, demanding their votes while making no effort to swing the party back from it’s 30 year drift to the Right (or even insulting them as Hilary did with her “we’re not Denmark” quip, or her love letter to capitalism she gave during the debates). As horrible as they are, the Republicans know how to players to their base. They are willing to advance a Right-Wing agenda while the Dems dither and pat themselves on the back for being a “big tent” while consistently pissing off Leftist voters.

    I hoped that the last election would have taught them that lesson, I don’t see any indication that they have. They seems to think that disgust with Trump and Surge and Decline will be enough for them to win back Congress. I would remind them that was exactly the line of thinking they had the morning of November 8, 2016.

  6. patrick2 says

    In the months after the election there were quite a few articles on the specific counties in Pennsylvania,Wisconsin etc that had voted Democrat in the past but which unexpectedly swung the election to Trump in 2016. If I recall, most of the articles noted that their vote for Trump was very conditional, and that if there is no change in their circumstances they would vote for someone else in future elections. So they (mostly) seemed not to be die hard Trump followers.

    Some of those articles were in local papers so may be a bit hard to track down again, but here’s one on Erie County Pennsylvania:
    And another on Pepin County, Wisconsin:

  7. =8)-DX says

    @fishy #1

    Is this what drives us?

    I’d say this kind of hate is the corrollary to the people and things we love. It’s natural to hate or detest anything that could harm, dehumanise, threaten us or our loved ones or attack the principles we hold most dear. I guess losing sleep over it is a problem, one shouldn’t obsess over anything, but I’d say repressing or ignoring our emotions is not going to be any more healthy, and will as you say, lead to complacency.