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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Why Do Rural Voters Vote Republican?

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/19/17 21:45

by Dave Mindeman

Open Letter to Rural America:

Listen, those of you who live away from the hustling city life...away from the traffic jams and the big malls...those who can still hear the birds and the rustling of the wind. I hope you are paying attention because you have a lot at stake in this political uncertainty.

Donald Trump promised to bring jobs and prosperity - but who will benefit? If you are supposing that it should be you, consider this. Although Trump's ideas on trade might help the old manufacturing establishment, it is going to hurt farmers. It will hurt agriculture.

Relations with Mexico are being strained and that is a problem because Mexico is a big part of the farm export market. There has even been talk within the Mexican government of moving trade to China or Brazil. And the potential of another market in Cuba is also stalled as the Trump administration tries to find a path.

Trump's nominee for Ag Secretary is Sonny Perdue - a former Georgia governor who, more than likely, will lean toward southern textile industry rather than grain farmers in the Midwest. And, incidently, Perdue's Ag position seems to be one of the last cabinet posts to get any attention.

So, a lot of that looks a little troubling for Minnesota. But state government isn't helping much. We have 3 Republican Congressman who might be able to get Trump's ear - but Lewis has little time for agriculture...all he does is talk about taxes. Erik Paulsen is the stooge of corporations, especially the Medical device industry...only Tom Emmer seems to have any interest in Minnesota agriculture.

And then there is the GOP legislature. The Republican House and Senate invested a lot of time and money into convincing outstate Minnesota that the Republicans are the ones doing things for them and who can do more in the future.

But the evidence says NO on that one. The Republicans have always had minimal requests for broadband expansion into the rural areas. The Governor and Democrats have always proposed 10 times the investment. And rural communities depend on LGA funding for the local governments. But the MN GOP has been cutting that nearly every year.

Republicans have demanded slashing the Minnesota health care system but with little regard as to how dependent rural hospitals are on the ACA and its expanded coverages. Or on the need for incentives to get medical students into rural facilities.

Rural areas voted overwhelmingly for Trump and for Republican legislators. But when you look at the real life facts and data....

you have to ask....WHY?
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