“The Brand Is So Toxic”: Dems Fear Extinction In Rural America

Rural America is ground zero for what Thomas Main and James Traub would describe as “the rise of illiberalism.” In his most recent New York Times article, Thomas Edsall has described the global rise of nationalism and populism as being “the revenge of the places that don’t matter.”


“SMETHPORT, Pa. (AP) — Some Democrats in rural Pennsylvania are afraid to tell you they’re Democrats.

The party’s brand is so toxic in the small towns 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh that some liberals have removed bumper stickers and yard signs and refuse to acknowledge publicly their party affiliation. These Democrats are used to being outnumbered by the local Republican majority, but as their numbers continue to dwindle, those who remain are feeling increasingly isolated and unwelcome in their own communities.

“The hatred for Democrats is just unbelievable,” said Tim Holohan, an accountant based in rural McKean County who recently encouraged his daughter to get rid of a pro-Joe Biden bumper sticker. “I feel like we’re on the run.”

The climate across rural Pennsylvania is symptomatic of a larger political problem threatening the Democratic Party heading into the November elections. Beyond losing votes in virtually every election since 2008, Democrats have been effectively ostracized from the overwhelmingly white parts of rural America, leaving party leaders with few options to reverse a cultural trend that is redefining the political landscape. …”

Is that what is really going on though?

Are White people who live in rural America who are deserting the Democrats en masse becoming more sympathetic to “fascism” and “authoritarianism”? Are they destroying democracy? Does the Ozarks or Appalachia strike you as being anything like Mussolini’s Italy or Hitler’s Germany?

It seems to me that the fight is really over something else. There are lots of people who live in big cities on our coasts who subscribe to a twisted version of liberalism which is better described as woke progressivism. It is liberal in some ways. It is deeply illiberal in other ways.

A “woke progressive” is typically someone who is in favor of treating adults like children and children like adults. They believe that children should be indoctrinated in transgenderism and Wokeism in public schools. They want maximum freedom for teachers in public schools in this area. Simultaneously, they want the power to censor the internet of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation to prevent adults from being exposed to things like Joe Rogan’s podcast. They don’t believe that adults are capable of making their own decisions about their personal health or being responsible gun owners. These people are comfortable with easy access to hardcore drugs and pornography, but fly into a rage over insensitive tweets and unorthodox opinions which they believe poses a threat to “community safety.”

Rural America perceives the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Tenth Amendment to be essential freedoms. In some of our most progressive cities though, an essential freedom would be things like the freedom to explore all 40,000 new genders or marry someone of the same sex or the freedom to abort your own child or divorce your spouse or the freedom to riot and destroy public and private property whenever the mood strikes. In some ways, Rural America is more traditional and authoritarian and opposed to excesses of “liberty” and “equality,” particularly on sex and gender which most cultures have strongly regulated throughout world history, while in other ways it is more libertarian as on issues like political free speech and gun rights and vaccine mandates.

All of this is to say that the geography of the political divide explains the “rise of illiberalism.” Rural America has always been more culturally conservative than cities and college towns which have always been more cosmopolitan. The rapid expansion of social liberalism is the cause of the raging culture war and its Thunderdome in American politics. The two sides are fighting over the dimensions and meaning and proper mix of liberty and equality in our culture. The divide is much blurrier on civil rights and political rights and economics with much of what previous generations understood as core natural rights (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, etc.) being uncontested and with supporters of the welfare state now present in both camps, but increasingly sorted by opposing cultural affinities.

Note: Polarizing the electorate along the axis of education and social liberalism can only end in disaster for Democrats.

About Hunter Wallace 12387 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. I suggest having some fun out there in small town, rural White America.

    Have a just for a week conversion to Woke Left Coast, East Coast Liberalism. Dress in a Che T shirt, LL Bean and Birkenstock if it’s still winter. Fly rainbow flags and BLM posters. Set up voter registration in Wallmart shopping parking lots.

    Call for strict gun control, open borders immigration, ask locals if they’d like to host Afghan and Somalian refugees.

    Also maybe do a conversion to Islam, don’t bath or shave for a month have a lib Demorat convert to Islam voter registration. Put out the vibe that Christianity is a false religion now dominated by feminists and homosexuals – add in the race mixing threat that young White girls should become the 4th or 5th wife of some old ugly, hairy Pakistanit Afghan Islamic immigrant.

    Have some fun out there.

    Let’s stop being so honest and always playing nice, fair and playing to loose.

    Drive vans with the BLM, Rainbow Gay flag, hammer and cycle with loudspeakers shouting at 5 AM. “Vote Democratic, turn in your guns. Resistance is futile”.

    Have some fun out there.

  2. That uppity highfalutin Irish Mick, Joe Biden will not even put on a fannel shirt, fannel is for the hoi polloi.

    Somebody needs to cut him down to size.

  3. @ Here is a heads up for the woken progressive intellegencia, you people made us hate you, we are comfortable hating you, we despise your evilness and loathe your condesending pretentious air of moral authority, you are antichrist, so go ahead and stay filthy…..

  4. The damage went into overdrive when progressives elevated diversity, tolerance, equality, and anti-discrimination as the defining values in society. First of all, diversity is a weapon of ethnic destruction intended for use solely against Whites. Diversity? It’s antiwhite. It is the end of America. Certainly Whites are most tolerant, always willing to give the benefit of the doubt to others. But tolerance never before meant tolerance for everything but for those things that would conform within the moral framework of society, and not destroy it. As for equality, equality never meant every kind of equality. It is common sense that people are different in every way imaginable. There is no such thing as equality in nature, and the idea that liberals think equality means special treatment for nonwhites, homosexuals, transgenders and other freaks, and discrimination against Whites or anyone is equality, just shows how insane shitlibs are.

  5. Have’nt you heard? “Freedom” is malleable now…

    It is bad enough to actually believe the two party shell game fraud is actually a real representation of fairness, truth, and political equality, To actually call one’s self a “democrat”, is beyond just brainwashed, it is retarded. They have become not just a nuisance, they have become an all encompassing threat to civilization it’s self.

  6. “The party’s brand is so toxic in the small towns 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh that some liberals have removed bumper stickers and yard signs and refuse to acknowledge publicly their party affiliation. These Democrats are used to being outnumbered by the local Republican majority, but as their numbers continue to dwindle, those who remain are feeling increasingly isolated and unwelcome in their own communities.”

    GOOD. I want every last damn liberal to feel as though a lynch mob was just waiting for them to breathe the name of Hitlery with adulation, to get them before the Auschwitz Schvitzers.

    I want them PARALYZED with Fear. I want CONTROL of the Nation again, and a purge that will make the “Red Scare’ of the 1950’s look like Mickey Mouse and the Mousequeteers.

    There… I feel better now.

  7. leave the city and visit rural towns and the black lives matter, you got this, gay pride yard signs mysteriously disappear

    who wants to run a rural school district with a razor thin budget and have to consider bathrooms and locker rooms for 12 genders

    or for that matter who wants to have to teach some crap from the state department of education or teachers union that all of your 99% white students and parents are really racists.

  8. Too many reasons to list for their unpopularity but just one of note is the democrats war on cars. These people straight up don’t want private the automobile ownership anymore and push these toxic green measures that cause gasoline prices to skyrocket. Life in rural areas requires the automobile and driving long distances for work and shopping. The last thing the need is some lunatic who lives in a hyperblue city telling them they should get around with a bicycle instead.

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