Rural voters might be fading in importance as America’s cities grow bigger and bigger (then again, flight from cities thanks to crime and Covid could reverse that trend), but how those rural voters view issues is still a major bellwether of what the “American” thing to do is.
Why? Because the independent farmers and small business owners that make up rural voters are some of the last vestiges of the Founders’ vision of America; they, by living the hard life required for those trying to scrape a living out of the dirt, are the yeomen praised by Jefferson and viewed by many of that glorious generation as the ideal sort of American.
Many, especially on the corporatist left and right would dispute that vision, arguing that it’s just as “American” to be anything from a wage slave in the local McDonalds or greedy bankster that screws up the economy as to be an independent farmer raising cattle or harvesting golden fields of grain.
However, the American people still grasp the idea that living in the open air of the countryside and tilling the soil or running a small business, living proud lives of freedom in the same manner as their ancestors.
Thus, their views on issues, especially ones of liberty, have outsized importance; those who want to align themselves with the Founders have to align themselves with the American yeomen that still live according to the Founders’ vision.
And Democrats are now firmly opposed to that vision, especially on gun control, which has led to them hemorrhaging votes from rural counties. Bearing Arms noted why, saying:
Blaming their declining fortunes on “the rubes watch too much Fox News to know how much they agree with us” may be of some comfort to Democrats, but it doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter. Despite what Biden is or isn’t doing with any particular policy, Democrats are still rightfully seen as the party of amnesty and welcoming illegal immigrants with open arms.
Similarly, the fact that Democrats in Congress haven’t brought Biden’s gun ban up for a vote doesn’t mean that the party has turned its back on an anti-gun agenda. Democrats are still rightfully seen as the party of gun bans and criminalizing the right to keep and bear arms, and that makes voting for a Democrat a non-starter among most rural voters.
Democratic strategists are frantically casting around for a way to make their candidates more appealing to suburban and rural voters this year, but the party’s fundamental hostility towards our Second Amendment rights isn’t something that can be swept under the rug or spun away in a 30-second campaign ad. Gun control is simply political poison outside of deep-blue Democratic strongholds, and it’s shaping up to be one of the major factors in what looks to be a red wave election come November.
That aligns with a recent poll that found:
In search of a deeper understanding of sentiment about the Democratic Party in these communities, Morning Consult on Jan. 14-16 surveyed 1,525 self-identified rural voters — who today are largely working-class and white — on themes of policy, culture and race.
More than two-thirds of these voters view the Democratic Party unfavorably — including 48 percent who hold a “very unfavorable” view. Voters in rural communities skew Republican, but are not exclusively so, while rural Democrats and independents are slightly more likely than their counterparts in the overall electorate to hold dim views of the party now in power.
Rural voters still grasp the Founders’ vision for America and, as result, are very pro-liberty, especially on the issue of gun rights. Democrats have aligned themselves against that agenda and are doing whatever they can to try and eradicate the 2nd Amendment, thus solidifying their power over the people.
So long as that’s the case, rural voters won’t support Democrats, nor will those that still want America to be the land of freedom and opportunity it was for their ancestors. Rural voters get it: being pro-gun control means being anti-American, which means those who love America just can’t vote for the current crop of anti-gun Democrats.