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Eureka: The democratization of states
by Joseph Gatt
2018-08-08 07:52:48
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A few random notes on the democratization of states.

-On President Donald Trump's election. In US politics, you basically have three types of states, of course I'm sketching. You have the so-called Bible belt states, the so-called industrial belt or rust belt states, and you have the innovation and technology belt or Silicon Valley states. Bible belt states almost always go to the Republicans. Innovation belt states almost always go to the Democrats. Rust belt states tend to tilt one way or the other.

democ01_400-Innovation belt states voted for Clinton, almost 100% of them did. It was the whole let's give the woman a chance thing, plus free trade is good for the innovation belt, more countries get to buy our technology kind of stuff. Rust belt states were very close, but all of them went to Trump. To them, make America great again meant ditching the rust belt label and going back to being strong industrial states. Bible belt states, which are mainly farming states, went to Trump, and there was no surprise there.

-The main problem with the way the campaign was held is that innovation-state based news outlets talked almost exclusively with innovation-state-based people, I don't think they ever interviewed someone from the rust belt or the Bible belt. Conservative news outlets focused on the rust belt and Bible belt editorial line. Progressive news outlets, which I watched on a regular basis in 2016, almost acted like Bible belt states and rust belt states did not exist.

-The innovation-state voter tends to be young, ambitious, progressive on social issues, progressive on issues pertaining to sexuality like gay marriage and abortion, open to the presence of legal and illegal immigrants. The rust belt voter tends to be middle-aged, career-oriented, unionized or not unionized, conservative on economic issues, conservative on social issues, progressive on religious issues. The Bible belt state voter tends to be middle-aged, family-oriented, conservative on economic issues, conservative on social issues, conservative on religious issues.

-This is where Hilary lost her election. She led an economically, socially and religiously progressive campaign, not realizing that your old factory worker disagrees with her completely. Your factory worker does not want more immigrants, does not want gay marriage, does not want more trade partnerships with the rest of the world.

-I have read about 15 books on this campaign (and am done reading books on the issue) and am surprised at how progressive pundits misunderstand the essence of the American voter.

-I'm sorry to say this, but President Trump has done an excellent job at holding the American consensus, while progressive media outlets are trying to break the consensus. The consensus has always been economic conservatism save a few occasional beleaguered liberal policies, social conservatism save the occasional liberal concession, and having a religious president who believes in freedom of worship.

-Every president has had some kind of deviation from the consensus, but it never went too far. Obama had Obamacare which should have been optional subsidized healthcare for the poor rather than mandatory healthcare, which is confusing to a strictly capitalist nation. W. Bush had his free trade agreements. Clinton had his new taxes. H. W. Bush had his new taxes.

-The surprising thing is the new divide between innovation-states, industrial states and Bible belt states. Innovation states used to ask for a few inches of liberal policies and now want miles of liberal policies. Technological changes obviously explain that, free trade is good for innovation states, more immigrants is good for innovation states, and a social-democratic model is good for innovation states where startups crash within months of launching.

-So the question is, how you reconcile the three Americas. Rust Belt and Bible Belt states get along, but silicon valley states have slowly been divorcing from the American consensus. In politics like in alcoholism, the best way to start solving a problem is to admit that there is a problem. 

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