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The Map is Not the Territory: Politics and Data

The phrase "flyover country" embodies much of what's wrong with our bicoastal elites. They literally only ever fly over. They don't see most of the country by land area with their own eyeballs, because they assume the (massaged, cherry-picked) data tells them everything they need to know. It does not. This year I have seen the west coast between Seattle and Oakland by airline, by I-5, by US-101, and by Amtrak Coast Starlight. The latter two in particular were illuminating. Seeing parts of the country, even in allegedly (mass mail in ballots) blue states, so thoroughly ignored by the people in charge of the Democratic Party is enough to understand the rage that elected Trump twice and shows no sign of abating.

The countryside is a wreck.

Sure, old cars in the front yard are an ancient hillbilly tradition, but this goes beyond that. Entire towns, entire COUNTIES, are rotting in place, abandoned. Buildings decay and get boarded up. Businesses go under or sell out to a McFranchise. Yards and parks rewild. These people were left with a choice to either decay quietly and grasp what productive work remains, or to embrace the death spiral of tourism and become plastic, flanderized versions of their more accomplished past selves. Everywhere I go, it's the same story. The town was booming, then they built the interstates. The town was booming, then the regulations blocked logging or mining. The town was booming, then the factory got shipped to Canada or Mexico or China.

These are Trump's core voters, the ones Michael Moore for once in his fat life deeply understood in 2016. Nobody has done a damn thing to help them besides the mean orange man, and when he had the temerity to win a second term he was promptly cheated out of office with statistically impossible 3am ballot dumps. If Democrats and RINOs keep ignoring these angry, well-armed Americans, voting is going to be the least of their worries.

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