Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
The increasingly self-marginalizing leftist newsletter called The New York Times, written and read daily by Democratic Party operatives, shares weekly what it calls the Top 10 comments of the week. They are “selected by our readers and the journalists who moderate nearly every comment,” says the Times — so none of them, naturally, stray from the leftist line.
It’s obvious from the comments that the newsletter’s journalists and readers are still hysterical about the outcome of a presidential election that did not go their way. A commenter who calls herself “Maggie Mae” had No. 6 on the countdown, and she ripped “the entire concept of ‘the Heartland’” as invalid:
As Director of Communications of (ahem) The Heartland Institute, I take that concept rather personally, and could not resist responding on Twitter Sunday morning:
Founders wisely saved us from rule by power-mad, urbane elite. So, yes. Being thankful for that fact is “more American” than lamenting it. https://t.co/fjHf1diYQj
— Jim Lakely (@jlakely) January 8, 2017
Does the whole of America have the same experiences and values of those who live in big cities? Does “the Heartland” love Obamacare and want to see it preserved? Does “the Heartland” obsess about bathroom policies in government schools? Does “the Heartland” support a continuation of the weaponization of the federal bureaucracy against any person or organization that opposes the left or “coastal values”? Did “the Heartland” want Hillary Clinton to give us a third term of Barack Obama? Obviously not. The presidential election, designated by county, shows a rather red country … especially in “the Heartland.”
That’s an awful lot of red. BTW: Hillary (227) got fewer Electoral College votes than John Kerry in 2004 (251). As Donald Trump would say: Sad.
To get back to NYTimes commenter Maggie Mae’s lament, she is sad that people in the Heartland (for once) trumped the preferences of the coastal elites to determine the direction of the country. Heartlanders have always had a vote, of course, but this time it was determinative. Voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, and Iowa trumped those in California, Illinois, and New York. But, I’ve done the math: “the Heartland” in this election meant literally everyone outside of just Los Angeles County and the five boroughs of New York City.
National popular vote: Hillary +2,864,974
Popular vote in Los Angeles County: Hillary +1,694,621
Popular vote in New York City: Hillary +1,508,746
Difference in national popular vote minus Hillary margin in LA and NYC: Trump +338,393
Those are the figures. I started my math thinking I needed to determine Hillary’s margin of victory in the San Francisco Bay area (Hillary +1.4 million) and in Chicago (Hillary +1.2 million). And I thought I’d have to dip into Washington, DC area, and Miami, Seattle, and Portland. But, no. Those who say “Hillary won the popular vote” mean that only that she and her agenda were disproportionately popular to those who live in Los Angeles and New York City — just a bit over 5 percent of the population. Should only that small percentage of the population — definitely not “the Heartland” — determine our nation’s fate? Thank goodness that didn’t happen. Again, for once in a long while, the vote of the coastal elite didn’t set the fate of the rest of us.
And what are the Heartland’s “American” values? The opposite of what Obama/Clinton presented the nation. They wanted better than the worst economic growth for a president in American history. They wanted an end to the climate delusion. They wanted what The Heartland Institute was founded to preserve and advance in 1984: A restoration of the small-government, liberty-centric, and free-market values that built this country.
The Electoral College allowed that to happen in 2016. And, yes, lamenting that result is not as American as celebrating that victory over those who think they are our betters.
For another taste of the mindset that animates the Heartland, I recommend Peter Ferrara’s policy-thick “A Thanksgiving Day Prayer for America,” published by The American Spectator in 2010, right after the Tea Party revolution that slowed Barack Obama’s march to the left. An excerpt:
This sweeping and complete revolution depends on each one of you reading this website today, and your friends, neighbors and relatives. The brilliance of the Tea Party is precisely its grassroots mystery, with no identifiable spokesman or leader. That means it is wide open for you to start your own local chapter, beginning precisely with your own friends, neighbors and relatives.
Start calling them together for a regular, monthly, social gathering, where you can lead a discussion of the major issues of the day. This will only better connect you with your family and friends any way. Ask them to invite their family, friends and neighbors. Start inviting speakers who can address the issues. Invite potential and actual candidates for local, state and federal offices. Collect everyone’s name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses. With this alone, given how most people are not much involved politically, you would be more than half way there to being a major local political influence. …
If we Christians fail to use the freedom and democracy we have inherited to spread still more freedom and prosperity to everyone, maybe like the servants in the parable of the talents, we will lose the legacy that has been entrusted to us.