The Heartland Strikes BackFebruary 3, 2020
A funny thing happened on the way to “impeachment forever” — democracy wiggled its little toe and showed signs of life. That’s “little d” democracy — the kind enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and which grants the president authority over foreign affairs and the power to see that the laws are faithfully executed.
Meanwhile, “Big D” Democrats were being turned on a spit and slow-roasted for their months-long folly of following Rep. Adam Schiff over a cliff into a political Jonestown.
Put it this way: Against all expectations, President Trump was elected by the people in the manner ascribed by the Constitution. He acted on their behalf to disrupt the establishment politics of what we fondly call “The Swamp,” and became Enemy No. 1 of the East and West Coast Elites who correctly saw him as a threat.
What the Democrats never seemed to appreciate was that by working for the last three years to diminish, if not destroy, the presidency of Donald Trump, they were also working against the Constitution (which had made his election possible) and against “We the People,” who had corporately opted for disruption and were girded for war against the Swamp.
And war it has been. Some have called it a Cold Civil War, and that is an apt description. Trump’s election in 2016 was as monumental as the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and resulted in an equally bellicose response. Instead of the Battle of Fort Sumter, we had the assault on Trump Tower, when Gen. James Comey tried to blow up the president-elect with his dynamite dossier. For the next three years, Democrats and Deep State Swampers tried repeatedly to flank the president and take him down. Consider the Kavanaugh Skirmish. The Court-Martial of Gen. Flynn. And most recently the Ukraine Campaign.
But behind it all has been the Battle of the Heartland. The Democrats knew they had to strike deep within MAGA Country in order to seize power back from the Republicans. After all, it was that vast red ocean in the middle of the country that had lifted Trump to victory in 2016, and if Democrats were going to have a chance in 2020, they needed to push their blue army into the heartland just as Gen. Robert E. Lee took the Confederate fight to Pennsylvania.
For Democrats, that means taking back Wisconsin, Michigan and, yes, Pennsylvania, but that is easier said than done. On the one hand, Democrats are courting swing voters in those states for 2020, but on the other hand, they have been trying to negate those voters’ decision in 2016 by derailing President Trump before the end of his term.
The Democratic scorched-earth policy of attacking the voters who elected Trump last time around is dubious at best, yet it doesn’t seem like they can help themselves. Consider the surreal scene Thursday night when President Trump was addressing a huge crowd of supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, at the same time that Democrats were concluding their unsuccessful impeachment trial against Trump back in the Swamp.
If anything perfectly summarizes the insanity of the Democratic campaign against Trump country, it is the verbal assault waged last week against Pete Buttigieg for his embrace of the “American Heartland” in tweets and speeches. Turns out that, according to the guardians of the Democratic galaxy, the heartland is enemy territory.
That’s a tough sell in Iowa, where the 2020 presidential campaign kicks off today. Buttigieg has been proudly touting his background as a Midwestern mayor for months, but apparently the Democrats find this gay, pro-reparations, pro-D.C.-statehood, anti-Electoral-College candidate to be unacceptable. Why? Because he is white. Just that.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the reaction to this Buttigieg tweet last week about how he will bring Midwestern values to Washington, D.C., to make America a better place:
“In the face of unprecedented challenges, we need a president whose vision was shaped by the American Heartland rather than the ineffective Washington politics we’ve come to know and expect.”
Uh-oh. The response to Mayor Pete was instant and ugly. Turns out that “Heartland” is a racist dog whistle. At least according to white comedian Andy Richter it is. I guess it takes a recipient of “white privilege” to know one.
Thousands of people took time to attack not just Buttigieg, but also the heartland itself. Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien wrote: “Uhhh... what? Shaping by the heartland is better? Is that where all the ‘Real Americans’ live? Is that the only place where ‘American Values’ can be found? This is offensive and disgraceful.”
So it went, with thousands of people letting Buttigieg know that his home state of Indiana and the rest of the Midwest were nothing more than a hotbed of institutional racism.
This was of more than casual interest to me. As the proprietor of a website called HeartlandDiaryUSA.com, I had reason to take offense right along with Mayor Pete and “Heartland Amy” Klobuchar at the slur being tossed our way. The implication that Americans who don’t live along the coastal corridors are somehow backwoods bumpkins is the result of Hollywood stereotyping, media malfeasance, and political chicanery.
No one really knows exactly what the American Heartland is, but anyone who has traveled through Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, or Montana knows one thing for sure — these are not bad places. They are not the enemy. They are not a refuge of evil. They are not a danger to the republic. They are not simply, as Michigan native Andy Richter would have you believe, "the place where white people run things.”
The heartland is instead what you would expect — a warm and welcoming place, a diverse mix of cities and farms, an incubator of invention and a repository of tradition. In other words, it is the best of what we are. If a large percentage of its residents are also white, that does not make them less American or less worthy.
Yet to many of us who live here, who take pride in raising our children in the great wide open spaces of the middle of America, there is an unmistakable sense of being under attack. The president who many of us have supported has been put on trial. Our traditions and values have been called into question. We have been called racists and bigots and fascists — not names that sit well on people who love their country and honor the Constitution.
But we can only be pushed so far — and no further. The Confederacy insulted President Lincoln, but they could not budge him. The Army of Northern Virginia got to Gettysburg, but no further. At some point, the Resistance against Trump too must fail. Why? Because he enjoys the support of the much-maligned heartland and its people.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans understood that, and they dared not affront the people who put them there. The media elites and the “woke” Democrats and the Hollywood types can scream as loud as they want, but the people are sovereign. The House and Senate are our representatives, not our bosses.
Adam Schiff tried to send a message to President Trump with his fake outrage and partisan impeachment gambit, but the Heartland struck back with a message of its own: Return to sender. Now can we get on with the business of governing?