Through reading “They Say, I Say” throughout the semester I have stumbled across an article that particularly piqued my interest. This article in the “They Say, I Say” book is called, “Why Rural America Voted for Trump”. This article happened to peak my interest due to the fact I am from a rural area rather than an urban area. I read this article to learn more about rural America and its communities. The author of this article is Robert Leonard, he starts this article with a small story. The story he starts off with is when he was in Knoxville, Iowa, he sat down next to two young men at a coffee shop, he knew these boys since they were just little. He said these boys are now around the age of eighteen, these boys leave the coffee shop while saying, “Let’s go to work. Let the liberals sleep in”. The author reassures the reader that these two boys are very hard workers. He explains that one of the kids washed dishes and cleaned the floor at a restaurant. He talks about the other boy picking sweet corn by hand in the summers at dawn, to provide to supermarkets and farmer markets. After talking about their past he tells the reader of the new jobs these boys have acquired, which is a welder, and the other boy studying at university. There is a growing movement in rural America that immerses young people in the culture. These conservatives see liberals or democrats as loathsome, misinformed, weak, and even dangerous. The author poses the question…” Who are these rural, red-county people who brought Mr. Trump into power?”(TSIS 280). The answer the author gives to this question is that these people are hardworking, essential farmers, and workers. The author says that the reason Donald Trump was elected was because of the newly found ignorance, racism, sexism, nationalism, Islamophobia, economic disenfranchisement, and also the deterioration of the middle class that America has now. The author says, “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good”, this shows the seriousness of the divide between Republicans and Democrats. Leonard continued on saying, “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us”(TSIS 281). Those quotes just further suggest the outlooks of a normal Democrat vs a normal Republican. He talks about some of the ways that Republicans and Democrats disagree, which include gun control and the value of social programs. The author says how Republicans and Democrats are living in completely different philosophical worlds, with different foundational principles. Republicans know that most of the population and info structure surround cities and state capitals. They see this as a sore spot when it comes to representation. In cities, police, firefighters, and EMTs are funded by local, state, and federal taxes. Per se you have a heart attack in a rural area, by the time the first responders get to you, it would be potentially too late. Leonard also talks about how urban social workers have top-notch technology. Rural communities are not always equipped with the most recent and new technology. Blue counties and states take most of the taxpayers' money, compared to red states and counties. To make things worse, lots of jobs are moving towards urban or metropolitan areas. People in small communities still have hope to start big businesses and corporations but are pretty much stomped dead by the urban communities. Donald Trump got many of the moderate voters in the 2016 election, he released his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, and these nominees would allow the overturning of Roe Vs Wade. Republicans think the liberal worldwide view creates unnecessary rules and regulations that in the long run would hurt the economy and take away good jobs that support working people. Republicans think liberals worry about nonsense. Most rural families are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot send their children to college, the idea of white privilege is not applied in rural communities. Not only is the older generation supporting Donald J. Trump is the younger one is too, just as in the example at the beginning of the article with the two eighteen-year-olds going out to work. Even young grade school students sat at Ted Cruz’s feet listening to his speech and policies. Leonard goes on to say, “And the Democratic Party may not for generations to come”(TSIS 284). The idea of Republicanism is very strong in rural communities and towns. Republicans feel that their world is under siege and that Democrats are the enemies that all Republicans should hate. Leonard ends his essaying saying, “...the difference between Democrats and Republicans, reconciliation seems a long way off”(TSIS 284).
Overall, there are many ways that rural America is misrepresented and misunderstood. Rural America doesn't always have access to healthcare and social services just like Urbanears always have access to. Also, nobody realizes how important rural America actually is, they downplay them as hillbillies. American farmers are needed to keep America fed and healthy. Though not many people live in rural America anymore, there still needs to be more credit given to rural areas. These rural communities are looked down upon by the urban community. Most people do not understand the struggle that rural communities face due to the media. The media ignores rural America and only talks about big cities and towns. Though rural America is mostly overlooked, it provides for the total population and will help America grow and continue to do so, if these communities get the help they need.