March 16, 2016

Appalachians for Trump

The only place where Trump came in second yesterday was Ohio, although his share of the vote was the same as in neighboring Michigan and Kentucky (36%). So it's not as though his message resonated any less than it did in the surrounding area.

But unlike those two states, where there was no favorite son for the non-Trump voters to coalesce around, there was a semi-popular Governor in Ohio who could draw enough of the non-Trump vote for himself to take the state. The term "favorite son" is an exaggeration, since he only got 47% of the vote -- similar to John McCain in Arizona in 2008, and he's not exactly their favorite either. Contrast with Dubya's 88% in the Texas primary of 2000.

Kasich's support also split heavily along geographic and cultural lines, with the Appalachian region of Ohio going solidly for Trump -- around 50% in each county. They resonate with the anti-PC tone, deporting immigrants and banning Muslims, manufacturing, steel, and coal coming back, and foreign policy being more pragmatic and limited. And feeling like their leaders have betrayed them.

Here are maps showing the primary results and Appalachia. Notice how closely Trump support and Appalachian status go together. In states where Trump dominates everywhere, it's hard to see. But where there's variation within a state, it jumps out -- you see it also in Kentucky, where the eastern region is Trump country, while Cruz took many major areas in the west. The only slight exception is the Asheville NC metro area, which went for Cruz despite being in Appalachia -- someone who knows more can explain that.

That bodes well for one of the big upcoming elections that Kasich is focusing on -- Pennsylvania, much of which is Appalachian. There were reports about massive defection of Democrats to Trump in both eastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky, and we can expect the same for western PA. That's actually where Kasich comes from -- that heavy accent you hear is from the Pittsburgh area -- but it's clear from the rest of Appalachia that they want nothing to do with his neocon, Wall Street, limpwristed conservadad bullcrap. I would kill to see a bunch of Yinzers heckling Kasich in his own regional dialect, deflating the myth that he's just a humble small-town kinda guy, but really just another phony jagoff.

It also bodes well for Upstate New York, only some of which is Appalachian, but much of which is on the same basic wavelength culturally and economically. As for the more East Coast parts of PA, NJ, and NY, Trump and his attack dog Christie both enjoy yuge regional appeal. I can't see the Jersey Shore kind of Pennsylvanians choosing the nutjob cult guru Cruz or the milquetoast Ned Flanders clone.

On a final sidenote, with the Missouri results in, the Ozarks are revealing themselves to be part of the trans-Mississippian Frontier rather than an extension of Appalachia, as they side with Cruz over Trump. They may like to emphasize their similar Scotch-Irish heritage, their similar hilly/mountainous environment, and their historical beginnings in Appalachia, but if they're so easily drawn in by the snake oil cult, they're too Western to be hillbillies.

When Mississippi's results came in, we saw that Tupelo and a suburb of Memphis were Cruz counties. Now it's not just Elvis who hails from cuck country, but Johnny Cash too. Maybe all we need to break the spell of the Cruz cult is to jam their airwaves and play some banjo-pickin' music instead.


  1. Lots of middle and upper middle class artsy-fartsy types have moved to Asheville to live in the mountains.

  2. I lived in NC for a bit (my Duke years). Asheville from what I remember is for hipsters and craft beers. The "evil frat boys" like me called it a city for pussies

  3. The Missouri Ozark region encompasses everywhere south of the Missouri River and west of the counties along the Mississippi River. Only the counties close to striver town Springfield which has a growing metro pop of 400,000+ and Kansas went to Cruz. The more rural, deeper rooted population east of Springfield went to Trump.

  4. Ozarks are where American ethnicity starts to give way to German

  5. Jeb turned out to be a amiable lightweight stuck with a cursed name.

    Rubio was packaged as the hip, "diverse", quasi intellectual (he devoured the lore and holy texts of the post 1980 Neo-con/globalist GOP brand) new face of the party. He got badly exposed as a lap dog so scripted and obedient to the system that it didn't matter that he was young or non-white.

    Cruz was packaged as the ultimate outsider, who turned out to be intimately connected to the Bushes and Goldman Sachs. Whose lugubrious brash style turned off all but the most die hard survivalists and gullible zealots. Fortunately most of his favored states have already voted.

    Kasich? The avuncular elder we all respect, Right? Not so fast. This wholesome steward of the Rust Belt is in fact a decades long supporter of globalism. He's got a long rap sheet of maudlin immigration rhetoric and treasonous trade votes. Trump's got a lot of ammo to choose from if he turns it up a notch on Kasich, as he should.

    I'm tired of the media's cynicism and blatant anti-Trump agenda. Every day that goes by, it's "he can't get all the delegates". "He's not winning enough states by 50%+.

  6. Asheville is probably most famous for a gilded age mansion, the Biltmore Estate.

  7. Seconding the comment about Asheville. Very SWPL. Mountain parts of NC are that way in tourism and ski-resort heavy areas.

    Tom Wolfe alluded to that in "I am Charlotte Simmons" in pointing out how the more economically depressed "ho-hum" areas in the mountains such as the fictional girl's real-life town of Sparta are real hillbilly, while the more attractive areas draw SWPLs.

  8. I've heard about the SWPLs in Asheville -- but why would they go for Cruz of all people? I'd think in a place where the Dems went for Bernie, the Republicans in that kind of place would go for Rubio / Kasich, stay home, or ironic Trump vote.

  9. I guess out of SWPL that would actually vote in Republican primary, I am guessing they would be more obsessed with ideological purity, persona striving. Nothing is more ironic than being a serious Republican right?
    Take that theory with a grain of salt. I actually was in a frat, so I can't explain the people of Asheville that well.

  10. Judging by the graffiti I’ve seen, the locals in towns surrounding Asheville seem to dislike the “dickhead cyclist” SWPLs that ride up into the mountains on their skinny-seat, nut-crushing road bicycles.

  11. I went to Asheville once, and I swear it was as if Portland (Oregon, not Maine) had somehow established a colony in the deep south. Absolutely astounding.

  12. Yeah, I'm guessing an ironic Republican would indulge in Reagan/80s nostalgia.

  13. Trump never dipped below 30% in any of the counties surrounding Asheville, so its not a huge anomaly. Doesn't need a fancy explanation. Cruz probably just had strong church organization there.

  14. That is an anomaly -- he's around 45-50% in Appalachia, regardless of state.

  15. OT: I had noticed this trend before myself: millennials switching to pot and recreational drugs, if they do drink, it's faggy craft beers

  16. Asheville, NC is where those 'sexist' coffee shop owners got busted.

    Lots of East-Coast hippy SWPL strivers in Asheville, from what I've heard.

  17. Cunton pulling out all the stops in her identity politics strategy (why not Julian Castro?)

  18. BioCultBeamDelta3/19/16, 4:54 PM

    OT, but do you have any thoughts on the failure of the recent X-Files mini-series revival? It started with 16 million viewers, and dropped to 7 million views by the last episode, with almost universally negative reviews. Does this represent how we're exiting the culture wars?

  19. I haven't seen the recent X-files. I've heard righties and lefties say that it supports their viewpoint.

    Why isn't it more popular? I don't think the 90's revival is really exciting anyone. The 70's were big in the 90's, the 80's were big in the 200's. But do you really get the sense that anyone's too thrilled about the 90's right now?

    The 90's were a huge disappointment. We started looking for all kinds of reasons to avoid other people. Vocals got flatter in music (and rap didn't have singing at all), clothes got really baggy, the distinction between kid/teen/young adult/middle aged adult culture got blurred (remember how comic books and video games got really "edgy" in the 90's?). MTV played fewer and fewer videos since ratings were being pushed down by the toxic combo of bland pop/R & B and the bummer vibe of grunge/gangsta rap.

    Hell, 24 hours tabloid news took off since people evidently didn't have anything better to do than engage in voyeurism.

    Maybe the X-files not working now is just because people just don't have that much too say creatively at the moment. Besides, we've been down this road before with Boomers. We love ya, Mulder and Scully, James and Lars, Hogan and the U. Warrior, Bird and Jordan, etc. But your best days are behind you. The Boomers need to move beyond tireless competition to impress people and WIN. Always seeking the spotlight, ready to shove others out of it. Part of the issue is that there aren't enough Gen X-ers in the first place to really pick up the slack and that's not even taking into account the fact that a striving climate and a cautious temperament make X-ers more poorly suited for entertainment, among other things. Everywhere you look, it's still Boomerville as the 3 generations below them meander in a sort of stasis which hopefully will fade as we enter an outgoing and more egalitarian period. Of course, with the oldest Boomers now in their 70's the newer generations are going to have to eventually make do by themselves. The Boomers aren't going to live forever though at this point it seems like they've been around forever.

  20. Just for the record, we need Trump and his generation mates to push hard to get us up and running again. But the Boomers (and anyone else) opposing Trump need to get outta the way.

  21. BioCultBeamDelta3/19/16, 8:37 PM

    Definitely agree about the 90s being a fairly lacklustre decade, especially compared to the 80s. I watched the Scream trilogy again for the first time in years. The first film is a legitimate movie, but Scream 2 and 3 are certainly relics of a time that has passed.

    In the context of the X-Files, I agree that Mulder and Scully definitely had their time in the 90s, and should be remembered that way. It's a shame that the series couldn't have properly ended in its 7th season, around 1999-2000. It would have ended the show while it was still relevant to the zeitgeist of the Clinton era, before Bush took office, the tech bubble popped, or 9/11. The X Files was very much a product of the Clinton era culture wars, and post-Ruby Ridge/Waco paranoia. This was not really part of the Bush 43 era zeitgeist, especially after 9/11.

    The X-Files really went off the rails after the two parter, Two Fathers/One Son, half way through season 6. It was at this point Chris Carter decided to "blow up" the conspiracy/alien arc...And in the process raised a slew of new questions that were never dealt with. This isn't surprising, since the conspiracy was always at its best when introducing mysteries, rather than answering them. There were some decent episodes in Season 7 (Hungry, X-Cops, En Ami and Requiem) and even a few gems from the mostly Mulder-less season 8 (Three Words), but the series never truly got back on track. If only the show could have gone out with a bang in May 2000, rather than limping along until May 2002. It's also a shame that the attempt to make the jump to a Star Trek like film franchise was botched.

  22. BioCultBeamDelta3/19/16, 8:53 PM

    On the subject of Trump, I have a friend who was excited about him at first, but is still clinging to the Ted Cruz train and the Conservative Inc. narrative. He keeps insisting that Trump is untrustworthy, since he loves Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but never has anything nice to say about other Republicans. My argument has mostly been that just as many Republicans in congress have been chummy with Nancy Pelosi, not to mention George W Bush himself. He is also preoccupied with the Planned Parenthood thing, despite me pointing out that the Republicans could have defunded Planned Parenthood years ago, but haven't. He keeps insisting that the "real" Ted Cruz makes "way too much sense," and that Neo-Cons like Ben Shapiro and Dana Loesch "tell the truth." I pointed out that Cruz is, at best, weak on both legal and illegal immigration. First he tried to claim that Cruz will build the wall. Then he admitted that Cruz won't build the wall, but he will deport all the illegals, despite Cruz himself admitting he wouldn't deport people. Hilariously, he tried comparing Cruz to Mother Teresa, because he was upset that everyone calls Cruz a liar now. Finally, he is convinced that Trulp will choke during the general election when faced with Hillary, and won't be able to withstand the media attacks once he wins the nomination. I have legitimately tried to avoid becoming a "Trumpbot" during the last 8 months or so, but I'm seriously baffled as to how/why people like my friend still have any faith in Ted Cruz, or the media people I've mentioned. Thoughts?

  23. Along those lines, virtually all 70's TV shows were cancelled by 1984. Makes sense if you look at 1980-1983 as a transition period. People often forget that the 1st 3-4 years of the 80's still had an unpretentious take it easy vibe.

    But 9/11 really cleaved the 2000's from the 90's. It's fairly unusual for an event to Change Everything. The other biggies being the JFK assassination (which was the catalyst for the cynicism that made the X-files possible) and the early 30's crash.

    On the other hand, there isn't really a key demarcation between the 70's and 80's or the 80's and 90's.

    It's also a shame that the attempt to make the jump to a Star Trek like film franchise was botched.

    The comfort food vibe of TV does not translate well to the big screen. Star Trek had the advantage of high concept Sci-fi which allowed for glossy production design, FX, and adventure. Also, the original crew had the camaraderie of mid century America with which to energize and motivate a likable group of actors decades after the 60's. The first movie was a pretentious misfire which tried too hard to avoid Star Wars connotations, but the sequels were a big improvement as they focused on colorful villains challenging the heroes.

  24. As for Scream, the first two are tolerable though none of it really scared me except maybe the very early parts of both movies. The 3rd movie put me to sleep.

    It's all too clever for it's own good. I've seen recent YouTube reviews that make some good points. Like how the killer is way too much of a klutz to be scary, falling and flailing as he tries to grab and stab victims. The villain doesn't have to be M Myers clone to be scary, but he shouldn't look like a total spaz either. For example, the killer in Prom Night (1980) moves like a real dude but has a kind of powerful grace. Given the difficulty of shooting on film on a low budget, I think it's pretty impressive and scary that they were able to do that back then. Action and horror movies these days, with small cameras and endless digital takes, usually make everything really fast and precise. Filmmakers in the pre 2000's probably slowed everything down to make sure everything happened perfectly so that they didn't have to re-adjust lighting, marks, etc. and also to avoid burning through precious film stock.

    Of course, rapid-fire editing is rumored to be a method by which the film can conceal various mistakes. Said editing was not permissible in the 70's or 80's.

    Compare and contrast time.

    - Ordinary characters with no backstory (late 70's/80's horror) or overly detailed characters (Scream)
    - Urban legend type plot (Halloween, F13, Prom Night, etc.) or a more "realistic"or complex plot (Scream)
    - Stylized lighting or production design (Halloween or Craven's own NOES) or a more "minimalist" (aka boring) approach (Scream)
    - Emo/drama queen faggy characterization (Scream) or more amiable characters (the later 70's/80's)
    - Striking and haunting music, with a sense of time passing and impending doom (Halloween). Or heart pounding contrasts in tempo, dynamics, and keys (Friday the 13th). Rythmic propulsion/syncopation was also used more often in the 70's and 80's. Meanwhile in post 1991 horror music it's become common to toss out melody and sophisticated rhythm altogether in favor of atonal mayhem or plodding and simplistic loops with no sense of progression. As is usually the case with bad art, there's either too much or too little going on.

    Pop and Rock in general have favored thudding simplicity or bland near melody since 1991 so we might as well have dull movie music too. Cocooners like forgettable art anyway.

  25. The failure of X-Files kinds of stories today looks like an effect of falling-crime. There's just not that same sense of violence lurking around any corner of any town in America.

    When the crime rate was at its peak during the '80s and early '90s, that sense of danger had gotten so large that people began to believe only something supernatural or otherworldly was behind it. It was more about evil, and the atmosphere was surreal.

    Once the crime rate started plummeting in the '90s, it was no longer necessary to believe that only a supernatural force could be causing our anxiety. So it went down a layer to the mundane, but still a high level of the mundane world -- the federal government. And the threat wasn't so based on violence, but nefarious stuff in general (covering up alien visits, secret government experiments, etc.).

    By now, the threat of danger is so low that no one believes that there's any larger force that is somehow behind it all. Each act is "random" because it doesn't fit into a larger, day-in and day-out story about how common violence has become.

  26. As for deprogramming the Cruz cult, I don't think there's anything more you can try than what you've already done. If they're normal people, at least one of those things would have woken them up.

    But a large portion of them are hardcore apocalyptic cult followers, no matter how normal they appear in daily life. History shows that the only thing that wakes up such a group is the failure of their apocalypse to materialize -- and even then, they can rationalize it in one way or another.

    So once Cruz fails to secure the nomination, and once Trump starts to make society better, their prophesy will be proven false, and their prophet false. How do you go on with that? Cruz isn't worth building up into a larger figure just to avoid cognitive dissonance, so they'll just ditch him and get on with life after awhile.

  27. advancedatheist3/20/16, 5:53 PM

    How much national score-settling do you think could happen under a President Trump, regarding, say, feminists, gays and hostile Jewish meddlers in American politics?

    I, for one, would like to see the revocation of George Soros's American citizenship, the confiscation of his assets and his expulsion from the country as an undesirable alien.

  28. Well, Trump has already talked about going after the Islamic terrorists by seizing or freezing their finances, which requires knowledge of very labyrinthine banking structures in the Middle East.

    I'm sure he's thought about something along the same lines for Soros and company.

  29. The more they target him, the more personal it will be, and the more motivated he'll be to get revenge -- in a pro-social way.

  30. As a general rule, if an idea strikes us laypeople, it has already struck Trump, or at least one of his top advisers. He's been observing and planning for perhaps decades, so we neophytes probably aren't going to bring too much to the table.

    ...Except for warning him against spending too much time on Mormons.

  31. John Paul Barber3/21/16, 6:28 AM

    I've lived in western North Carolina all my life and go to Asheville on a fairly regular basis. It's the Whitest big city around here. The hippies and fags have gentrified all the formerly poor areas and driven out most of the NAMs.

    Yes, it's true as one commenter stated it's as if someone dumped Portland in the South. I'm not exactly sure how that got started but I think it evolved out of the homo population that concentrated there a while back. The SWPLing of Asheville has happened over the last twenty years or so.

    My best guess as to why the Asheville area went for Cruz is that the only registered Republicans in Buncombe County would be those that are deeply religious. Although this area is strong for Trump, there's still a decent sized Cruz constituency around here too. Reason being is that's who the preachers are supporting. I'm a barber so I talk to a lot of people and the one thing I've noticed about Cruz supporters in this area is that almost every single Cruz voter goes to a church that's lead by some slick talking preacher. The same people who fall for that shit are the same people who are gullible enough to fall for Ted Cruz.

  32. The X-Files' success was definitely a product of the anti-government fears after Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc. when the militia movement and the like were somewhat relevant and memories of gov. scandals like Iran-Contra were fresh.

  33. The failure of the X-Files reboot is due to the fact that almost every episode was badly written, with tortuous dialogue and unbelievable, even for the X-Files, plot twists. The only episodes that captured the fun, kooky spirit of the first 6 seasons were the 2nd and 3rd.

    I disagree that the paranoia of the 90s doesn't exist today. I think it's only been amplified and given a platform with the internet. The X-Files reboot weakly addressed this with the character played by Joel McHale loosely modeled on Alex Jones, but the execution there was pretty clunky. Newer shows like Mr. Robot have mined this area much better.

  34. Piggybacking on JV, the X-Files wasn't a grimdark joyless grind. Conceived in the very early 90's, it still had at least one foot in the freewheeling 80's. It could be tense and somewhat scary but it wasn't bleak. The period of about 1988-1992 is a let down from '77-'87, but it's still preferable to what we've had since 1992.

    I've noticed that with a handful of exceptions (like the Dude in Big Lewbowski) the majority of truly iconic and beloved "modern" characters are from the late 60's-1992. By the mid 90's actors and the characters they played would be so bland or so shrill that it was hard to really care anymore about them.

    WRT the paranoia thing, it's still here but it's different. Some of the 90's X-Files vibe fit into the "where did we go wrong?" post JFK Boomer wistfulness. And Boomer libertarian concerns over central power and privacy. Also, due to a lack of wars and traditional enemies it was more palatable to focus heavily on the American establishment in the 90's.

    After 9/11 it seemed misguided and myopic to ignore the rest of the world. And I think at least some people developed a desire to make a difference which was a big departure from the facile nihilism that infiltrated the culture from 1988-2000.

    I dunno if I'd necessarily call what we're dealing with now paranoia. It's more growing frustration and horror over the atrocious behavior of the elites and the indulgence of the lower classes.. When so much of this crap is openly going on, it's so upfront that there's no mystery. We just know, and knowledge isn't paranoia. When your leaders, co-workers, neighbors etc. were more presentable in the 80's and even 90's, we sometimes wondered what they were REALLY like. Now we don't wonder anymore.


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