Be advised this may be the first of two posts I make today, but I want to get this into the open before another idea crowds it out.
Either late last week, or early this one, an idea made its rounds about one of my Twitter accounts. The idea seemed to me to be that Democrats should focus on building and gathering support in urban areas at the expense of rural and other non-urban and suburban areas.
On one hand, the idea of building support is a good one. Trump’s relentless attacks on people of color, refugees, etc, all who tend to gather in urban areas may be a great tool to register and rally voters. There is still the fact that the Democratic leadership seems reluctant to embrace the ideas of Sanders, Warren, etc, that may bring millennial and independents into the fold.
But this notion also has flaws. For one, it would likely only help in the United States Senate. Many, if not most, state and Federal House Districts are gerrymandered; the Republicans have drawn districts to favor the rural areas that their base lives in at the expense of urban areas. The Electoral College, with its “Winner take all” system, allows narrow victories in a few states, or victories in many less-populated states, to be a path to victory.
The second is that this idea would only be another bone to the dog whistled. Trump’s election may have been seen by many as a repudiation of urban America. A triumph of the mostly homogeneous heartland over the diverse urban areas.
Might a better option be to try to get rural voters to ignore the “dog whistles”? Get them to see how Republican policies affect their jobs, their health and even their environment? That they may lose their health care or their local clinic, that their job may be shipped to where labor is cheaper and more exploitable, or that their fishing stream may be too polluted to fish in?