“When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t “coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.” The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesn’t matter how “understanding” you are, how well you listen, what language you use…if you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with rural white Americans and whenever I present them any information that contradicts their entrenched beliefs, no matter how sound, how unquestionable, how obvious, they WILL NOT even entertain the possibility it might be true. ”
Is this true for everyone in white rural America? Nope, but unfortunately it’s become the way to bet. Sometimes you can get free of such nonsense, sometimes you can’t and sometimes you choose not to. We have had people, friends and relatives, we thought were humane people who supported the ideal of America, of the lady with the lamp beside the golden door, that where everyone deserved to be considered equal and to have the same rights. We never thought they would decide that they could ignore racism, misogyny, lies, cheating employees, xenophobia, etc, for the promise that someone will fulfill “every dream they ever dreamed“. I don’t think even a three year old child would believe this. But they did.
I’ve read where some people have said it has felt like someone died when Trump won. I think that is pretty accurate. The people we thought we knew “died” that day, and their places were taken by people we didn’t recognize anymore.