Reviews | Can Democrats Win in Rural America?

For the publisher:

Re “In rural areas, prospects are crumbling for Democrats” (front page, November 7):

In theory, democratic policies for the benefit of rural citizens should work. For example, take the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. Rural Americans are statistically older, sicker, heavier, and poorer than their urban counterparts. In addition, Covid has killed twice as many rural patients as urban patients.

But it’s a fair debate as to whether these policies really benefit the patients they are meant to help. It’s also an open question to what extent Democrats are prepared to fight for these rural voters, especially as the party’s social priorities diverge from those of the average rural American. But in the handful of swing states that historically determine national elections, the decision to ignore rural voters comes at a steep cost.

Mark E. Dornauer
The writer is a visiting researcher in health care and rural affairs at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunities.

For the publisher:

Reading “In rural areas, prospects are crumbling for Democrats,” I could only come to one conclusion: we live in two irreconcilable countries. I will never be able to accept the positions of these conservative rural voters on abortion rights, the Second Amendment, climate change, Black Lives Matter, racism, Confederation, gay rights, Donald Trump. Are coronavirus vaccines poison?

Where does this list end? A cultural civil war? Is Lincoln Union Worth Saving?

Stephen Anchin
Hewlett, New York State

Opinion debate
Will Democrats face a mid-term erasure?

For the publisher:

Re “Democrats must face their privilege” (column of November 5):

David Brooks would have to rework his image of Democrats as an “elite party” if he came to visit us here in rural Benzie County, Michigan. We are business owners, employees, farmers, teachers, entrepreneurs, students, retirees from all walks of life, deer hunters and vegans.

We are working hard for worthy Democratic candidates in the many national and local elections between presidential shows. But we also help with the non-partisan work of local government and community organizations in the many small towns and villages across the county.

If Mr. Brooks comes on July 4th, he can join us for the annual parade, in vans and on foot, waving flags and chanting “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” and other patriotic favorites until that our voices are hoarse and our guitar strings break.

Michael french smith
Honor, Mich.

For the publisher:

Re “Republican censored by house divided for violent video” (press article, November 18):

So what has this representative Paul Gosar been censored? He manages to remain a member of Congress. Anyone in any other organization would be sacked without notice for a similar blow. He is unrepentant after the vote, going so far as to retweet the animated video of him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and assaulting the president.

He undoubtedly plans to act as a martyr, wearing his censorship as a badge of honor, meant to entice his angry voters to re-elect him with an even greater margin.

I don’t know what the biggest scandal is, whether it’s Mr Gosar’s actions or the virtual support given by the rest of his party, with Kevin McCarthy leading the way, pointing fingers at Democrats with false equivalents moralizing which are Republicans’ business assets.

But the underlying problem is Mr. Gosar’s supporters in Arizona. Blind hatred gives meaning to their life. Please don’t tell me that as a Democratic voter I have to sympathize with their so-called “grievances”.

Bryan L. Tucker

For the publisher:

Isn’t it funny that when Kathy Griffin posted a video of her holding what looked like the severed head of President Donald Trump, she was rejected by the media, put on the no-fly list and got had tour appearances canceled? And, oh yeah, she was investigated by the Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In other words, she was treated as if she was a potential presidential assassin.

Yet Kathy Griffin is a actor. For doing what some consider a joke in bad taste, she was ruthlessly punished.

Now Representative Paul Gosar is posting a video of himself murdering another congressman and cutting and threatening our president with swords. Where are the Secret Service and the US Attorney’s Office now? Why is not it his career ruined?

For the publisher:

Re “Europe Targets Unvaccined in Virus Spike” (cover page, November 16):

As long as national leaders accept a Covid-19 containment model that stops at national borders, we can expect the cunning virus to continue to outsmart us.

Defense against Covid-19 cannot be an “me” strategy – my country, my family. He calls for an “we” strategy – all global partners, rich and poor nations sharing resources, and generous manufacturers sharing vaccine revenues. In doing so, we will assert our compassion while protecting ourselves more effectively against a virulent enemy.

It’s time to serve the common good by vaccinating everyone to reduce the risk of infection around the world, not just within national borders.

Julie M. Zito
Rhinebeck, New York
The author is Professor Emeritus of Pharmacoepidemiology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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