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Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeWeekly Skews Livestream“White Rural Rage”

“White Rural Rage”

Skewers this week we are thrilled to welcome Tom Schaller and Paul Waldman, the authors of the much debated new book about the threat to democracy percolating in our homeland: “White Rural Rage”! Gonna be a good un!

AI Generated Transcript

Trae Crowder 0:00
Hey what’s up everybody welcome back listen, here’s the deal I’m gonna start this way we’re having some technical difficulties I know that’s hard for y’all to believe but it does happen sometimes doing this here program live we have some issues at times this one I think what’s happening is I don’t know if you have heard, but Facebook is having issues today technical issues. My wife has been keeping me up to date she stays up on Facebook problems and we think maybe that’s given us some issues with our stream. We really hope that’s not the case and that maybe now it’ll be fine. And we won’t have any more problems because we’ve got a great show for y’all tonight. We got the authors of the hotly debated new book, white rural rage, Tom shower and Paul Waldman joining us a little lighter. So hopefully we get our damn shit together. Either way, I’m trying that’s Mark, Mark. Let’s try to start again. What’s up, man? Yeah,

Mark Agee 0:54
dude, like we just didn’t do the first few minutes to show already. So some quick things to get through. Forget the show a lot of news happening a Super Tuesday. I voted tres a bad citizen. He hasn’t voted yet. I just want to say I’m a good person. Kristen cinema and now she’s out in the world running for re election. The Canada top Republican ballot for Missouri Governor Darrell McClanahan, the third said he was only an honorary member of the cake. Okay, so take that for what it’s worth. The Florida State Senate passed a bill to the would remove local governments authority to adopt heat standards such as guaranteed shade and rest breaks for workers. So basically, if we can’t get around to deporting you, we can give you heatstroke as the official policy of the state of Florida. Putting plans to weaponize deep fake porn against Western democracies. My thing is the you know, the AI is gonna fuck it up. So what do we get first? Joe Biden the babysitter or Joe Biden? The MILF. Yeah, well, are you

Trae Crowder 1:50
familiar with rule 34 Mark you ever heard a rule 34 That is a internet maxim that states that basically any scenario you can envision has a existing porn version of it or take of it somewhere out there on the internet some sort of some sort of smother fad to take on whatever you can come up exist already so if ain’t already got Joe Biden has a meal you know, just give it time the technology is there we have it we can do what

Mark Agee 2:19
you’re saying there’s probably a porn somewhere about Vladimir Putin making deep fake boards. Yeah,

Trae Crowder 2:24
very possibly. Yeah, I know for a fact that there’s a written porn of me Korean drew the well read guys. fanfiction about us, you know riling each other and stuff, so you know it’s out there? Yeah, but you probably got some we could look deep for it. But anyway.

Mark Agee 2:42
My buddy Brian cooks old show competitive rhotic fanfiction, right?

Trae Crowder 2:45
Yes, I did. Yeah, actually one of the episode that I was on years ago.

Mark Agee 2:51
Supreme Court. So two separate decisions. One, putting Trump back on the ballot of the primary ballot, Colorado, but yeah, everywhere. And he also interfere interfere in his prosecution in a way that just basically delays his trial. So they probably can’t have completed the election. And there’s not a lot wondering what the logic is, is because there’s a higher law than the Constitution. And that is the rule that Donald Trump has a special little guy. And that’s basically in the Magna Carta that goes back to way, way before.

Trae Crowder 3:19
Seems to be the case seems to be trending in that direction. Yeah, he got his own constitution with HomeStars and bullshit in it.

Mark Agee 3:29
I want to talk about this Trump bucks thing for a little bit. So NBC had this report out about this new scam that’s being run by somebody not Trump, as far as I can tell. It’s what they do where they sell memorabilia called Trump bucks, but basically the treat them like it’s real currency. For $999.99 you get a $10,000 Donald Trump book, which you should be able to redeem Well, in the fine print says it just memorabilia, but the promises you can redeem it at banks retailers like Walmart, Costco and Home Depot. So for 100 bucks and $1,000 It’s a hell of a return. This one guy named John Amman who seven seven year old guys are Trump supporters, he bought $2,200 worth of Trump bucks and realize he got burned when he tries to deposit them at a bank. So

Trae Crowder 4:13
my god, bro, what? Like,

Mark Agee 4:18
I would rather you imagine you’re the bank teller? Like I’d rather have someone hand me a note saying that I’m being robbed. The meiotic world guy how he got taken for $2,200 Right?

Trae Crowder 4:27
It really is kind of a genuine insight in the way their brains work where Trump is concerned that they think that like Trump bucks is you know, legal tender that will be accepted everywhere that you that you bought it like That’s so crazy to me, but it does make sense coming from his cult.

Paul Waldman 4:44
Yeah, that’s wild.

Mark Agee 4:45
I mean, suit was part we’re gonna talk about today is like, like, you know, we’re rural and Maga people’s distress to like the economy and a sort of manifests itself. There’s like other like, conspiracy theories about how Trump’s gonna destroy everyone’s debt and all this stuff, but like, I would do want to say this guy I am in by He did ever want to solid by coming forward because he looks like an idiot. He’s trying to get the word out and keep other people being scam so I’ll give him that much. But at this point he cool for him says talking about Trump in the scam said I’m like I’m questioning whether he’s aware of this as if Donald Trump would care about somebody getting scammed, right? If it’s like it’s immoral to let a sucker keep his money, right. And obviously he tried to reach the Trump campaign he couldn’t get any response about this the genius of this scam there’s an inherently scams are sort of mad at myself for not thinking of it because like these are like security so supposed to take like a while to mature or whatever so the people don’t even realize they’re scam to go to try to deposit it like a year or two later which case you’re already in the Caymans with their fucking money but one of the reasons that way they’re pushing this if you have this artificial intelligence Elon Musk video Matt like watch this and see if any part of this like if any part of you could ever believe this is real. Money need to know this. That trip certificate is not a joke. It’s real and everyone needs to get as many they can I spend $1 million on Trip certificates and this week I’m going to cash out my Joe Biden’s Soon I will be the richest person on the planet again. need that

Trae Crowder 6:11
I would not believe it coming from Yeah, I would not believe that. He said something that that stupid, you know what I mean? But

Mark Agee 6:18
no, he’s he’s stupid. Like he lost a bunch of money and Dogecoin but but I’m saying like, like, the lips don’t even match the words. No, right like that reality. That’s footage from a TED talk in 2022. The funniest part of this, this woman talks talk to NBC about how her mother in law over this shit three different times. The first version was like I talked about the other, the other you know scams about having to do with like conspiracy theories and money, once called Nisar, we might have talked about before, but basically that Trump’s going to really do a radical reset of the entire US economy all debts gonna be wiped out. And so she bought it that the first time and took out a bunch of debt thing and Trump was gonna get rid of it. That didn’t work. And she bought a bunch of Trump Trump bucks. So this woman drove her mother in law to a bank tried to get her to try to deposit it because she’d been fucking scammed. And then she did that and she realized the woman admitted the mother will admitted that she had been scammed. But then her conclusion was she had just bought in the wrong Trump books. She bought a different version of the same scam. It’s like Jesus Christ, man, like,

Trae Crowder 7:18
yeah, I got scammed by somebody selling fake Trump books. I was looking for the real Trump bucks and I got taken by a con man. Like yeah, did either way you did. Alright, let’s get into the game. We got an exciting show. for y’all. Tonight. We’re gonna welcome Tom chaleur and Paul Waldman a little bit later, but But first, I want to let y’all know. But a couple quick things, Matt, I’m gonna do this real quick. If you want to see me there, sign up live, go to Trey Check out my upcoming tour dates, we got plenty coming up soon. In the future. I’ll be in DC and Northern Virginia this weekend. So come see me. And also if you want to support the show, you can do so by signing up on Patreon. Go to weekly And or just go on Patreon and hit me up you get two extra full length bonus episodes a month for $5. And so you get some more skews in your life and support the show in the process. Now before we get to our esteemed guests, very, very shortly. Let’s first begin as always with the daily DOM is Matt graphic if you could please.

Yes, it’s our professional show we got here. A little lighter. Anyway, our DD tonight as anyone who thinks Trump could name a second black heroes and this is wild. He’s talking about North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson

Donald Trump 8:49
being here, but you know, I heard him coming in and the plane I was listening and I said to the people in the plane, watch this. This is Martin Luther King on steroids. Okay, now, I told that I told that. I told that to mark. I said, I think you’re better than Martin Luther King, I think.

Mark Agee 9:11
So Mark Robinson is the front runner to be the Republican nominee for governor of North Carolina. If you can’t tell him what Trump’s talking about. He doesn’t have to be black, but like the idea is, he’s kind of MLK I want you to I want to read some quotes here and you tell me if this sounds very Martin Luther King like at the time he called school shooting survivors called Media prostitutes and quote for bandits advancing control policies. He posted a meme mocking the Harvey Weinstein accuser out of August he was a US democratic donor. I don’t know why they feel the need to defend Harvey Weinstein. I know why, but it’s a whole nother thing. He made fun of women for wearing poor dresses to protest sexual harassment. He predicted the rising acceptance of homosexuality would lead to pedophilia and the end of civilization as we know it. He talked about arresting transgender people for their bathroom choice. He was anti Muslim once again tests and Medic shit. He he went on Facebook and called Hillary Clinton a heifer and Michelle Obama man. And the thing about this primary is like there were other Republicans Ryan tried to stop him it but they were trying to they were complaining about the National Party of banning them to leave them to fight this guy. But it’s as always, it’s not clear where they actually have a problem with his hatefulness or whether it’s just, you know, bad for business in a swing state. Right. But the problem here is the people say it’s fake news when you tell them the stuff this guy said, there’s like this weird thing in Republican primaries where electability doesn’t matter, because they don’t believe any criticisms of their favorite candidates. Like the reporters had asked him for his supporters about one of his most scrutinized Facebook posts which a 2018 screed against the film Black Panther, their preferences Israeli currency and uses elitist Yiddish slur for black people. And the guy said I can’t help but think that’s been manufactured by some opposition the post is still accessible online, you can still go look at it on his Facebook page. Like he basically said he talked about a Black Panther he does understand how people can get so excited about a fictional quote unquote hero created by agnostic Jew and put the film by satanic Marxists you ever seen the movie face in the crowd? Dr. Andy Griffith was

Trae Crowder 11:13
with Yeah, Andy Griffith it was

Mark Agee 11:17
yeah he’s basically like this like like like sociopath who rises to pick up like the face of like real America becomes this like like superstar like broadcast like by the way, he gets caught talking about like, like his supporters being idiots on a hot mic or whatever, then his career falls apart because I’ll be back you know, it will because it’s, it’s a pretty for 1950s movies pre pression criticism of modern American media culture, right. So this guy was this guy was a nobody in 2018 he was working he weren’t like, I don’t even know buddy mean, like he was just like, like, like, regular people are important. Somebody wasn’t in politics. He was working in a factory in a factory and just posting like right wing Facebook screens like the one I just mentioned. And he’s sort of like a bizarro version of you and a lot of ways because what happened was he went, he went, he had a viral video where he was at a I think was a Charlotte, whatever town he’s from in North Carolina and went to city council meeting and raised railed against like, in the idea of gun control after the Parkland shooting, and it wouldn’t make a viral he was invited to speak at the NRA convention at the NRA convention. grieves Greensboro, city council, Verizon, Greensboro. CES, the NRA put him in a commercial and then two years later, he was lieutenant governor of North Carolina and now he might be governor.

Trae Crowder 12:28
Right? This is another good example of how how much better it is, if you are, you know, sociopathic and lacking all scruples to be on that side of the of the like, viral fence. Do you? I mean, like, I don’t, I don’t think that I don’t think the Democrats would elect me to ship because they would be like, well, he’s not actually smart. He couldn’t do that, right. But this dude, he yells in his truck, and they’re like, We need him in the governor’s mansion. And then he ends up there. So there’s

Mark Agee 12:54
no better I would say, that’s a good way to describe because there’s no better like, like, the difference between being successful on the left and stuff on the right is like, you go viral. And you’re like, I want to be a chuckles this weekend in Cincinnati. And he’s like, I’m gonna be the governor.

Thomas Schaller 13:08
Right? Exactly. Yeah.

Mark Agee 13:12
Honestly, yes. All right, there. Here we go ahead.

Trae Crowder 13:14
Yeah, let’s do it. I was gonna say speaking, trying to make sense of things that are sometimes patently nonsensical. Let’s get our guests out here. We’re very, very thrilled to welcome the authors of the most hotly debated book in America right now. I don’t think I’m out of bounds by saying that called White rural rates, the threat to American democracy, everybody, Tom shower, and Paul Waldman. Bring them out here, Matt. A, there we are. Hello, gentlemen. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. I’m Trey. That’s mark. I wanted to start by just saying as a white from a tiny town in Tennessee with no traffic lights, jobs or hopes hope for the future, who is fueled by no small amount of rage most of it and Putin in nature? I just want to say who the hell you think you are out there talking shit about me and mind from your damn ivory towers on the coast? Your big universities and stuff? Oh, you think you’re better than me? No, I’m kidding. But you guys probably get a lot of that, huh? I imagine. We

Paul Waldman 14:10
have gotten a lot of that. And mostly for people who haven’t read of course, that’s not to mention Nazis. We’ll put them aside for now. There are a lot of them in my twitter mentions, if anyone wants to go and see. But yes, the reaction from people who have not actually read the book, which is actually subtle, and nuanced, and complex of like, you might not know it from the title. It’s been that negative in some quarters. But you know, we knew that was going to happen going in. I’ll be honest, we didn’t choose the title that was coming our publisher came up with and they wanted to really hit it hard. And, you know, we knew it was gonna be provocative. And so we tried to be ready for it. But it’s been interesting, no doubt.

Trae Crowder 14:53
Yeah. Now that’s something that people don’t realize when you write a book like yeah, I’ve written two books, not brag. Can you guys written like a combined, I didn’t pick the title of either of them? You know, like that’s something that people don’t know that publishers do that and they want to make it as incendiary as possible, but actually wanted to ask you that you sort of start the book by saying that Jason Albanes mega smash hit try that in a small town was a good example of the type of thing that inspired this book as a massive hater of Jason Aldean. And all he represents. I just want to elaborate on that. Elaborate on that a little bit. How that inspired you.

Paul Waldman 15:29
So I knew Tom has I know Tom has a lot to say, but I know also know that he’s gonna let me talk about Jason on the because, yeah, I mean, okay, look, I don’t have have to, I don’t want to tell anybody what to like, or who to like anybody can like any, any artists they want. I do think just as a matter of objective reality that Jason Aldean is a purveyor of some of the most derivative, repetitive broke country that just kind of Mad Libs, like dirt roads, pickup trucks, doggy in the back cold beer, let’s just kind of mix and match it all around. Anyway. So the thing about the reason that we started telling the story of try that in a small town was because it was so indicative of the moment you know, it’s not the first song like that. I mean, if you go back and you look at all the way back to okie from Muskogee, Merle Haggard. You know, songs like country boy can survive Hank Williams Jr. Kiss my country ass. You know, there’s been a lot of songs like this that have that kind of belligerent tone about how cities are dangerous. And here we are, you know, strong and good and honest people who also love guns. That’s been a long history that in country music, but it happens in 2022 or 23, excuse me. And Jason Aldean comes out with his song. And immediately some liberals start to criticize him for some of the racial undertones. You know, he said that didn’t have anything to do with it. And he didn’t know that that place that they shot, the video once had a lynching. I believe that I don’t think anybody’s accused Jason Aldean of having a subtle grasp of history. But in any case, it’s all about this idea that like this city is dangerous, and they’re gonna bring their mayhem here, and we’re gonna meet it with violence. And it hits at a particular political moment when liberals criticize them and then Republicans like rush in and they’re like, Yes, this is the greatest thing ever. And they start playing it at their rallies. And the the narrative around it is all like Jason now Dean is being canceled by the libs. Well, of course, he wasn’t cancelled. It was his biggest crossover hit of his career went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. We thought that was kind of kind of indicative of a lot of the issues that we are talking about. And that’s why we led the book with that, that vignette. Yeah.

Trae Crowder 17:41
Yeah, that makes sense. What bothered me about the about that song was like, you know, somebody from a very small town, like, you know, Jason Albanes from Macon, Georgia, they got like, two targets or whatever. That ain’t a small town. You know what I mean? In the first verse, he talked to his lady. Yeah, hi, hi, Jack and old lady at a red light. See what happens. I was like, a red light. What is this time square? You know? So anyway, that’s what bothered me about it, among many other things, but I’m sorry, Mark. I know you got plenty of questions to

Mark Agee 18:07
go. Oh, yeah, I was gonna say like, Part. Part of the bigger myth book is like, like the disconnect between sort of, this is like the idea that like, like, like, the way small towns and people from small towns we’re talking about a is like, ideal, like, unknowable. And I do want to say I actually, I did read the entire book, because I’m a hardworking American from a rural community. And this was like, we just get up in the morning. Put it work boots on. Yeah, so the the, like the backlash, I mean, like, I got like, I was like, I bet someone’s compare this to Hillbilly Elegy. And it’s like the which is totally unfair. It’s the thing I did, and I Googled it. And of course, somebody had and it was somebody who had tagged Matt saying to go talk to Matt about this instead, I guess he had to broker a ceasefire between you and some well meaning activist lady, which all that is very funny to me. But the Christians on the right is like, interesting to me. Because like, basically, you guys, like, you’d be like, go like you’re calling all rural Americans racist, which you’re flatly not doing in the book, when in reality of some of the hard working, you know, salt of the earth people. It’s like you’re doing the exact thing we’re talking about, right? It’s like, it’s like you can’t do any criticism cuz everybody in small town was like, perfect and noble or whatever. It’s just sort of insane way to live.

Thomas Schaller 19:30
Yeah, well, a big part of the book is just trying to divert mystify this idea that some people are more real than others. And my take on this is a drawn a stolen from my TV girlfriend Tina Fey from 30 Rock who is my second favorite comedian after you of course, right. But a little pattern goes a long way. Right? And so if you remember there’s an episode there where she talks about this whole idea about who’s real or more real and she’s like, all Americans just want to have a sandwich and a Diet Sprite and quiet play. Just to eat it for lunch, the sandwiches made different, right? But that’s essentially true. And I think when you say okay, a 65 year old white male, married veteran grandfather from northwest Oklahoma, is somehow more real than an afro Latina, 22 year old woman who’s you know, working at a cafe and Uber going around at night for extra money is somehow less than him. I think that’s when you start down a bad path, right? When you start putting labels on people, as less or more real. Now, there are some things about rural Americans, they do serve at higher rates in the military, and they should be applauded accordingly. Their patriotism, I don’t think is in question. And we don’t question their patriotism in that showy way, our criticism and we appreciate you reading the book, by the way, Mark, as most of our critics didn’t get past rage, they got through the I don’t even think they made it to the subtitle many. But they you know, what we’re saying here is it’s about commitment to democratic processes. It’s about commitment to democratic norms. It’s about commitments to a pluralistic secular government and an inclusive society. And there, I think we make the case pretty strongly that again, and every time every statistic in that we put a comparative statistic, we say that, according to the Trevor Project, which studies gay rights and gay issues, that 49% Half of rural kids say that their communities are hostile to LBGTQ LGBTQ people, and it’s only like 25, or 26%, in cities and suburbs. So we don’t say nobody in the suburbs thinks that their communities are hostile one quarter kids do, but it’s 50% in rural America, and that’s according to them. And so if you read the book, it’s usually superlatives. Most highest lowest, we don’t say exclusively. And as you pointed out, we don’t say every problem in America is exclusively white and rural. And we don’t say everybody in white, rural America, there’s a lot of good white rural hippies. And we met some of them. And they’re just as liberal. In fact, they’re more liberal than most of the guys I went to high school and college with in suburban, suburban Albany, and certainly a lot of buddies of mine who got surprised this week, because I was on a tweet list with a bunch of my fraternity brothers, but most of whom are in Long Island like Nassau County. They’re sort of rich and tunnel guys, first generation college guys, and they’re like shower, and they were, can I use 30? Language? Yeah, please. Like this pussy, dude. How dare he bah, bah, blah, and a bunch of people who don’t have my phone number. And I’m like, the pussy douche is right here. Fellas, let’s go after it. You know? And it’s like, I know that there are people people that I’ve known for 1520 years who are offended by this argument. But I think it’s an argument that needs to be had. And not just in rural communities. I think it needs to be had nationally.

Trae Crowder 22:36
Well, I mean, look at somebody again. First of all, I totally relate what you just said about your buddies, like this person, because same thing happened with me when I was like, He’s the Redneck that everybody’s listening to, you know what I mean? So I got a lot of that, too. So I understand what you’re saying. But I also like, I got a lot of I still do sometimes get comments from people on the coast and stuff like that on some of my videos, who say things like, you’re like a unicorn, you know, like, we, I didn’t know you existed and that type of thing. And that makes you kind of defensive. Like no, it’s not just me, there’s more of me. We’re not We’re not exactly Legion, but we do exist. But having said that, me personally, I see the title of your book, and I interpreted it similarly, when, like Chris Rock had a bit about rap songs or whatever, they denigrate women or whatever. And they’re like, saying all this shit about hoes and they were like, he ain’t talking about me, right? That’s sort of how I feel. When I say the title. I’m like, Oh, well, I’m one of the good ones. It’s alright, you know what I mean? I don’t I don’t interpret it personally. But a lot of people are going to do that. Regardless, just by nature of the fact that you guys are I mean, that you are who you are, you know, your academics and scholars and writers. And that means you’re full of shit. And you think you’re better than them. I mean, that’s just how they look at it, you know?

Thomas Schaller 23:50
Well, I mean, we did share a play to avocado toast and wash it down with a couple of tour cortado shows. And finally, kale cheesecake. It’s got a bit of an earthy dirt taste to it kale cheesecake. Let me tell you, it’s my favorite. I mean, if people don’t see the cultural insults that are leveled against me, as like an out of touch elitist, who’s never been out of rural America, they obviously hadn’t read the book. We’ve been to five rural communities in five different states in doing the research for this book. And I’m just as comfortable in the round robin bar downtown at the at the Willard Hotel where Martin Luther King finished the I Have a Dream speech where Mark Twain lived for residency where Abraham Lincoln did. His transition between his election in 1816 is installation March of 1861, maybe the most famous hotel in all DC that’s still standing. But you’d be surprised how comfortable I am in some absolute, rural, you know, dive bar in the middle of the Adirondacks where I’ve spent a ton of time in my life because I grew up in Albany, and I love the Adirondacks. So it’s just the sort of assumption that ad hominem attacks they get, they get a little harsh, and if I showed you some of these hate mails, you’d be shocked but it’s when you stick your neck out. Somebody people can take a swing at you

Paul Waldman 25:01
like if I was gonna say is, you know, if you look at voting patterns and maybe 70% or so of rural whites voted for Donald Trump in 2020, well, that means a 30% of people don’t. And so, you know, if you’re if you’re in a place where it’s like 7030, conservatives and liberals, let’s still a lot of liberals. And even though they may feel outnumbered, and we, you know, one of the things as we went around to different places, a lot of people told us, especially the liberals, they said that politics has really gotten meaner, since Donald Trump came along, and it used to be that, you know, these fights, it wouldn’t be that big a deal, and I get along with my neighbors. But since Trump, like now I really feel like, you know, things are things are bad. And like one of the people we talked to, was this librarian in Ashtabula, County, Ohio, and who ran for state representative. And she said that people would come up to her, she’s Democrats had people come to her and like, literally whisper to her, like, I love you, I’m gonna vote for you. But I can’t take a sign. Because if I put it in my, in my lawn, that my neighbor’s gonna take a shot at me, ya know, so. So that’s the way a lot of liberals in rural America are feeling right now.

Mark Agee 26:10
I want to so just rough numbers, you guys are working with roughly 20% of America’s rural and only three quarters of that, as I say, only three quarters because people think 100% of rural America is white. And that’s not remotely accurate. And you actually devote a whole chapter your book about the experiences of different rural minority communities and make it a point that if we’re talking about percent of the population, the most rural communities are, I mean, like, like most native Americans live rurally, as opposed to like, that’s not just true for white people, yada, yada. But like, you might, but you also make the point that like, we take the there’s large populations and think about the way people react to like politics and public events, like you see in the book, if if it was just about material concerns. Why aren’t rural black people storming the Capitol? Right? Well,

Thomas Schaller 27:00
can I can I tell you why we wrote chapter seven, we did it for a series and in a strategic reason this is the reason is that they’re 24% of rural America, you think they get 24% of the attention in the national media in the state media. My clever little line here is that the national media since Trump came down that escalator has been climbing over each other like puppies trying to get out of a cardboard box to interview the next 10 rural white Trump Red Hat Maga wearing people in some Southeast Missouri diner. But there are plenty of rural African Americans, Latino Americans, and of course, the nation’s most rural population, Native Americans and you don’t see anybody sitting down to talk to them, and meeting them where they’re at. So they’re entitled to some treatment. And frankly, one out of eight chapters undersells that. We only gave them one out of eight. But we spent some time in places like the Albemarle region where they’re seven counties cluster just south of the Virginia border on 95. There on both sides. In fact, the first exit when you come south across the Virginia North Carolina border, it says Enfield which is the county seat of Halifax County, and the mayor of that town who came to my rural politics class tonight is a guy named Mondale Robinson and he has given me permission to share his story. This is a guy who started the blackmail voter project about five or six years ago to try to mobilize black men, rural, urban or suburban. And then he decided to put his own activism to test he went back to his hometown of Enfield, the poorest city in North Carolina. And according to the sources, we put the book The eighth poorest city in America, it’s 2200 people it’s majority black. It is so downtown. We went there and Mondale was out of town but like 90% of the storefronts are boarded up, and Mondale told us some of the store friends because the windows have been knocked out by birds or kids with rocks, there are trees growing in some of the storefronts downtown and he is now running the city from back where he used to live here and I don’t want to say were in the DMV area because he’s been doxxed and there’s death threats in the largest active Chapter The keh keh keh is after him because he took down a Confederate statue there so he’s literally marrying the town from Maryland two states away because he and his wife saw guys with guns in their yard. This is what’s happening

Mark Agee 29:07
do we talked like centering white people in these conversations there was interesting I’m gonna like like how what’s the quote like when you’re when you’re used to like being preferential treatment equality feels like oppression or something like that. But like, when like half the culture is telling you that you’re awesome just because your skin color and where you live, you’re more normal person you get the morning go to work harder than everybody else yada yada yada. But then when anybody criticizes you, it’s like you get a huge backlash and see the right wing media is great at generating this where it’s like, how dare they say this about you, but you couldn’t like I was thinking about your book and like the sheer number. The Annoying number of books are written by academics and the 90s and 2000s about like stuff that’s broken or wrong and black American culture, whatever. And the books, a lot of them are bad or dumb or whatever, but there was never this organized, yelling at people about it, like even I grew A lot of a lot of you guys send the book, but even if you’re wrong, it just doesn’t deserve this amount. But it’s just because people feel entitled to, like inherent respect, like, does that make any sort of sense? Am I conveying that? Yeah, absolutely.

Paul Waldman 30:10
That’s part of the rhetoric. You know, we always hear politicians talking about how we need small town values, and how that’s so important. And, you know, if you don’t agree with that, then you hate people in rural America. And a couple of times people that have brought up, you know, well, don’t the don’t liberals just look down on people, like remember that say Barack Obama said about people clinging to guns or religion? It’s like, first of all, okay. He said that in 2008 16 years ago, and people are still talking about it one thing. And if you look at what he said, what he actually said he was right, he said that people here feel like neither party was doing anything for them. People kept telling him, all the jobs are going to come back, the jobs never came back. And so yeah, now they are angry at both parties. And they look to issues like guns and religion, to define their political identity, because they’ve given up on any idea that Democrats or Republicans are going to do much for them. And the argument that we make is, that is a huge gift to the Republicans, because they don’t have to do anything. You know, people talk about how Democrats have abandoned rural America and a lot of places. That’s true, but Republicans have abandoned them too. Because all that’s necessary for you to win. If you’re a Republican, you just walk in a couple days before election day and say, you know, don’t you hate those elitist liberals back in the cities, and people say, yeah, and they vote for you. And then and then that guy leaves and he comes back four years later, and does the same thing and doesn’t do a damn thing to actually improve people’s lives. And so, you know, the Republicans know that they don’t have to. And so it’s a huge gift to them to, to kind of remove economics and material concerns from what politics winds up being all about.

Mark Agee 31:40
Yeah, I mean, you guys asked chip, Congressman from Texas, Chip Roy about like, what his plan to help us real constituents was, and he didn’t even understand the question, right?

Paul Waldman 31:50
Yeah, I don’t know if I’ll tell that story. So we were reporting in Texas, we go out to see he’s he’s got this big district, it starts in the suburbs around San Antonio and Austin stretches 150 miles west. And so we thought that he was going to do an event in this place called hunt Texas, which is unincorporated. Somehow, at the one establishment in Hunt, which is this sort of restaurant slash store, they managed to get 50 or 60 people to come. So we go there, he kind of rolls in with a bunch of A’s, they’ve all got these really nice matching embroidered white shirts, with his name on it, and American flag and everything. And, you know, Chip Roy is a smart guy. And he gives them he gives the people just sort of like a discussion of what’s going on in Congress. And then he agreed to talk to us for a few minutes afterward. And one of the questions we asked him was, you know, you’ve got all these rural constituents, what, you know, what do they need? Do you have a, like a rural agenda that is particular to them? And he kind of looked at us like, it never even occurred to him. And then he said, What do you mean, like appropriations? And we said, well, could be anything? And he said, Well, you know, we started talking about how everybody cares about immigration. And then he went off on the farm bill, which they do every five years or so. And he doesn’t like it because even though it gives a lot of subsidies to farmers, it also is where food stamps are funded. So it’s another like that. And in the end, like he had no answer. And that just the fact that you know, this is a guy who’s who’s a pretty prominent Republican, he’s got a he is never going to lose an election, his seat as gerrymandered so that, you know, he doesn’t have to do a thing. And his she’s got all these real constituents. And it hasn’t even occurred to him that maybe they need something special that he could help them get

Thomas Schaller 33:33
out of here. Go ahead. No, no, go ahead, go under here, right. The Republican Party is never told that they need to go into urban America and talk to African Americans, the voters least likely to them and sit and be respectful and not condescend. And then digest all that information and go back and cogitate for a couple of months and build a white paper or a massive plan an 80 page report on how they’re going to help solve the problems of African Americans in the city. Now they talk about those problems all the time. You turn on Fox News and CNN and Newsmax every day and you turn on talk radio, there’s a there’s a talk radio, talk radio host right now either on live or on tape repeat from Maine to Maui talking about cities and crimes and homelessness and thugs. So they they’re very interested in cities and crimes and the problems and they blame the Democrats for it. Okay. The Democrats, on the other hand are expected to go to rural white America, they’re least likely voters right? And listen and show up in a car. HeartShare. Right. We listen and try to reach they’re least likely voters so the party that’s won the popular vote, seven of the last eight elections needs to try to appeal to its least likely voters but the party this last seven the last popular votes. Seminole St. Doesn’t have to do anything. And in fact, they’re not only encouraged, they’re rewarded for attacking JD Vance, that little fan here. I hate that guy. This is a guy who New York City many, many times he worked for a company that represented Purdue pharma that poured all those opioids into his state and it Israel community. He goes to New York during the campaign for a fundraiser and he goes, is it more like season one or season two of The Walking Dead implying that the city isn’t of zombie flesh eating apocalypse, you know? hellscape but imagine Chuck Schumer says I gotta go do a fundraiser in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Do I bring my own methanol overalls or to the rural folks? He would cruise? Thanks something like that and trafficking and an unfair and wrong stereotype. But JD fans doesn’t get doesn’t doesn’t lose any votes, he gains votes. Tell me tell me that’s a fair standard is that’s asymmetrical. What is it? Right?

Trae Crowder 35:32
I wanted to, like, you know, I’ve again, as someone from this place, I’ve since the beginning of like the rise of Trump and people were asking, like, What the hell is going on here, which, for the record, I still to this day, have found it kind of wild that Trump was became their champion, considering his background and everything about him. And I know you guys have something to say about that, too. But first, it from the beginning of the rise of Trump or whatnot. My position on this, like, people talk about like, what’s going on with these white rural people and their love for Trump, I’ve always been like, what they, they have very genuine grievances, they have good reason to be upset and to feel fucked over and left behind like that what has happened in my town is brutal and tragic, right? But they direct that anger in the wrong direction. They’re not mad at the right people from my perspective, and they don’t hold anybody to account for actually fixing anything. And they just blame it on the Democrats. Like you guys were just saying, and I’m like, how did that happen? How did why is it that easy? Why

Thomas Schaller 36:35
is it like that, you know, all this bad stuff that can happen? In my town, they just automatically blame the Mexicans, the liberals, and you know, the coastal elites, instead of you know, the, the corporate fat cats, everybody else has screwed them over over the course of Well, that’s the other double standard, right? It’s after they do this very earnest piece on crime and homelessness on skid row in LA. They go the Democrats and the minorities and the white liberals who live in those cities and elected politicians, the mayor and the city council should be held to account fine. That’s what a representative government does. They shouldn’t be held to account when there’s problems in the cities. But what happens in rural America, there are hundreds of counties of our 3000 counties that are more than 90% White and have fewer than 20,000 people. And those people are represented the local elections may be nonpartisan, but everybody knows the school board and the sheriff because 71% of sheriffs in the country in the poll, identify as conservative 95% of them are white and 97% of our men. That’s true. Okay. Your sheriff in your superintendent, your county legislator and your county executive, your State Assemblyman your state senator, you, US Congress, man, the representative form and our representative democracy, the republican form small r is only held accountable to Democrats. But when anything goes wrong, and right, we’re all America, none of that litany of conservative Republicans are responsible for anything that happens in those small rural counties. That is a complete lack of accountability and responsibility. And it needs to stop because our big recommendation at the end is not that they need to vote for Democrats is that they got to get a better class of Republicans. Yeah. And

Mark Agee 38:25
I, I want to say so going back to JD he’s actually a good like, because he writes Hillbilly Elegy. And the thesis of Hillbilly Elegy is like, Oh, you don’t need to feel bad for these people. They’re all making terrible choices. Even my my dumb whore mom slept around and got hooked on pills, right? And then, and then when he was just running for office, he pivots to actually none of its ABS fault. It’s all the illegals and globalists as it nowhere in there is any sort of political response or like action plan.

Paul Waldman 38:57
Right, yeah. Go ahead, Paul. Yeah, you know, his book, if you read it, it is pretty brutal. In some places, you know, he’s talking about all the drug use and the violence, and he calls people lazy. And, and you’re right, then he decided he was critical of Trump. And then he decides, oh, I think I’d like to be a United States Senator. So then he starts talking about how Joe Biden has breathed fentanyl into places like where I grew up to kill my family and your family. You know, it’s, it’s clear, he had a pretty good read on what people want to hear. And, you know, as you said, trade, there’s so many communities that really have suffered, you know, the manufacturing jobs went away. They’ve got health care problems, they’ve got mental health problems. They were targeted by the by the pharmaceutical companies, and one of the most, you know, horrific crimes in American history. It just poured opioids into these into these places. And, and so I think a lot of people over time just decided that, you know, nobody’s going to make this better. And I just want kind of an emotional status. faction. And I think that’s what Trump provided for people is that if even if he’s not going to solve the problems, at least he’ll tell me that he hates the same people I hate, right? Well, not just say like, we need to fix this, he will literally say, almost, you know, fuck those guys, don’t you hate them and, and people shot on screen. And he also, you know, he also lied to them about what was going to happen. But I think in a lot of places, people knew it was a lie. But but they wanted it was what they wanted to hear. Like, I’ll tell you an example. We did some reporting from Mingo. County, West Virginia, which is really poor, it’s cold country. I think the median income there is about $38,000, a year for household. And Trump goes to West Virginia in 2016. And he literally puts on a hard hat and says, and I quote, get ready, all you miners, because you’re going to be working your asses off. Well, guess what? He didn’t bring the coal jobs back when he came into office, there were 52,000 jobs in the entire US coal industry. When he left, there were 38,000 jobs in the whole US coal industry. There were more people working at Panda Express than in coal anywhere in America. And guess what? Well, did he lose votes, he did not go County where, you know, it’s one of the poorest places they used to have coal, but like, there’s barely anybody working in coal there anymore. He got 83% of the vote in 2016. And then in 2020, after not bringing back the coal jobs, and after not doing much to actually improve people’s lives, he got 85% of the votes. So you know, it’s clear that people don’t want to have any kind of strict accountability, but the emotional satisfaction that he gives them, is something really powerful. Say,

Trae Crowder 41:37
Well, that’s what I mean, that does seem to be what it comes down to. Right is it’s like when he first got elected when he wanted 2016. I was my naive as initially was trying to be somewhat optimistic. And I was like, Well, look, he told these people, he told my people, everything they wanted to hear. And I know he’s full of shit, and he’s not going to deliver on any of that. So maybe, you know, give him enough rope to hang himself, like Let him prove that he’s not gonna deliver on any of that over the next four years. And maybe they’ll see the light. That’s what I was saying in 2016. And the opposite has happened, right? And like you were just saying, and it really does come down to just that type of pandering towards like, the culture war bullshit that they’ve all bought into, right, like the emotional satisfaction of just sticking it to the lives and the lives. Yeah, right. But lives are the bad guys. As long as he owns the lives. That’s all that really matters, despite the fact that their lives continue to get worse actively, because of you, him and his ilk policies like Avid Anon, but not always,

Thomas Schaller 42:44
not always, their lives get worse. So for example, when Barack Obama became president 24% of rural Americans were uninsured. And Obamacare was passed in 2010. And nine years later by 2019, that 24% had been reduced to 16%. So that’s 8%. Net. That’s one out of 12 rural Americans who were uninsured when he took office were insured by the time he left, and since eight is exactly a third of 24. That means it’s a 33% reduction. One out of three rural uninsured had insurance by the time Obama left office. And yet what did you hear 52 times the Republicans in the House, paddock put a language in the bill including not again, health care bills, calling for repeal and replace Donald Trump ran on repeal and replace him for years. And for John McCain. He would maybe would have got it. And now we know people like Jonathan Metzeler, who’s a doctor and has written about this dying of whiteness, dying from whiteness, his book, the states that have adopted Medicare expansion like Kentucky they don’t call it Obamacare. They call it connect KY in an NCT because the beshear news if you call it Obamacare, people would revolt. And that’s next door neighbor, Tennessee, which is one of only 10 states that still haven’t adopted the Medicare expansion under Obamacare. The health care metrics are going in the opposite direction, even though these two states have very similar profiles. Very similar economy’s very similar black white chairs. And so Republicans are literally killing their own voters. I’m sorry to say yeah, but yeah.

Paul Waldman 44:01
And rural voters, it’s the rural voters most of all to because they’re the ones who need that Medicaid expansion most now, we’re gonna get our lineup

Trae Crowder 44:09
has shut down twice in the past like four years, and it’s currently shut down, shut down, they managed to get it back open. And now it’s shut down again, permanently. Like we have no hospital in my hometown. It’s because of what you guys are talking about. Right, but that’s

Paul Waldman 44:22
exactly right. And there have been like Durbin, hundreds of rural hospitals that have closed in recent years. And they absolutely depend on Medicaid, and they can’t stay open without it. And then you have these states like Texas, and Tennessee that refuse to accept the expansion of Medicaid at the expense of their rural constituents on whom they build their power. You know, we were reporting in North Carolina in that majority black area, we’re talking to a county supervisor, and she said, you know, not only do we not have a hospital in this county, we don’t have an urgent care center. Like you got to get in your car and drive half an hour to to get somewhere where you can get even the slightest bit of medical treatment. If you sprained your ankle, let alone You’re having a heart attack. And so, you know, they finally approved the expansion in North Carolina after 10 years of fighting. But in those places, it’s the rural people, that Republicans take their votes, and then refuse to give them something that is literally a matter of life and death.

Thomas Schaller 45:14
And you know, you hear all this rural and you can see the emails I get after the All, all the cake fagot lip card insults, a lot of people just sort of want to make an ideological critique and we don’t want your socialism to take over. Oh, really socialism. So Social Security Disability rates, is their higher dependency in rural America than in urban American suburban America. Yes, there is. Are there 400 federal programs target to rural America? 70. At the USDA alone? Yes, there is. Do I begrudge that? Do I begrudge my taxes going there? No. Is there rising dependency on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is for the people basically make the minimum wage or the children’s test credit? Yes. Is there rising homelessness, which we don’t see, because it’s not in a little park in the city where there’s government services, but it’s people living in other people’s garages in the loft there or on their couches and couchsurfing? Because it’s invisible homelessness as all that homeless experts explain. It’s rising. In fact, it’s rising 12 times the rate. Now, granted, it’s starting at a smaller number. But it’s rising faster than urban homelessness right now. rural people are hurting. We spent an entire chapter explaining that and part of the race chapter explaining how non whites are hurting as well. We want this problem to be fixed. Let me let me make another confession. I forgot to tell you about the strategic reason we wrote the race chapter. Let me make another confession. I wrote a book called whistling past Dixie, it came out in 2006. And I got harassed by Democrats. How do you band in the South? How can you leave it last three presidents Bill Clinton, LBJ and Carter were from the south and I said, Bill Clinton got 279 Southern electoral votes, you can build a coalition. And two years later, Barack Obama, a black man did it. And I said, I’m right now. But I want to be wrong for the long term I want states to start to turn in Virginia did in Georgia did, Paul and I want to be wrong about this book. We want to be wrong in the long term. Because we want people like Matt Hildreth, who’s the producer of this show, to build a coalition that’s pan racial and pan ideological, where white and black and brown brothers and sisters in rural America say, You know what, enough of this shit, we’re going to hold the Republican Party to account. And if they don’t, we’re going to join with the other side, and then both parties will be held to heal. And when there’s a real fight between those two parties in rural America, get what they need. And I’ll apologize and retract the book in a decade if that happens.

Mark Agee 47:19
I think one of the things that I found most, like depressing in the book that I hadn’t really thought about is like USA, the the average age of a rural white Americans 43 and 60% 60% of people in rural white America tell their kids, they should move away somewhere like that. Is that right? Yep. 60%. That’s considered the there’s other data in the book that like most people would like to live in, like idea that like people in the country look down or isn’t isn’t quite accurate considering most people would like to live in the country because they think of it as a nice place to live. So the two things are it’s such cross purposes.

Paul Waldman 47:55
Yeah, really. Paul’s got some great stories in Arizona. So this is something that we heard everywhere we went whether it was white people in West Virginia, Latinos in Arizona, Native Americans, everywhere we went, people told the same story. They said there just isn’t enough economic opportunity here. And somebody graduates high school, and they’re smart, and they’re ambitious. And they look around and say, What am I going to do go work at the dollar store? I’m going to I’m going to go out, you know, so for instance, we talked to this woman named Mila Besuch and superior, Arizona, and she said that when she graduated high school, her guidance counselor said to her, Look, you know, the local Copper Mine is closing. There’s not going to be any jobs around here. I’m going to help you get a scholarship, but you need to get out and don’t come back. When she got out. She got a college degree. And then she did come back and now she’s the mayor. But we heard the same thing, not a few hours away and an Indian reservation with a woman named Shawna claw who’s now on the Navajo Council. She said she’s got two kids, when I was in the Air Force lives in Seattle or wherever he’s mobilized to. And the other one, she said, she’s gonna be a cosmetologist, but we don’t have a salon on the reservation. So she, she lives in Phoenix. And it’s the same story over and over again, that people just don’t see enough economic opportunity. And the young people who have a lot to contribute, they end up leaving and who does that leave behind? Well, at least by an older people, and more conservative people, and then you get kind of caught in this cycle where, you know, some of these kind of political pathologies end up getting worse and worse.

Trae Crowder 49:23
And yeah, I mean, I was you know, I was that I was, you know, and I’m sure Mark was to like that. That was that kid in Solana in my hometown you know, like I make good grades everything and everybody universally my family members, my parents grandparents, my teachers guidance counselor, everybody their message was like, you’ve got a golden ticket you can get out you know, like you can you can use this to get out if you did that was like the message that was sent to me and then so I did I leave and I still have all this love in my heart for where I’m from, but it’s like now, people in my hometown think you know, like that i whatever, that I talk shit and make them look better. I hate Don’t remember whatever. And I have a negative opinion of the place, what not, it’s like, well, I spent my whole life growing up being told to get the fuck away from there as soon as I possibly could, by every authority figure in my life, you know what I mean? Because it’s just the, it’s just the reality in these places, you know, you know, you know, what’s

Thomas Schaller 50:16
unfortunate for you guys, I assume you grew up in a rural area to mark is, people are gonna reject us, right? I mean, I grew up in the suburbs, Paul grew up in northern New Jersey, and I spent a lot of time in rural America all for my grandparents spend their years and living in rural America, not some fancy house, right? But nobody’s gonna listen to us. You guys are arm’s length. And the unfortunate thing about politics is, nobody’s going to listen to us because we’re a football field away, but they will listen to you. And I think you’d be arm yourselves what you have. I’m not criticizing you. I’m encouraging. I’m trying to tell you not to get despondent, I think this conversation can be had. But it’s really like one to one peer to peer kind of stuff, our book is probably going to, unfortunately, maybe move some people away and the reactionary and, and if that happens outfield, sadly about that, because that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to save the country in the short term from the brink of losing its democracy. But in the long term, we want people to live and thrive and have great lives and livelihoods. And when you see, you know, mortality rates going up, and life expectancies going down in some of these poor communities, 91% of gun deaths are white people in the country, that’s only 61%. And the states with the most liberal gun laws, you know, not liberal left, but have the most gun access is where the suicide rates are the highest. So, I mean, we’re not trying to, you know, just trample on people who are already struggling, we want them to be uplifted. And we’re writing a book that I think is maybe painfully honest, and maybe does have a provocative title guilties charge, but we think needs to be out there.

Mark Agee 51:40
Yeah, I mean, you guys like see, I didn’t. So the backlash. The books were weird to me, because like, you guys are not talking down to people at all, like you treat people like the responsible adults who have agency and can make different choices. And like you said, you don’t even tell them to vote Democratic you’re making your point is like, the way our political system is rigged. It’s rigged. So rural people have all this power, because of gerrymandering, every state having two senators, gerrymandering both from the state legislatures and Congress, it’s the it’s a light like you, if you got organized, you could ask for legitimate material change. Or you could get your potholes fixed and get Medicaid expansions you could like make it so my mom doesn’t have to dry like wait two months to get a doctor’s appointment, which needs an antibiotic. You don’t say? Yeah,

Paul Waldman 52:28
go ahead. And what we and so our argument is that they have all this power, that but the only use to which is being put is to make sure Republicans keep getting elected, and they could use it for something better for themselves. And that’s why we say that they that real people need a rural movement, when that’s really expensive, because if you think about it, you know, they are one of the core elements of the Republican coalition. And every other element of both parties coalition’s they got a set of demands, you know, if Republican gets elected president, they got to sit down with the gun advocates, and big business, and evangelical Christians, and they’ve all got an agenda. And they all say, this is what we want. You need to, you know, keep talking to us, your entire four years, you’re in the White House, we’ve got legislation, we want you to pass, we’ve got all these things we want you to do. And if you don’t do it, four years from now, you might not get the help that we gave you this last time. And rural Americans formed the one of the core foundations of the Republican Party, and they have no demands. They’re not even sitting at that table. And so why should they why should Republicans bother to to make any kind of changes that might actually

Thomas Schaller 53:34
change their lives? And who’s more insulting there’s an old saying in DC that in DC, people stab you in the front and look you right in the eye with a nice smile and jab it right between your ribs. So who’s more insulting us, me and Paul, who are telling you some hard truths, or Ted Cruz who go who represents a state that has the most counties 254, the vast majority of which are rural and many of them, not all of them are at 85 90% way. When Ted Cruz goes on and says My pronouns are kiss my ass. What he is saying is that all I gotta do is this performative politics. And these Elmo morons are gonna vote for me, I’m sorry to use that language. But that’s the view of he’s sitting in Joe Steakhouse, which is where all I saw Mark Meadows six months after January 6, sit in one table over right eating a $65, ribeye, and a $20 cocktail. And Ted Cruz is laughing because he’s like, I don’t have to deliver a damn thing for these people. All I got to do he loved he in many ways. Then a year later, he did this whole thing about they’re trying to limit me to two beers. And you know what I say to those people, they can kiss my Ted Cruz wants people’s faces in his ass, which I think is weird. By the way, there’s a lot of homoerotic stuff right and right, like you see the flag. Colin Kaepernick is disrespecting the flag, but you go to a Trump rally. And there’s a US flag with Trump’s face with the Rambo. bandana. And then superimposed on the RAMBo new torso from Nike, right? Yeah, that’s like this, as Tina Fey said you know greater than than the volleyball Cenotaph. gone. And then of course, for all the criticism of drag queens. We know, we know from John Bolton Trump’s National Security Adviser who meets with the president every day, except he’s he’s golfing, that Donald Trump spends 25 minutes a day on his makeup and 90 minutes on his hair. That’s almost two hours. That’s more time that my niece has spent getting ready for the prom. And there’s only two kinds of an American two hours a day getting ready for their big performance Donald Trump and drag queens.

Mark Agee 55:28
I want to go I want one of the things I was really excited to ask you about because it’s a personal hobby horse of mine was truck commercials. Alright, I have ranted about truck commercials on the show so much and to see my own tank reflected back at me like it was smart. I just wanted to say thank you. Please give me your take on truck commercials.

Paul Waldman 55:47
Oh, I find pickup trucks so fascinating. Once I started to delve into this, it’s just like, I’m seeing this everywhere. It’s a real way that kind of these notions of rural masculinity that have really disappeared in people’s actual lives still get expressed through trucks. So you know, do you know what the what the three most best selling vehicles in America are? Ford F 150. The Chevy Silverado and the Ram pickup every single year, and fewer and fewer people need to actually pick stuff up. They’re not towing and hauling. And these these things now, they used to be kind of a mark that you maybe were a laborer, or you know, you were like a blue collar person. And now you go to some places like we’ve reported from the hill country of Texas, you know, we had a rental car. I think I think sedans may be illegal in that ARP areas. Every single car on the road is a pickup, and they are just gleaming and the you know, there are models that f150 that started right at $5,000 This is a luxury vehicle but it’s being sold through all those commercials as something where you can you can get that piece of masculinity you know, you can haul and tow and be like like that that famous Superbowl commercial that use the Paul Harvey thing about God made a farmer, you can a little bit like that farmer now less than 1% of Americans are farmers now. But you can be a little bit like that farmer You can be strong and capable, and compassionate and competent. And all those things that we associate with rural masculinity. And I got to do is spend 100k on this on this really nice truck and

Thomas Schaller 57:19
then complain about economic anxiety and gas prices right? And then

Mark Agee 57:24
also, what happened to like light picking like a Toyota light pickup was good enough to have the Taliban defeat the US military. I think it’s good enough for the rest of us.

Paul Waldman 57:33
I gotta stay you know what I got my eye on is that Ford Maverick it’s a small pickup they should make more of those and it comes with a hybrid because I’m in northeastern liberal elitist and that’s what I want for me.

Mark Agee 57:42
I want to point out you just mentioned the same like the Sam Elliott narrated truck commercials and I thought like you missed a observation there that’s want to point out to you, but Sam, like it’s sort of like a meta thing that seems sort of makes the drives the point home. Sam Elliott has made his living as an actor playing a cowboy and voicing truck commercials about how tough it is to be a cowboy and get up Sam Elliott is from fucking Portland, Oregon. That’s what

Trae Crowder 58:09
some of your smart I’ve been watching the comments you got some smart followers on this. I’m saying that and that’s not pandering. They said Jason Aldean from a big town you know who’s just from a small town of 7000 people in North Georgia little NAS x right. He’s more rural than and, and Kid Rock who was born in the suburbs to like a rich car dealer car dealership. Yeah, couldn’t rural rock they’re posers man. And you know, at least the phonic is my personal little thing because I live in upstate New York and I spent a lot of time one of your one of your viewers said they just climbed Whiteface mountain a couple of weeks ago, which is insane. In the middle of winter, they call them winter 46 hours and 46 weeks, about 40 about 4000 feet. I’ve got 23 of them about halfway there, including my face. And Elise Stefanik. I know a lot about her. She grew up in Albany. I grew up in OB, I went to bethlen Central public school. She went to Albany Academy for girls where they wear uniforms and it’s a $10,000 a year whatever it was, and she’s I went to SUNY Plattsburgh got kicked out finished at a SUNY Oswego because I had two siblings behind me that my parents are trying to put through college, she went to Harvard, right, and then she worked for Paul Ryan in Washington. And then she decides to run and the district that’s available is up in the Adirondack North Country. And so she runs from her home and willsboro which is her parents second summer home. Now imagine if I did that. Imagine if I had gone to a private school and Harvard and ran for my parents summer school as a liberal Democrat, they would have crucified me, but it’s okay. For her. Yeah, you know what? I was your carpet banger.

You fuckers. You’re all right. You know. Like a lot. And I know, I know how titles work with books, like I said, but still, I saw the book title and again, I couldn’t help it. I was like, I don’t know how this is gonna go. But I like you guys. On that note, thank you so much for joining us. Before you go. Do that. Sell the book, tell them where they can get the book where you want them to get the book and leave any parting thoughts. You can

Thomas Schaller 1:00:00
go to white world And it has links to every seller from Amazon on down. So just buy it where it’s cheapest because there’s a lot of money there. Okay, as little as possible.

Trae Crowder 1:00:10
Right? I love it. All right, Tom shower and Paul Waldman. Thank you guys so much. We appreciate it fellas. y’all next time. All right. Skewers. That was it. It was fun. Right? I liked it. I hope you liked it too. We’re out of time. We’re gonna get out of here, but we’ll remind you real quick. Go to Trey Get your tickets. Come see me out there on the road and support the show on Patreon weekly Or look my name up on Patreon. Get some more skews in your life and support the show in the process. Main thing is you keep watching this air main show and we’ll keep doing it. We’ll see you next skeeves day. Love you. Bye

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