What made Morrison County the most pro-Trump place in Minnesota?

Dustin Simmonds
Dustin Simmonds

Dustin Simmonds knows all too well how tough things were for Hillary Clinton on Election Day in rural Morrison County, Minnesota, located about 100 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Simmonds, 25, was the county’s Democratic candidate for state representative. But even he couldn’t persuade his parents to vote for Clinton.

“It was a surprise for me that my father would support Trump,” said Simmonds, “My dad historically was a Democrat.”

A retiree and former member of the Electrical Workers Union, Simmonds’ father, Randy, supported Democrats like President Barack Obama and Rep. Rick Nolan in the past. Yet in 2016, he broke for Donald Trump and the Republicans, casting only one vote for a Democrat – his son.

Simmonds’ mother, Margaret, voted for Obama twice only to spurn the Democratic standard-bearer this year. A retired nurse and homemaker, she liked Bernie Sanders, so she wrote him in.

The Simmondses are two of the roughly 2,500 voters in Morrison who typically vote Democratic but who rejected Clinton. In the final tally, 73.7 percent of the county’s votes went for Trump, compared with 20.7 percent for Clinton, a whopping margin of 53 points.

Morrison County, Minnesota

The percentage of Morrison residents who voted for Trump — and his margin of victory there — were the highest in the state. The total number of votes won by Clinton was the lowest won by a Democratic presidential nominee in the county in 92 years. 

Though Morrison was decidedly the most pro-Trump county in the state, high margins of victory for Trump were part of a pattern seen across Greater Minnesota that made the state competitive in a presidential election for the first time since 1984.

‘Jobs, jobs, jobs’

Little Falls, the county seat and home to a quarter of Morrison’s almost 33,000 residents, is akin to a working-class Stillwater. Both are riverside towns. But in place of Stillwater’s high-end boutiques and trendy restaurants, Little Falls’ historic district has thrift shops and bars with tap beers at $2.50 a pint.

The area was once an important cog in the state’s logging and paper industries, then a hub for boat manufacturers. But the shuttering of the mills and the boat factories over the past two decades has left it without a clear economic identity.

In January 2009, as Barack Obama was taking office for his first term as president, unemployment peaked in Morrison at nearly 14 percent.

Not quite eight years later, as voters readied to cast their ballots in a new presidential election, unemployment in Morrison had dropped to almost 4 percent. But in spite of marked statistical improvement under Obama, many voters weren’t impressed. 

“We’ve got huge underemployment,” said state Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, borrowing a favorite qualifier from his party’s leader.

For Kresha, who won re-election to a fourth term over Simmonds, the primary reason for Trump’s resounding victory is “jobs, jobs, jobs.” The unemployment numbers aren’t reflective of the economic situation in which many residents are mired. Many of the jobs that are available are part time or don’t offer the kind of pay or benefits that workers enjoyed in the past.

Debora Boelz, president of the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, sees things a little differently. According to her, many local businesses are struggling to find employees. She cites the example of a local manufacturer, Airborn, which has advertised job openings in locations as far away as Chicago.

“These are $60,000- to $75,000-a-year jobs,” said Boelz.

To Boelz, the problem is not one of a lack of jobs, but of a lack of people willing and able to fill open positions. Too many people prefer part-time positions that allow them to maintain their eligibility for government benefits, she said, while others need training that would qualify them for positions such as those that were available at Airborn.

‘Obamacare, it sucks’

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, is another issue that has sharply divided the community.

On one side are people who have seen their insurance premiums spike to unaffordable levels. On the other side are people whose friends or family members would be unable to obtain insurance were it not for the provision in the law that requires insurers to provide coverage to all regardless of pre-existing conditions.

At the West Side Bar in Little Falls, a debate between Wayne and Karen Hansmen and Caroline Randell, a spry woman with an old-fashioned perm, was emblematic of the split.

For Randell, 85, the issue is a matter of simple economics.

“Obamacare, it sucks,” she said. Her own health insurance premium has gone up $21 a month, she explained, but her nephew’s has climbed even higher: $800 a month — and with a $10,000 deductible.

“How is he going to pay that?” she asked.

Little Falls, the county seat
Wikimedia Commons/Dustin Simmonds
Little Falls, the county seat and home to a quarter of Morrison’s almost 33,000 residents, is akin to a working-class Stillwater.

The Hansmens, retirees who visit the bar for the coffee and conversation, know how important the ACA has been to members of their family.

“Our daughter-in-law has Crohn’s disease. She’s uninsurable,” said Karen, adding that her husband’s nephew’s wife has been fighting cancer for 10 years, making her uninsurable as well.

According to Boelz, who co-owns the West Side Bar with her husband Jeff Tschida, “There are people like my husband and I who are self-employed. … We were part of the 6 to 7 percent that got the increase bump. So, literally, my whole salary goes to pay for health insurance. And unfortunately that’s not unusual. It seems to be more of the norm here.”

“I was getting six to eight calls a week of people seeing 30 to 40 percent increases on their health insurance,” said Kresha. He believes that although no more than 7 percent of people statewide purchase their health insurance on the individual market, it’s a higher percentage in Morrison due to a larger amount of people who are self-employed.

What the ACA has achieved beyond a doubt is that, in the eyes of many voters, it shifted blame for rising health care costs from private health insurers to the government, regardless of who or what is actually responsible. 

‘Not a woman’s job’

Roman Witucki, 73, and Cathy Adamek, 68, two self-described members of the Democratic “old guard,” believe that gender played a role in Clinton’s lackluster showing.

“People I talked to, Democrats, would never vote for [Clinton] because she’s a woman,” said Witucki. For him, Clinton’s gender was the “main factor in Morrison County.”

Adamek recalled overhearing a conversation in the parking lot of a grocery store in town in which two women were saying that the presidency was “not a woman’s job.”

Several residents recounted similar conversations with family and neighbors in the county.

Not surprisingly, no one that MinnPost spoke with admitted to being motivated by Clinton’s gender to vote against her. It is noteworthy, however, that no woman currently serves in elected office in Little Falls higher than the school board.

Something that all agreed upon was that Morrison is a socially conservative county.

In the late 1800s, the area was heavily settled by German, Polish and French-Canadian Catholics. Today, the local diocese, with a convent, several schools and towering steeples across the county, maintains a dominating and outspoken presence. Priests are known to warn against voting for a pro-choice candidate from the pulpit.

Overall, Morrison’s graying electorate is more concerned about abortion and gun rights than issues championed by the national Democratic Party, such as equality for the LGBT community or people of color. “We’re still a very socially conservative community that doesn’t agree with New York values,” said Kresha.

At the main grocery store in Little Falls, the periodical rack holds 37 magazines dedicated to guns or hunting. Not one is dedicated to current events.

An early October surprise

As Trump was ramping up his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric in an effort to win Republican primaries, the first Somali-American families moved into Little Falls, enrolling seven children in the local schools. 

With over 97 percent of residents identifying as white in the county, and most of those as Christian, the arrival of black, Muslim families raised more than a few eyebrows. 

Rumors started flowing almost immediately about an oncoming deluge of over a thousand refugees, including one that claimed a new housing development under construction was destined to house all the newcomers.

Adamek, who aside from being a Democratic activist is a retired teacher and current school board member, said the rumors became so vitriolic that “we had people coming to the superintendent’s office demanding to see the prayer room.”

But there was no prayer room.

Eventually, the superintendent had to go on the local radio station to quell the unrest. Not all were convinced.

With a major party candidate stoking fears about Muslims, and groups like the Central Minnesota Tea Party hosting anti-Muslim speakers locally, it was akin to swimming against the current.

On Aug. 7, two adult, white males allegedly showed up at the residence of one of the Somali-American families and told a woman living there that if her family didn’t leave town, the men were going to burn down the house.

Although a police report was filed, no arrests have been made. According to the Little Falls police department, the report was forwarded to the FBI for investigation as a possible hate crime.

Then, on Sept. 17, Dahir Adan, a Somali-American, attacked shoppers at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, a short drive from Morrison’s southern border. If some in the community were on the fence about whether Muslims posed a security threat, that incident was likely a tipping point.

“It definitely scared a lot of people,” said Simmonds. “There were people from Little Falls who were there at the time.”

No doubt the incident played right into Trump’s hand, and delivered an unwelcome early-October surprise for Clinton at a local level.

On the stone façade of the American National Bank along the town’s main avenue, shadows of the word German can faintly be made out to the left of another word, American. The name was changed during World War I when being German became unpopular, an irony not lost on many in the community. 

‘What have you got to lose?’

When making his case for the presidency to African-American voters, Trump notoriously quipped, “What have you got to lose?”

Among his intended audience, Trump’s message fell largely upon deaf ears. But for white, working-class voters who have been struggling since the Great Recession or before, it resonated.

Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls, said that he spoke with many Trump supporters who weren’t enthusiastic about their candidate, but who “just figured, what the heck. It’s four years. Let’s try something new.”

Indeed, residents who were effusive in their support for Trump seemed few and far between when MinnPost visited. On the other hand, those who were passionate about their distaste for Clinton were bountiful.

Rep. Kresha concurred. “[Voters] disliked Hillary more than they thought Trump would fix things,” he said. “People just wanted a change.” 

The lesson of 1924

The last time a Democratic presidential nominee suffered such a crushing defeat in Morrison, the year was 1924, and the unlucky candidate was John W. Davis. A former congressman, ambassador and solicitor general from West Virginia, Davis secured the requisite two-thirds majority vote on ballot 103 after the withdrawal of the two frontrunners.

Robert M. La Follette Sr., a Republican senator from Wisconsin, was disenchanted with what he saw in the two major party nominees. For him, both candidates were conservatives with similar platforms in favor of limited government and less regulation. So he entered the race as the presidential nominee for the Progressive Party, a coalition of liberal Democrats and Republicans.

La Follette Sr. ran on a platform that was anti-war. He also called for the nationalization of railroads and utilities, the regulation of corporations, stronger labor laws, and increased protection of civil liberties. He won Morrison by a margin of almost six points over Coolidge, who coasted to victory nationally thanks to a chasm between conservative and liberal Democrats.

The parallels between the 1924 election and 2016 are clear. Whereas Sanders was viewed by many of Morrison’s voters as a modern-day La Follette Sr., Clinton was seen as a corporate Democrat, not a champion of the working class.

Eric Smith, 38, who voted for Trump after voting for Obama twice said, “I always think of the Democrats as the people that think about the little guys, the small town workers, and that’s why I usually vote Democrat because they think about the small business owners. Not so much lately.”

Smith’s friend Sean Andersen, 45, a Republican, summed up the sentiment shared across party lines in Morrison. “Bernie Sanders would have been a game changer, had he beat Clinton,” he said. “… I think there would be a Democrat in the White House.”

A self-proclaimed “Second Amendment kind of guy,” Andersen added that although he wouldn’t have voted for Sanders, “I wouldn’t have been bummed out about” the Vermont senator reaching the White House, either.

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Comments (68)

  1. Submitted by Patrick Tice on 12/05/2016 - 10:48 am.

    Voting against self-interest

    There is going to be some serious buyer’s remorse in Morrison County when Trump supporters realize how they’ve been conned into supporting an administration that is going to do exactly what they don’t want.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/05/2016 - 04:49 pm.

      And That Would Be?

      And how has HRC and the other corporate Dems shown they’re on the side of the little guy?

      Was it by having corporate lobbyists secretly negotiate free trade deals that always further corporate interests and never seem to work out for the little guy?

      Was it by standing by quietly while the labor movement died a slow death, until the GOP quickened the pace after the 2010 elections?

      Was it by telling us that a $15/hour minimum wage was a bridge too far, and that we should settle for $12?

      Was it by not pushing for a public option for the ACA?

      Was it by hob-nobbing with Wall Streeters?

      Oh yeah, those corporate Dems, always fightin’ for the little guy. Paul Wellstone acolytes they aren’t.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 12/05/2016 - 08:16 pm.

        Corporate Dems

        That $12 seems pretty nice given that we’re stuck at $7.25 for the next 4 years, if the minimum wage doesn’t get eliminated altogether.

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/06/2016 - 09:16 pm.

          My Point

          Was that if HRC had been bolder, such as favoring a $15/hour minimum wage, maybe she would have motivated Democrats to turn out.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/07/2016 - 09:38 am.

          That $12 would have come down to $8…

          Clinton has never been a strong advocate of living wages, she compromised down to $12 from $15 before getting a single vote. By the time she got anything passed it we’d be lucky if we got $8.

      • Submitted by Nick Foreman on 12/06/2016 - 05:03 pm.

        Just pick the

        Republicans Frank. Don’t open your mouth when social security and Medicare disappear!

        • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/06/2016 - 09:19 pm.

          Do You Recall

          When Obama floated a plan to cut Social Security?

          Don’t count on corporate Dems to protect Social Security or Medicare.

  2. Submitted by Kim Munholland on 12/05/2016 - 11:25 am.

    urban/rural differences

    As a despised, educated member of the urban elite, it is clear the degree to which our out state neighbors despise the Twin Cities and the near suburbs, even though the balance of our tax payments pays for rural subsidies. More evidence of how much not just the country but Minnesota suffers from a deep and irreparable urban/rural split.

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 12/05/2016 - 01:33 pm.

      President Obama would

      tell you that you didn’t build that, you are just lucky and happen to be in a geographic area that produces wealth at a greater pace than rural areas. It’s as if metro liberals believe they invented the state economy and work harder than folks in rural area.You are just paying your “fair share”. Sound familiar?

      • Submitted by Anne Jones on 12/06/2016 - 02:12 am.

        Old memes never die…..

        Just can’t let this one go without a response. President Obama never said “you didn’t build that”. In a speech in July 2012, running for re-election, he said, in emphasizing what we do together, that if you were successful, you probably had some help. You had a great teacher somewhere in your life, or you benefited from this great American system, that helped you thrive. Somebody (the public) invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that (the roads and bridges). Government research created the internet that all businesses can use to make money. He went on to say that we succeed because of individual initiative but also because of what we do together–services like fire departments, programs like the GI Bill after WW II, great infrastructure projects like the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That we are one people who rise or fall together as one nation and one people, that we are in this together.

        The GOP took a phrase out of context and built their whole convention that year on slamming President Obama as anti-business and anti-individual achievement. The President had already said in another speech in Jan 2011, that our free enterprise system drives innovation but that we shouldn’t forget that scientists and inventors working for the Federal government do a lot of basic research, which is turned over to corporate interests to develop into products, providing lots of great jobs and profit. It’s reasonable for corporate America to support the government with tax money but this seems to get lost. My comment on that is that our publicly funded land-grant universities also do a lot of research, much of it published and made available for development–some with financial arrangements with private corporation–but most of it publicly funded through grants.

        This is a long post but I have to ask where it’s written that “metro liberals” think they “invented the state economy” and work harder. Like most of the country, Minnesota was largely rural until the industrial revolution. Immigrants settled on farms, provided workers in the mines, in logging and mills, on the railroad. We’ve seen lots of development in the health care industry in the state, especially in the last half of the 20th century. Northern Minnesota’s tourist industry is a treasure but is also dependent on weather, the overall economy, and is characterized by lower paying jobs common to the hospitality industry. We have some fabulous educational institutions but they could be more affordable.

        Everyone works pretty hard, as they are able. I think people in all parts of the state contribute, including new immigrants. I’m willing to pay my fair share in taxes. I just ask that we pay attention to getting corporate interests to contribute their fair share as they benefit greatly from what we all provide and fund, including public education, infrastructure, a stable currency, the civil court system to enforce contracts, public services including fire and police, and so on. We’ve had a tax code since the Reagan era that rewards the investor class and taxes workers’ wages at a higher rate using the “job creator” rationale. It is consumers who create jobs so we would be better off to improve wages and tax wealth.

        Factory farms have put small farmers out of business and are terrible for both the environment and the food system. The cost of health care and insurance are unsustainable for individuals, families, and small businesses. Three areas of economic development and jobs that could have taken off under President Obama, had we not had insurmountable obstruction from the GOP in Washington, and in our state under Pawlenty and with a GOP majority in the House, are renewable energy technology, expanding public education, and health care. It is a conservative ideology that resists moving forward on renewable energy and pushes to privatize education and health care under the guise of “choice” that holds us back from making the public investments that would help broader segments of the population to thrive. We need to address the corrosive influence of money on politics and policy.

        The President has tried hard to make the case for what we do together. I would like to see us take on the so-called urban/rural divide by working on priorities that make sense depending on the needs of the people in all parts of the state. Greater MN needs expanded broadband access, updated water treatment facilities, economic development, senior housing, and the like. The metro needs transit, affordable housing, support for inner city schools. Everyone needs a living wage, affordable health care, education, a secure future. We all need to care about the planet. We can be one state.

        • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/07/2016 - 12:23 pm.

          Fake News

          Are you saying Tim was a victim of a false news story, Anne?

        • Submitted by Ginny Martin on 12/11/2016 - 02:46 pm.

          Your comments

          I couldn’t agree with you more, Ann. Everything you say is true. I have trouble understanding the obstacles the republicans keep roll into place on all of these needs. And I have even more trouble understanding how it is that so many people do not understand why things are happening to them and why republicans will never save them.

  3. Submitted by Anne Jones on 12/05/2016 - 12:17 pm.

    The Rural/Urban Divide

    The disparity in interests between parts of the state, that seem to mirror regional differences across the country, have been created and magnified by conservatives for political advantage. Continuing to reinforce the culture wars, while ridiculing the needs of urban areas for such things as transit and gun violence prevention, ignores the reality that, as Kim notes above, as the metro goes, so goes greater MN. If we have money in the general fund, due largely to urban prosperity, that money is available for local government aid. We don’t do a good job of explaining any of this. I don’t hear people in the metro complaining about that. It seems that this resentment comes from greater MN, encouraged by the GOP. I grew up in rural MN and have lived in Mpls. my entire adult life. I had a chance to be in my old district this fall campaigning for my brother who ran for state House. Very challenging.

  4. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 12/05/2016 - 12:37 pm.

    Conned???

    It never ceases to amaze me how insulting Clinton supporters are towards anyone who voted for Trump. I’m sorry, but most of us knew EXACTLY what we were voting for (and against).

    Trump was a wild card. A loose canon. A bull in a china shop. But the best and only chance to get some real change to a corrupt and completely dysfunctional political system.

    Clinton was a political hack who promised 4 more years of the same BS.

    So far things are turning out pretty well. How refreshing to see Trump call up some CEOs and do some serious arm twisting to keep jobs in the US. The last Democrat who knew how to do that was Lyndon Johnson.

    • Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 12/05/2016 - 02:17 pm.

      What

      exactly is the BS. The lowest unemployment in a decade, (BS right), a housing market back in pretty much full swing (more BS right), a stock market at it highest ever (even more BS right).

    • Submitted by Henk Tobias on 12/05/2016 - 07:40 pm.

      Thanks for the laugh…

      “…do some serious arm twisting to keep jobs in the US.”

      Yeah, he twisted Carrier’s arm with his, small, left hand and handed them 7,000,000.00 tax payer dollars with his soft, never calloused, right hand.

      He’s probably one of the most corrupt “business” men in the country and now you put him in a position to become one of the most corrupt politicians in the world.

      If you don’t want people insulting you, stop doing stupid things.

    • Submitted by Curt Carlson on 12/06/2016 - 09:04 am.

      Exactly?

      The point stands: Trump voters had no idea what they were voting for, since his positions on virtually every issue varied from day to day, or minute to minus, depending on who he was talking to or what shiny thing attracted his attention. If you read the newspapers, every day you will see the evidence of this uncertainty: businesses and world leaders have no idea what to expect from a Trump administration. The idea that any change is good is so simple-minded and infantile that it hardly needs refuting. No one with any sense or integrity can call the confederacy of dunces Trump appears to be assembling around him “refreshing.”

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/06/2016 - 12:26 pm.

      Serious Arm Twisting!

      Where to begin?

      Is it the President’s job to micromanage the economy to the extent of trying to save maybe 1000 jobs?

      How much influence does the President have over state tax policy, like the tax breaks given to Carrier?

      At a rate of 1000 jobs per bout of arm twisting, how long would it take to get back even 1 million manufacturing jobs?

      How many jobs are really being saved here? The CEO of United Technologies (Carrier’s parent company) let slip that the Indiana factories are going to be modernized, so the jobs that are staying here are going to be phased out by automation.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/07/2016 - 12:27 pm.

      Con Job

      It looks like Trump conned the people who voted for him. Rather than representing change, he’s doubling down with more of the same by appointing industry insiders to his cabinet, coupled by people who have zero experience in government functions.

      I’m all for change, but this guy is fixing your car by dumping gasoline on it and lighting it on fire after he’s stolen your tires.

  5. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 12/05/2016 - 01:19 pm.

    There is no there there

    OK, it is pretty clear that many of the Trump voters from Morrison county are not well grounded in reality.

    Reduction of unemployment from 14% to 4% – not good enough. And this is because people only have part time jobs? Let’s see. Who made that decision? Business or Obama? And what do people in most rural places do when they have a part time job? Find a second part-time job. Talk to a farmer – he often has the farm, but takes a second job to pay the bills have a better life.

    This is a normal thing today in America, particularly rural America, because of how business operates – minimize pay to maximize profit. Loyalty to employees is a rare thing.

    The great threat of a few Somali families moving into the community. And who experienced the hate crime? They did, with no apparent widespread community sympathy. In the county proper, who was the last person to commit a burglary, rape, or murder – I’m guessing a white guy. Could be wrong, but where are the threats? Perhaps the priest, coach or scout leader who is a little too friendly to your children.

    Finally, the idea what women aren’t to be chosen for leaders. Not surprising, as in national polls, close to 50% agree with this sentiment. Call is what it is – SEXISM. You know, it isn’t that white men as Presidents have consistently produced great results – Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. – not an greatly impressive group. For the last eight years, white male Republicans have been deeply offended by our president, and the thought of having a white woman be next – just too much for them to handle.

    From what I’ve observed, places like Morrison County have a high quality of life, with most people who live there being very blessed. Perhaps they just need 4 years of the inanity and insanity that is Donald Trump to start counting their blessings!

  6. Submitted by joe smith on 12/05/2016 - 02:21 pm.

    Conned II????

    After 8 years of you can keep your Doctor, average families will save 2,500, the economy is better than you know (pissing off every person working 2 jobs trying to make up a good job lost), Wall Street bailouts, 1% doing better than ever past 8 years, Mid East on fire- folks were looking for a “”new con”… The old “con”being promised to continue with HRC for 4 more years had run its course.

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 12/05/2016 - 03:25 pm.

      folks were looking for a “”new con”

      Perhaps you’re right. Certainly not just a “new” con, but a “huge” con.

    • Submitted by John Clouse on 12/11/2016 - 09:01 pm.

      Two jobs

      The need to hold two jobs started with Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers and decimating the Unions in the USA.
      Unions get good wages for unskilled workers.
      Technology produces good wages for educated and skilled workers.
      In “What’s the Matter With Kansas” the proposition was laid out that voters don’t vote for their own self-interests but are swayed by bogus political arguments.
      Republicans had a fit thinking they could be under the control of a Black man and really hated the prospect of being subject to a female President.
      That’s the bottom line and the Trumpets fell for it.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/12/2016 - 08:17 am.

        Buy American

        More important than Reagan’s actions were those of the American consumer.

        In the late 70’s and early 80’s they were tired of high prices, poor offerings and low quality from the American / Union companies. And many started buying elsewhere. If you doubt this look that the trade deficit/surplus history.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/05/2016 - 02:31 pm.

    Who knew?

    …that when I moved in 2009 to Minnesota, which appeared to be a sensible and rational state with a mildly progressive population, I was instead moving to the South Carolina of 1952?

    The next 4 years may provide those outstate voters with an object lesson in why you should be careful what you wish for.

    Nothing I’ve seen so far from the Trump administration bodes well for the people who voted for His Orangeness. That doesn’t make them stupid, but it does make them mistaken. Calling a CEO and bribing a company with tax breaks to keep half the threatened jobs in the U.S. (for an undisclosed length of time) doesn’t represent progress or the interests of American workers beyond those few hundred jobs. It DOES represent “crony capitalism” at its worst, and even Sarah Palin recognizes that.

    What this piece shows, in microcosm, is that “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” could just as easily be “What’s the Matter with Morrison County?” Racism, xenophopia, and sexism seem to be among the core values of Morrison County, and those are not characteristics to be proud of, especially in an area with as strong an ethnic and immigrant heritage as it seems to have.

    • Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 12/05/2016 - 05:45 pm.

      “… the main grocery store in Little Falls, the periodical rack holds 37 magazines dedicated to guns or hunting. Not one is dedicated to current events.”

      You should have checked the magazine rack before you moved here, Ray

  8. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 12/05/2016 - 03:29 pm.

    I Would Guess

    The real reason there weren’t that many people effusive in their praise for Trump is that it must be sobering to realize you’re backing a racist and a mysoginist of the first order. The “Woe is Me” and “I’ll Show Those Elites” is simply a cover for many.

  9. Submitted by John Appelen on 12/05/2016 - 04:40 pm.

    Facts and Data

    Minnpost created an interesting tool awhile back.

    https://www.minnpost.com/data/2013/08/which-minnesota-cities-will-receive-largest-lga-payouts

    Please note that it is the GOP controlled Burbs that are supporting the folks in the other cities. And as a citizen of Plymouth, you are all welcome. Those of you who live in Minneapolis/St Paul and those who live in Little Falls.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/05/2016 - 08:42 pm.

      Sort of true

      To the degree that “…the GOP controlled Burbs…are supporting the folks in the other cities,” I’m happy to acknowledge that fact. For the most part, those ‘burbs get less LGA funding than either the Twin Cities or Little Falls. Why is that? Partly it’s because the ‘burbs in question are considerably wealthier per capita than either the Twin Cities or Little Falls, and since we’re all in this together (“Your end of the boat is sinking” doesn’t really work very well as either economic or political philosophy), it makes sense – based on past legislative initiatives to spread both the wealth and the tax burden in Minnesota – that relatively little LGA funding goes to the more affluent communities. For the most part, those communities are not only more affluent, they’re also newer, having developed in recent decades. That means they have lower expenses for infrastructure, as well as newer housing stock, and, on a per-capita basis they sometimes have a broader tax base, though that doesn’t work across the board. Bedroom communities, a term that characterizes quite a few ‘burbs, generally struggle to pay their own way, since fewer tax dollars are usually raised from residential roofs than are raised from industrial or commercial roofs.

      So, thanks for helping out, ‘burbs, but we ARE all in this together, and we all do better when we all do better, to paraphrase a popular Minnesota politician.

    • Submitted by Randle McMurphy on 12/05/2016 - 11:35 pm.

      Per Plymouth’s wikipedia page:

      “Plymouth is an independent district currently represented by state senators Terri Bonoff (D), Ann Rest (D) and Ron Latz (D). Plymouth’s state representatives are Ryan Winkler (D), Lyndon Carlson (D) and Sarah Anderson (R). Plymouth is located in Minnesota’s 3rd congressional district, which is represented by Erik Paulsen (R). Minnesota’s Congressional senators are Amy Klobuchar (D) whom Plymouth voted for overwhelmingly, and Al Franken (D). Barack Obama carried Plymouth in 2008 and 2012.”

      I realize this is somewhat out of date, but it’s nonetheless evident that Plymouth is hardly a Republican bastion.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/06/2016 - 08:58 am.

        Diverse

        No question there. East Plymouth is very different from West Plymouth.

        For those who are unaware, ~1/3 of Plymouth is in Robbinsdale school district (my district) and ~2/3 is in the Wayzata school district. (which should probably be called the Plymouth school district due to student count and land area)

        The point remains though that the affluent burbs often vote GOP, and they are the donors to the LGA fund from which most of the other communities benefit.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/06/2016 - 07:44 pm.

      OK John I bit!

      My micro sample Minneapolis 2014 $198.83 per capita, population 382,578, Minnesota city $194 per capita, population 204, so what was the point trying to be made, that the range is $0.00 for metro cities like Edina and Arden Hills to $606 for Browns Valley population 589? Looks like Mpls is basically right in the middle. You need to provide a (Revenue in vs revenue out)

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/06/2016 - 08:40 pm.

        Point

        My point is a simple one. The Urban Liberals keep implying that they are in some way better than our rural cousins because they receive money from the “Vibrant Metro”. My point is that both Urban and Rural MN actually receive that gift from Suburban MN. And I think the views of the outer burbs are more aligned to those of rural MN, than to urban MN.

        So is it Rural MN who should be thankful for the largess of the metro? or
        Is it Urban MN who should be thankful for the largess of the GOP area citizens?

        I vote for the latter.

        • Submitted by chuck holtman on 12/07/2016 - 08:39 am.

          Maybe it’s theoretically possible to discuss something

          without making it about us vs. them, or making up stories about how urban folk spend their time obsessing about how superior they are to rural folk. Maybe it’s just about what’s true, and what it means for public policy.

          LGA distribution is based on a city’s tax capacity vs. its expenses. Here’s a hypothesis: the urban core receives net LGA because its tax capacity is high but its expenses also are high (serving as the social service hub for new populations and populations of greater need); the suburbs are net contributors into LGA because tax capacity is high and expenses are low; rural communities receive LGA because tax capacity is low.

          If this hypothesis is accurate, it indicates the basic premise that urban areas are drivers of the economy and that regional density is an economically efficient settlement pattern. Both high urban tax capacity and high suburban tax capacity rest on this proposition. And so it also raises again the question of what the route is to economic sustainability for small outstate cities and towns that doesn’t involve giving away hundreds of millions of dollars in public resource wealth to distant corporate interests in exchange for a handful of medium-term jobs and legacy environmental damage.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/07/2016 - 09:21 am.

            Choice

            I think it is pretty simple, just accept that all Minnesotans are reliant on each other, have a right to their beliefs, are important to our State’s quality of life and never bring up who is making or spending what ever again. Not sure why people here want to make it an issue of discussion, just because the rural folks vote their conscience.

            As I noted, should those with money and power rule the State? If so, then the Suburbanites would rule…

            Personally I think we need to collaborate like a big happy diverse family and respect everyone’s views whether we agree with them or not.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/07/2016 - 09:43 am.

              Collaborating Like a Big, Diverse Happy Family

              All well and good, until I read “Not sure why people here want to make it an issue of discussion, just because the rural folks vote their conscience.”

              Are you implying that “voting their conscience” is a uniquely rural phenomenon?

              I am a white male who has been married to the same woman for over 20 years. I voted against the anti-gay marriage amendment as a matter of conscience. I support anti-discrimination laws as a matter of conscience. I support measures to mitigate economic inequality as a matter of conscience.

              Are my “matters of conscience” any less important because I don’t live in a small town? BTW, I lived for years in a small town. The seamy underbelly of rural America is just as seamy as anything in Minneapolis or Plymouth.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/07/2016 - 10:35 am.

                I guess I haven’t seen comments vilifying city dwellers for their vote. I think most Conservatives and myself are fine with you voting your conscience and encourage you to do so. Even if we disagree with you.

                Where as often Liberal folks here and elsewhere make some pretty caustic comments regarding, and apply very negative labels to, rural voters, Trump voters, Conservative voters, etc. And then worse yet, they start to bring money into it… As if they are the ones funding our State…

                Can’t we all just get along? And respect each other?

                • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/07/2016 - 02:09 pm.

                  Ok I’ll bite again

                  Unless we have a $ in vs $ out the idea that the suburbs support the cities and everyone else, is pretty much theory.
                  Interesting “can’t we all just get along and respect each other?” Wasn’t us city folks that took the low road about Mexicans, Islamic Religion, African Americans, Female’s etc. to name a few. so those aren’t/weren’t caustic? “and respect each other?” Seems that argument is backing the candidate that lost!

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/07/2016 - 03:13 pm.

                    Please feel free

                    Well the MinnPost tool makes it pretty clear. The burbs get ZERO LGA and everyone else gets some. So that LGA pie is being funded from somewhere. Looking at the school funding formula would give you more data to back up my theory.

                    Please feel free to identify Conservative comments posted here that in anyway attack those groups, or the people who want to coddle them. I think you will find very few.

                    As for Illegal immigrants, potential Muslim refugees, etc. Please remember that they are not part of the legal US family… And it is a good idea for the family to discuss safety, job impacts, etc with regard to them.

                    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/08/2016 - 09:24 am.

                      Ok !

                      Low income (American Citizens) housed in the burbs vs the city? Should we also look at suburban share of Level III sex offenders, homeless etc? The point that was skated around, that income in the burbs, do we think it is at all generated in the burbs, seems to be a lot of traffic coming into the city every day and leaving every night! Last point, are we not all in inhabitants of Planet Earth (Bucky Fuller) ? Haven’t we been discussing these issues, consistently in DC? So our forefathers and mothers that came here as refugee’s religious, war, economic, etc.should have been turned back as well? There seem to be some cold souls out there, no room at the inn, or room for another plate at the table, guess I’m just not one of them.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/08/2016 - 12:13 pm.

                      Life boats

                      Our low skill low knowledge workers all ready struggle to find good paying jobs, since in part we American Consumers like to buy high quality low cost products from low cost countries.

                      And you want to push the wages down and unemployment up further for our citizens by inviting more people into our life boat?

                      How about we fix our underemployment problems first?

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/08/2016 - 01:20 pm.

                      Compassion

                      No, the country needed people and labor at that time.

                      Now our legal citizens with low knowledge and low skill are have a hard time finding work and/or the compensation is low. In part due to American consumers buying from other countries.

                      Let’s help our poor citizens first, then when wages rise and unemployment drops in those groups… Then we can start helping others.

        • Submitted by Chris Williams on 12/08/2016 - 01:14 pm.

          Overlooked

          What you’re overlooking in the tool, is that while Plymouth might be a suburb, we (hi neighbor!) are also still in Hennepin county and still benefit from the money Minneapolis is contributing to the county. It’s not as if we’re some island out here. I will say though Plymouth east and west are different. 494 seems to be the split. I live down along the southwest border with Wayzata and it’s completely different then say, the neighborhoods by the old 4 seasons mall on the New Hope side.

  10. Submitted by Cornel Culp on 12/05/2016 - 07:31 pm.

    Concerns, not insults from a city boy

    My main concern for rural America now that Trump is going to be President is, if he has his way with trade and threatening of tariffs. He will cause a drop in price for corn and soybeans. His now reported intentional provocation of China could spark this, as China buys 13% of our corn and 28 billion+ in soybeans annually. This will have a devastating effect on an already strained economy in rural America. Believe me China can just grow rice and survive.
    The only thing I can say about the ACA is, after 7 years of the GOPs approach to healthcare is, they finally have to make good on their “repeal and replace” or “repeal and delay” or whatever the new ideological terms they’re using these days. I believe everyone aligned with the GOP or, complaining about the coverage options currently available will get their wish. You won’t have to worry about the cost of premiums, deductibles or, future increases. There will be no more insurance available…problem solved, I guess!?
    Overall, Morrison’s graying electorate is more concerned about abortion and gun rights than issues championed by the national Democratic Party, such as equality for the LGBT community or people of color. “We’re still a very socially conservative community that doesn’t agree with New York values,” said Kresha
    This is the most disturbing comment I’ve read from any MN since Michelle Bachman
    Mr. Kresha, people of Morrison, you just elected a man born, raised and, lives and breaths “New York values”. Don’t believe me, go visit Trump Tower in Manhattan, NY

  11. Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/06/2016 - 10:15 am.

    As John A. has said

    the more affluent tend to vote for the GOP. It’s obvious why since the GOP favors the wealthy. I don’t think the majority of people will like the Trump presidency since he favors the wealthy also. No surprise there. ‘Just 4 years’ can do a decade or more of damage for those walking the thin wire of employment. The minimum wage could disappear, it obviously won’t increase. No new jobs will be coming to a small town near you…or me…or anyone else. It’s a growing trend. Generally a small community could count more LGA, but they don’t want it, right? How crazy is that! We’ll soon know.

    As Cornel C. alluded to, the availability of insurance for those who want it and need it will disappear so those people who dislike Obamacare will have gotten ‘their way’. No President can stop the demise of most American jobs, the source of most available insurance for the most people in the past. That won’t change. Corporations will stop offering to pay for insurance for their workers in the future because to survive, insurance companies will have to continue to raise their rates. Maybe they don’t recognize it but Insurance companies are a threatened species also.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/06/2016 - 11:44 am.

      Buggy Whips

      In the 1900’s would you have been concerned about the future of the buggy whip factories and what their workers were going to do in the changing world?

      The reality is that healthcare costs are high in America because many of us live very unhealthy lifestyles, we want to save everyone no matter the cost and we now have the technology to do so.

      There are challenges coming and it will require every American citizen to be educated and/or skilled, and dedicated to continuous learning. The question is how do hold Parents, Children, Social Services and Educators accountable for accomplishing this?

      I heard an interesting story on NPR this morning. Apparently Indian Americans make up 1% of our country’s population and now own 50% of our hotels/motels. Many of these families came from India not speaking English and yet through education, family relations, saving/investing and hard work they have thrived here. What should we learn from their experience?

      • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 12/06/2016 - 04:56 pm.

        English might not be their first language

        But India has the 2nd largest population of English speakers of any country, an estimated 125 million.

      • Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/07/2016 - 01:54 pm.

        I don’t think that you

        understand what is happening with technology in this and other countries John. Or that the population of the country was a heck of a lot less than it is today and was just beginning to experience the rise of technology as we know it today just before and during the turn of the 20th century.

        We have the technology to save everyone…but you’d rather not want us to use it? That brings up a lot of other ideologies probably best left for another day soon.

        So how do you think we should proceed with educating every American citizen etc? Do we create the jobs then tell them to get a job ‘then’ get educated for them? Get a loan before they have a good job then get an education? If those things work then they should have already worked. So what are those jobs that will serve us in the coming future that won’t be affected by a growing mechanized technology? Inquiring minds want to know!

        Many people from India come here not as poor immigrants but with a family who is well off. That is true of many successful immigrants from other lands too. Americans who’ve grown up here have been taught that one should make it on their own and not rely on others, including family, to give them a hand up. Family size was part of that. Saving money is a great idea but there are lots of pitfalls for the average American too, some that we’ve experienced in the not distant past, such as sudden economic downturns that can and do wipe peoples savings out. In the past an illness, such as cancer, if it strikes a person during an unfortunate time, can wipe a persons or a families savings out. Healthcare costs are part of that and so is that ‘pre-existing condition’ clause that happened to people before Obamacare.

        You, like a lot of folks, will complain that there aren’t enough jobs for people…while saying in a different conversation with a different person that those lazy bums are just looking to live off welfare and should just go get a job! What should we learn from that?

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/07/2016 - 03:33 pm.

          Capabilities

          This looks like a good source.
          http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/12/10/the-top-10-skills-you-need-to-be-successful

          Now how do you think we can improve the USA so all non-cognitive special needs kids have these skills, a sufficient academic capability and a passion for continuous learning?

          Currently our society doesn’t hold irresponsible Parents, Social Services and/or the Public Education system accountable for this, though they receive trillions of dollars in tax dollars each year from the Local, State and Federal level. Hopefully this changes for the good of the unlucky kids who if things continue will find it real hard to stay employed in the future.

          • Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/08/2016 - 10:43 am.

            what you mean

            and that piece means still doesn’t address how a person gets those or any job in a flooded service oriented marketplace. Sales jobs in stores like Target? In a small town in Morrison county? How many people in Morison county can hold a full time job, if they are all educated for them? What will they be paid?

            Now…how do YOU think we can improve the USA so all non-cognitive special needs kids have these skills that they are capable of doing, etc. We have to provide them with the schools to get the skills and not let them depend on themselves to find them. And then provide them with the ability to get to the schools with teachers who can teach them. Then we have to find them jobs they can do.

            “Currently our Society doesn’t hold irresponsible Parents..” etc. You know what a revolving door is. I’d like you to define ‘irresponsible parents’ in terms of educating children.

            We in the US, the States in particular, deal with these problems in vastly different ways. So those ‘trillions of dollars’, in many states, get used for other things like salary increases for government officials, bonuses, road repair sometimes, pay increases, pay increases, bonuses, pay inc…well you get the idea right? But those yearly ‘Trillion dollars’ only trickles some (hardly even near all) down to Social Services and from there to your ‘irresponsible parents’ who have no input to how any money is spent for education. Teachers don’t have much either. The schools that have the most need have no power input or are ignored when asking for better buildings, books etc. So the ‘trillions of dollars’ doesn’t get to Social Services and the educational system where it’s needed most and it looks as if we’ll have other problems with the educational system going forward. Improvements have been made in Minnesota but we are just one state and even we need to improve more.

            Then look at so called ‘Colleges’ like the Minnesota School for Business, Globe University, and Trump University where the barest of minimum of schooling is given per dollars spent by the students. THAT has to change. No recognized school, College, University, or Trade School should be a for profit organization. They will not look to improve the student if it means the organization dropping below a certain profit margin. That margin will not serve the students.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/08/2016 - 12:06 pm.

              Simple

              I have been arguing with my readers what the most basic Parental expectation should be.
              – Child is prepared for kindergarten. (ie socially, behaviorally, physically, academically, etc)
              – Child is fed, washed, rested and their homework is complete when they arrive at school each day.
              – Child can stay in the same school for years at a time.
              – Parent attends conferences and strives to learn how they can help.

              These people made these babies and should be held responsible for raising them successfully. We should not be expecting our education system to be Teachers and “Parents” also.

              Currently we do spend Trillions of dollars per year via government to “fix poverty”. You correctly point out that the systems are wasteful and ineffective. I am happy to try something different.

              As for what they will do with that basic knowledge, motivation, self confidence and skills… Only time will tell.

              • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/08/2016 - 08:59 pm.

                And:

                What do we do when the parents don’t or fail at the responsibility clause? Oliver Twist 101? How are we going to hold them responsible, jail, take away WIC, food stamps, housing vouchers, throw them out in the street, deny them food? Many of these families move 2-3 times a year. Can we restrict their right to move? There seems to be a gigantic over “simple” of how the real world works.

              • Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/10/2016 - 11:57 am.

                Easy to say John

                But how are you going to achieve it?
                How do you hold someone responsible when they can’t afford the basics? Our ‘system’ is only wasteful in that we don’t provide what is necessary for a poverty stricken family to do those things you’ve mentioned.

                Words won’t get it done. What we practice is where we fail. I never said that we spend ‘trillions’ of dollars per year…we don’t. That’s part of the problem. Please read and comprehend more fully please and don’t put words in my ‘writings’. I was paraphrasing you.

                I don’t think you realize what’s happening in this country or why. It’s not something you spend time thinking about, and not something you’ve been closely acquainted with.

                You have to build a society from the bottom up, not the top down. I don’t know what you think poverty is but it’s not something someone can just decide to change. Changing poverty is a whole process, not some outline of what should work. It includes the psychological, the physical, the surroundings, the health, the expectations and the availability of a path to a better life, for starters. Just saying ‘the Parent’ is the answer isn’t saying anything useful.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/09/2016 - 12:27 pm.

      Perspective

      I would change your statement ever so slightly from “the GOP favors the wealthy” to “the perception is GOP favor the wealthy”. You can make a good case that the Democrats favor the wealthy from several points of view.

      The narrative is that the GOP drops taxes for the rich, which is great if you happen to be a one percenter and your perspective begins and ends at me and mine.

      But if you take a broader view of society, you realize that we’re all in this boat together and society shouldn’t be paid for on the backs of the poor and middle class. If instead you increase their stake in society, then they have more wealth with which to buy goods and services.

      The rich will still be rich as they still own the means of production. But there will be a couple more pennies at the bottom end of the scale to make the bulk of society more comfortable.

      • Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/10/2016 - 11:38 am.

        True enough on some points.

        The GOP favors the wealthy…and some of the DNC favor the wealthy, but that has to change…for both parties.

        We are in this boat together. That should be a given. It’s like a pyramid scheme, the top needs a stable base but many in the top tier are ignoring this due to clever accounting. They are going to try to make the base ‘smaller’ by cutting out the bottom tier entirely as a productive part of society. Clever accounting is just a part of economics though and this kind of plan never works out historically speaking. Unfortunately though, it can work for a very long time before it brings itself down.

        The crazy thing about money is that it’s at its most stable when it’s ‘circulated’. Societies are also at their most stable when money is circulated from top to bottom.

  12. Submitted by Bjorn Awel on 12/06/2016 - 12:35 pm.

    Watch

    We should keep track and see how a President Trump addresses the concerns outlined by residents in the article:
    -How to fix some of the insurance costs of the individually insured, and especially those who do not fall within a subsidy qualification
    -How will you provide better jobs to those that are saying there is underemployment?
    -How would you try to train workers in regions like Little Falls to match the well-paying jobs?
    -How will you reduce corporate influence in Washington?

    Will President Trump spend most energy trying to build a wall than solving the above issues. Remember, a President really has only so much steam, and can only tackle a few issues at once. Republicans are already talking about privatizing Medicare, tax cuts for the rich and so forth. Is this what people wanted?

  13. Submitted by Isaac Toenies on 12/06/2016 - 12:48 pm.

    It seems that the Left in this country is incapable of acknowledging that they lost this election on substance. Instead, they claim that Trump won by preying on voters’ fears and appealing to their racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. As a gay Jew from Morrison County, I have never experienced any sort of intolerance from the good people here. The people of my county are not bigots; they’ve just become increasingly isolated from the left-wing ideology that the DFL has embraced.
    MinnPost wasted an opportunity to truly understand why so much of rural Minnesota has abandoned the Democratic party and decided instead to adhere to a tired narrative about ignorant, hateful county bumpkins making uninformed voting choices.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 12/06/2016 - 07:38 pm.

      Congrats

      You evidently have a talent for ignoring the bad in the world around you, it is an admirable trait. Just to be clear, as any person who has spent any amount of time in small town America will tell you, they ARE saying those things about you, they DO feel the same about you as they do about those “others” that they speak about from “other” places. I guess its progress that they don’t say it to your face, but I wouldn’t feel to comfortable in that little victory. I have a sinking feeling that the bad old days are here again.

  14. Submitted by Nick Foreman on 12/06/2016 - 05:13 pm.

    The chairperson of the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

    Says it all in this article: too much work to be educated for jobs; don’t want to loss free gifts from the fed and state govt; just complain and hope for more govt aid. How American?! And to the women who think only men should rule? Don’t even vote!

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/07/2016 - 10:50 am.

    I don’t actually see a big a rural-urban divide

    There’s definitely an racist and sexist tendency of sorts in Morrison Co. but the metro reaction to Black Lives Matter and Somali immigration doesn’t represent an excess of urban toleration.

    Again, if anything what I’m seeing here was deliberate act of political suicide by democrats who simply would not listen to millions of people who told them they would not vote for Clinton. All I’m seeing here is an basic and understandable reaction to an extremely unpopular candidate, and that unpopularity was ALWAYS clear and obvious.

    I look at what these folks are saying and I get it, democrats have failed them so you can’t accuse them of voting against their own best interests. Clinton never produced any kind of compelling agenda that spoke ordinary Americans about serious concerns. Clinton had to be dragged kicking and screaming into a conversation about health care, affordable college tuition’s, and living wages. Clinton had to be moved to the “left” as if these weren’t basic basic basic liberal initiatives. The problem that folks like myself had was that no one has ever seen Clinton really move to the left, she just pretends to during the election and then returns to station afterwards so even if she did jog to the left, once elected it’s likely she would have turned to republicans rather than progressives for “workable” initiatives.

    So while a vote for Trump may not be the smartest vote, it’s perfectly understandable, and it was completely predictable.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/10/2016 - 03:54 pm.

      Not sure:

      What Democrats failed means?
      Its clear you didn’t/don’t like H.Clinton, the right wing did a wonderful hack job on her and it seems you agree.
      What was it again that the Right Wing did to help these folks? A policy vs policy would be nice, also an expected time line? Health care? She clearly said we need to fix it, W/O kicking and screaming, She talked about reducing debt on college, more than once. Teh guy that won: wants to trash healthcare 100
      %, th efolks that voted for him, don’t seem to give 2 spits about college tuition! And just told the union guy in Indiana he is making too much money! Clinton campaigned right, and lost to a fascist right winger, and for some reason the suggestion is that she should have gone farther left? Sorry, this com-mentor is having a very difficult time connecting those dots.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/12/2016 - 08:28 am.

        Connecting dots…

        You need to be grounded in reality to connect dots. If you think there are no legitimate criticisms to be made of Clinton and that up 60% of the American people didn’t like or trust her BEFORE the nomination fight ever started simply because the right wing noise machine was THAT good, reality isn’t a strong suit.

        If you thought the most disliked and distrusted candidate with the worst campaign strategy and biggest pile of baggage tied to multiple controversies new and old, was the ONLY candidate to go with…

        And if you think Clinton’s neo-liberal policies on everything from the health care, to trade deals, to the war on drugs were universally celebrated by ALL Americans… If you think increasing inequality, unaffordable health care, economic stagnation, underemployment, and despair are all warmly welcomed gifts from the neo-liberal bag of tricks…then Yes, you’re going to have a hard time connecting the dots.

        As for the rest of us, we may not like the picture we see when we connect the dots, but the dots done get connected.

        The fact is that neo-liberal democrats (like the Clintons, and Tom Bakk) stalled and rolled back the very liberal policies that would have served voters like those in Morrison County, THAT’S how they failed.

  16. Submitted by Jeffrey McIntyre on 12/08/2016 - 04:11 pm.

    Follow Up Conversation

    It will be interesting to see, in two or four years, if Trump has met their expectations. Based on his proposed cabinet picks, and his choice of “advisors”, I think they might be disappointed. I don’t see this as an administration for “everyman”. I’ll be ok; but I think others….not so much. Good luck Morrison County residents.

  17. Submitted by Ginny Martin on 12/11/2016 - 02:55 pm.

    Trump and expectations

    I doubt that Trump will last 2 or 4 years, Jeffrey. It looks like chaos to me right now and his selections so far, almost without exception, are not fit for their possible jobs — of course,neither is he. I just hope that he doesn’t destroy too much, irrevocably, before he is somehow forced out. Or quits, a la Palin.

  18. Submitted by Dave Paulson on 12/12/2016 - 09:54 am.

    Many Factors and a lot of Simple Thinking

    Let’s not forget how narrow the election was, on the whole.

    All these factors were a part of persuading just enough people to vote against both logic and the known history of Trump, who also lied and made obvious false and grandiose claims every day (unless one actively ignored it).

    Including “not a woman’s job” under bigotry:
    All trump votes were not bigots,
    but all the bigots voted for Trump.

  19. Submitted by Jon Lord on 12/12/2016 - 11:05 am.

    It’s unfortunate

    Most people I know who voted for Trump and or the GOP aren’t normally the type to look beyond hype and gossip. If they want to believe a lie they will without checking to see if it can stand up to scrutiny, even if they know it can’t. That’s the strange beauty of the willful lie. The truth can be ignored.

    They are likely not to read or listen to the mainstream media and will seek out and listen to obviously slanted opinions, newsfeeds etc. because, even though what they hear or read isn’t true, it resonates with what they feel and want to be true.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 12/12/2016 - 11:27 am.

      Both Sides

      Unfortunately I have found that to be true for people on the Left and Right. At give2attain I challenge both sides daily and have seen almost no shift in their views in 6+ years. They spend most of their time receiving news from the sources that resonate with their sense of reality, which of course reinforces their sense of reality… It is an interesting challenge.

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