Has Rural America Turned on Trump?

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Andrew Caballero-Reyonds/AFP via Getty Images

Covid-19 hot spots continue to spread across rural America. Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C., President
Donald Trump
told lawmakers this week to stop debating proposals for the next federal relief bill. That debate couldn’t be more urgent. Enhanced federal unemployment benefits have expired, while tens of millions remain out of work, facing increasingly precarious financial circumstances. 

At the core of this high-stakes debate is a narrative as American as apple pie: the ideal of “Main Street America” inhabited by the “everyman” who, as the narrative goes, doesn’t want government handouts, they want to work—and government welfare risks luring them into complacency. They’re self-reliant bootstrappers who oppose big government and decline federal assistance. 

This portrait is often deployed by politicians to justify reduced government spending. But it is also a deeply held personal identity for many Americans, especially in rural communities.

But there is

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Opinion | Trump has turned the entire government into a subsidiary of his campaign

But compared to what President Trump and Republicans are doing now, it’s the difference between using the “Take a penny, leave a penny” container at the convenience store and pulling a gun on the cashier, emptying the register, then backing a truck up to the door to steal half the merchandise.

We’ve simply never seen anything like this: a sweeping, comprehensive effort across multiple agencies of government, plus Congress, to find any and every way possible to boost the Trump campaign. The government you and I pay for has become an engine of pro-Trump propaganda — and in the last, desperate days of his campaign, it’s only accelerating.

Here’s some of what they’re doing:

  • Politico reports: “The Trump administration is pressuring Senate Republicans to ratchet up scrutiny of social media companies it sees as biased against conservatives in the run-up to the November election.” Senate Republicans have responded with the
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