If you’re familiar with catastrophically incompetent Republican politics and PR doofus Liz Mair at all, first of all I’m so sorry about your brain worms problem. But also, it’s likely you recall her viral Twitter meltdown in January, when she posted an insane, racist gripe about Spanish-speaking people who rudely confuse her by appearing Mongolian(?), then defended it by saying that actually she was making fun of nativists, only doing it in the style of her native British culture, which crude, hyper-sensitive Americans were doing imperialism against by calling her a crazy-eyed racist moron. The important thing there is that Liz Mair is an American, born and raised in Seattle, who lived in the U.K. for 10 of her 40 years of life and came back having acquired the idea that this made her Eliza Doolittle.
Anyway, our pal Liz is back in the news today, with a deeply stupid opinion piece in the New York Times advancing the absurd delusion that the Mountain West—so, like, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona—is supplanting the Rust Belt as the “center of American politics.”
I am not here to engage with the substance of her argument, as that substance does not actually exist and therefore cannot really be engaged with. I am here merely to call your attention to the following passage, about Mountain West voters.
Wait, first let’s set the mood.
Okay here it is:
We’re the ones who didn’t get Mr. Trump’s State of the Union line about fences and love (maybe we all grew up hearing our parents or grandparents singing the old cowboy song “Don’t Fence Me In” too much). Even if we’re liberal, we tend to be less averse to gun rights than the big stars of the Democratic Party. We’re generally not brash like Mr. Trump and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and more quiet-spoken (consider the stereotype of the soft-spoken cowboy). We tend to be more concerned about civil liberties and freedoms and skeptical of government, even if we know it needs to exist and do things. We or our families are people who ditched the rest of the country for the West, so we tend to be a little more sympathetic to immigrants (and hey, a lot of us are immigrants or descended from recent immigrants).
We also tend to be a little disdainful of other parts of America with their pet regional concerns that didn’t and don’t translate perfectly for us. We ourselves are, or are often descended from, pioneers. So we don’t like restrictions on trade or mobility and are simultaneously concerned about preservation of wilderness and the ability to use land to generate income. We are a little more libertarianish than voters in the rest of the country. Everyone who has worked in the region knows this — even if it’s hard to demonstrate with raw data. The fact is, we’re going to be hard to firmly sell on either party as currently constructed. And substantive change isn’t coming quite yet, even if hints of it are on display.
“We”! We we we, all the way home! Liz Mair, the Arlington, Va.-based American from Seattle who sang “Eleanor Rigby” at karaoke one time and decided this made her the Archbishop of Canterbury, would like the readership of the New York Times to know that she is also a rootin’, tootin’, six-gun shootin’ pioneer o’ the heckfirin’ West, a gall-dang high-plains drifter who cain’t relate to the concerns o’ fancy-pants coastal dudes ‘r Rust Belt types. Either that or a week ago she walked into a room where somebody was playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on a PS4 and walked back out 30 seconds later having decided she is Slim Pickens now. How this fits in with her Britishness is an open question; maybe it is like an English Bob type of deal.
I find this very inspiring! I’m a ThunderCat from Third Earth now. You can’t win my crucial swing vote with generic appeals to hardy frontier libertarianism! I have ThunderCat values!!!