DRUM AND JONES—AND US: Ohioans flip from Obama to Trump!


Part 2—The rustics' lament:
Before airing last week's "town hall" special on CNN, Van Jones journeyed to Ohio. While there, he interviewed a family of white working-class blokes.

The rough-hewn patriarch, Scott Seitz, was described by Jones as "a life-long Democrat who voted for Obama twice." This time around, though, something had happened:

He'd voted for Candidate Trump!

Seitz's wife, Derinda Seitz, had also voted for Obama. This time around, she voted for every Democrat down-ticket, but she didn't cast a vote for president at all.

The Seitzes' three strapping sons also voted for Candidate Trump. In 2012, Cameron Seitz had voted for Obama. At that time, he was the only one of the sons old enough to vote.

Why had the Seitzes flipped? Why had these classic "fly-over" folk supported Obama in the past, then flipped over to Trump?

On last Tuesday's town hall program, Jones played tape of his earlier "kitchen table" meeting with the Seitzes. He then interviewed Derinda Seitz and Scott Seitz in person.

Why did the Seitzes flip from Obama to Trump? During the town hall program, the Seitzes began to explain in this part of the videotaped interview:
JONES (12/6/16): What did you like about Obama, and then what did you like about Trump?

SCOTT SEITZ: I think Obama represents a lot of love. And I think that he's a good man and he did all he could and we supported him for two elections. And then when those changes really didn't come about, and Obamacare actually affected me personally with my own mother, I think we needed a change once again.

Trump seemed to come through here and he's speaking change again. So I think we still voted for change.

DERINDA SEITZ: I just, you know, I— I wouldn't vote for either one.

JONES: So you voted for a Democrat all the way down, but could not vote for Hillary Clinton?

DERINDA SEITZ: No. It was just her morals and his morals. I just— No, it—They, they both scared me.
Scott Seitz was never asked to explain how Obamacare had "affected me personally with my own mother." He said this played a role in his vote, but no explanation was sought, and no explanation was given.

Derinda Seitz wasn't asked to explain her comment about Candidate Clinton's morals. That comment also went unexplained as Jones sought to explain the Obama-to-Trump switch, while observing his one-hour time limit and speed-interviewing three hundred thousand other people.

So it typically goes at CNN "town hall" events! That said, Scott Seitz did offer some intriguing remarks on that videotape. After the family briefly claimed that they aren't a gang of snarling racists, Scott Seitz was shown saying this:
JONES: So how does a billionaire—I mean, you guys are seriously like the working-class backbone of America in the industrial heartland. I mean, how does a billionaire break through to the blue-collar worker?

SCOTT SEITZ: We put Democrats in office. And she turned around and forgot completely about us.

We are what makes this world go round. We built the tanks and bombs that won these country's wars, and for you to come through here and completely neglect us, we would have rather vote for, for anybody instead of her. And all the other stuff that Donald said didn't seem to make a hill of beans. She hurt us. And that's what it is.


JONES: Please welcome Derinda and Scott Seitz right here, all the way from Ohio.
All the way from Ohio, the Seitzes appeared, then answered several more questions. Ironically, they'd been given more time to explain themselves on the Anderson Cooper program one night before.

Jones had appeared with Cooper to preview the town hall program. When he did, Cooper played longer excerpts of Jones' videotaped interview with the Ohio rustics.

Why had two-time Obama voters flipped over to Trump? On those longer videotape excerpts, Scott Seitz seemed to explain his wife's remark about Candidate Clinton's morals:

"You know, Hillary, we couldn't trust her...Anybody who deletes, as I understand it, 30,000 e-mails two days after she was subpoenaed, and then she takes her server and acid washes it and clears it, that, to me, is admitting guilt. And people in this area kind of really looked at that."

Scott Seitz was describing the claims our own team's mugging, clowning TV stars never deigned to address. They were too busy pleasuring us with all manner of tribally pleasing porridge and pap.

During Cooper's longer video excerpts, Scott Seitz also put more flesh on the bones of the family's economic concerns. After the airing of the tape, Jones even told Cooper that Seitz's remarks had brought CNN's own workers to tears:
SCOTT SEITZ (12/5/16): Hillary could have certainly been the commander in chief. If she would have spoke to the blue-collar worker, she would be sitting there.

JONES: So how does a billionaire—I mean, you guys are seriously like the working class backbone of America and the industrial heartland. How does a billionaire break through to the blue-collar worker? And what's it about him? I mean, it just drives me crazy. I don't understand. I'm confused.

SCOTT SEITZ: She wasn't even close. She never even mentioned us.

JONES: That's the—

SCOTT SEITZ: Is she— She heard us. We put Democrats in office and she turned around and forgot completely about us.

We are what makes this world go round. We built the tanks and bombs that won these country's wars and for you to come through here and completely neglect us, we would have rather vote for anybody instead of her. And all the other stuff that Donald said didn't seem to make a hill of beans. She hurt us. And that's what it is.


COOPER: It's so— I'm so glad you did this and then we played a long chunk. And there's going to be a lot more tomorrow night. And that hurt is so real and it is—so it's not political pundits talking. It's people whose lives have been affected and it's so easy, I think, for folks on the left to demonize Trump voters as being—as painting everybody with a very unfair broad brush.

JONES: When he said that, "She hurt us," camera guys teared up. It wasn't the rage and this stuff and the "lock her up" and all that stuff. That was so far from that kitchen table. And I just hope that people will watch this thing tomorrow and start to understand we've been talking past each other. We don't understand each other.
The next night, in the formal town hall program, viewers actually heard a bit less of Scott Seitz's economic-cum-"no respect" complaint.

What was the complaint about Candidate Clinton? "She never even mentioned us," Scott Seitz said, evoking something Professor Lilla had said just a few weeks before.

Might we state the obvious? The Seitzes are just one Ohio family. You can't "explain" the nation's 63 million Trump voters just by speaking with them, or just by speaking with anyone else.

That said, we heard quite a few echoes in what the Seitzes said. In particular, we heard an echo of Professor Lilla, whose essay for the New York Times we'll discuss by the end of the week.

We also heard the words of the old labor song we cited not long ago. "I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister," Jim Garland wrote long ago, in the 1930s. Way back then, during labor wars, Garland also wrote this:

We worked to build this country, mister,
You enjoyed a life of ease.
You've stolen all that we built, mister.
Why must our babies starve and freeze?

The Seitzes' sons didn't starve and freeze. But like Garland, the Seitzes felt that they had "built this country," and that they'd been thrown away.

Professor Lilla had an eminently sensible thing to say about that general perception. We liberals have responded with silly op-eds which evaded his point, and with ruminations about the way we sometimes sneer about the folkways of rustics like the Seitzes—for example, about the way we sometimes sneer at such folk for eating too much fast food.

Drum tried talking sense to Krugman. All in all, we'd have to say that the conversation supported the Seitzes' lament.

Tomorrow: Fast food concatenation


  1. "Seitzes' lament"

    I understand these people completely. They are morons. They blame Obama for not turning around completely Bush's disaster. They need to blame OTHERS: immigrants, women, minorities.

    If they had the slightest knowledge of the GOP relationship with the "working class," they would never vote GOP.

    But these morons have no use for even the slightest knowledge.

    1. "They need to blame OTHERS"

      Aw, my irony meter was working so well, and now you've gone and broken it.

  2. "She didn't even mention us."

    Rubbish. This moron wasn't listening.

    Moreover, I don't believe their claim they voted for Obama. They sound like Sarah Palin voters to me, but the claim adds false drama to their false sense of betrayal, which they wear on their sleeve like the know nothings they are.

    Now they granted power to a fool who will CRUSH them. They almost deserve it.

    1. That's an interesting point. We have no way of verifying that they voted for Obama. It would also be interesting to know how Obamacare affected Scott Seitz and his mother.

    2. You need someone with credentials to explain the obvious to you? O.K. [LINK]

      If that's too wonky try out these two Not Safe For Work videos explaining how fouled up Democratic Party leadership is? [LINK] [LINK].

      But keep on keeping on with your point that voters this past November were too dumb to know there's no way out of the neo-liberal tar pit Obama/Clintonism has marched them into.

    3. Cmike is a Trump apologist/sociopath.

    4. That's an outrageous claim. I am not an apologist!

    5. Seems clear that the Seitz clan is running a bit of a con. They have a bizarre nonsensical hatred of Hillary and as noted the guy's mom being negatively impacted by ACA makes no sense. Their voting claims ring false as well.

      It is not clear that NAFTA is the evil promoted by Frank and Sanders. For one thing, those working class people love their Walmarts where they get their cheap goods made in other countries. Another point is that NAFTA boosted Mexico's economy to the point where there is virtually no illegal immigration from Mexico now. Also it appears NAFTA had a minute negative impact on the US (loss of 682,900 jobs over 20 years) and a large positive effect (many jobs created, huge increase in trade). Manufacturing job loss is mostly related to automation and China, which has nothing to do with NAFTA. Most of the manufacturing job loss was in just four states - CA,TX,NY,MI - not in all these so called working class states where Trump won. Indeed CA and NY are very blue states and that is where most of the manufacturing job loss occurred.

      While Obama nominally had filibuster-proof party majority for a brief time, the blue dog Democratics nullified that situation and Obama had to compromise on his agenda to get anything passed. Hillary was practical in the campaign in contrast with Sanders in recognizing that there is no way to get any of the liberal agenda passed with the current congress.

    6. So Nancy Peolosi has it right then, the Clinton/Obama Democrats have done everything right. NAFTA, and NAFTA on steroids, i.e. the WTO, Walmart -which councils its employees to seek public assistance- as the nation's largest private employer, less welfare, more incarceration, relief for corporations from the predations of market disrupting unions, a character building "no bankruptcy relief you" policy for the general population, for profit schools- i.e. more money for entrepreneurs/less to teachers, a private insurance provider rescue plan as the urgent goal for health care reform, stay out of jail forever status for banksters and torturers, Libya as an example about how to achieve an Iraq scale disaster on the cheap.

      Anonymous @2:42 AM, picking up the slack left by the late neoliberal heroine Margaret Thatcher, is here to tell you: It's all good or, in any event, There Is No Alternative, suckers.

  3. What's this crap about not respecting their fast food habits?
    I just got into it in a newspaper combox with a Trump supporter who claimed that the reason Russia could never have sabotaged Hillary was because they were a communist country and Hillary was a fellow traveling commie as well.
    When I asserted, quite respectfully, that Russia was no longer a communist country, the Trump supporter told me to go back and finish my middle school education as I'd obviously not taken a "history" class. Then he suggested I google this "fact" as I was obviously deluded by "fake news".
    So my question is, how to speak to people from bizzarroland? Folks who not only, according to Bob, eat too much at fast food joints, but can't acknowledge basic facts which, for some reason, they've never come to know or understand.

    1. Hmm, who should we try to change? Them or Us?

      Because We are so great, it sure seems like the answer is Them. But, which group do We really have the power to change?

      Remember, it has been empirically proven that We are not that good at convincing Them that We know all of the answers.

    2. Such has it always been in politics, the struggle between reason and unreason, with unreason having an edge - because power prevails. And the spokespeople for 'our' side aren't that good in the power game, all too often. There is such a vast amount to know, even the most educated are mostly ignorant, while the masses are deeply into the murk.

    3. " convincing Them that We know all of the answers."

      These morons voted against their interests.

  4. I am with Lewis. At the very LEAST, they are hypocrites. They are smart enough to not being accused of being called 'racist' like some many of their friends have called, HOWEVER, they are not bright enough to move beyond talking points. There are plenty of reasons to hate Hillary. Deleting email and wiping servers is just a LAME REASON to still be harping on. Even if they knew how email works, its nothing to get to angry about.

  5. "Scott Seitz was never asked to explain how Obamacare had "affected me personally with my own mother."

    It doesn't make sense. I assume his mother is a senior and therefore on medicare, not Obamacare.

  6. For starters on this recreation, a 'pump' manner a sense offering itself even as the

  7. How did Hillary hurt them when she hasn't been in the Senate since 2008?

    Why are they not criticized for their obvious Hillary hate?

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