White rural rage

the threat to American democracy
Tom Schaller and Paul Waldman
Book - 2024

"It's an open secret that voters in smaller, less populous states have more electoral power than their urban counterparts, so why are these same voters the most eager to leave behind democratic principles? In this book, political scientists Thomas Schaller and Paul Waldman explore why, with all of this extra influence, these same voters fail to see real benefits, for instance suffering worse health and education outcomes than larger states, and why they are the most likely to rage against the democratic project the moment elections stop going their way. This is the patriotic paradox of rural America: The rural citizens who take such pride in their patriotism are least likely to defend core American principles, even when the system itself is set up in their favor. If the commitment to American democracy of this exalted minority crumbles, can the US itself survive? Thanks to the extra weight smaller states enjoy, the past two Republican presidents entered the White House despite losing the popular vote. Senate malapportionment is even worse. By 2040, just 30 percent of the population, concentrated in smaller and more rural states, will elect 70 senators. This skewed dynamic is already changing policy outcomes--scuttling nationally popular bills in the Senate and distorting the balance of the courts--but there's a puzzling contradiction inherent in this rural privilege. Voters there believe the nation has failed them, and to some degree, they're right. With on-the-ground reporting from five very different rural counties spread across the country, this book offers unique insights into how the struggles and resentments of rural people ripple out to determine the kind of country we all live in. Schaller and Waldman critique the structures in place that have led to this imbalance, but they also provocatively criticize rural voters and states themselves for the choices they've made on behalf of themselves and the country. And, they point the way toward a political reimagining that would not only offer a better future for rural people, but make it possible for rural America to stop dragging the rest of the country down"--

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Schaller, Thomas F. (Author), Waldman, Paul (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: New York : Random House, [2024]
Edition:First edition.
Subjects:

MARC

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520 |a "It's an open secret that voters in smaller, less populous states have more electoral power than their urban counterparts, so why are these same voters the most eager to leave behind democratic principles? In this book, political scientists Thomas Schaller and Paul Waldman explore why, with all of this extra influence, these same voters fail to see real benefits, for instance suffering worse health and education outcomes than larger states, and why they are the most likely to rage against the democratic project the moment elections stop going their way. This is the patriotic paradox of rural America: The rural citizens who take such pride in their patriotism are least likely to defend core American principles, even when the system itself is set up in their favor. If the commitment to American democracy of this exalted minority crumbles, can the US itself survive? Thanks to the extra weight smaller states enjoy, the past two Republican presidents entered the White House despite losing the popular vote. Senate malapportionment is even worse. By 2040, just 30 percent of the population, concentrated in smaller and more rural states, will elect 70 senators. This skewed dynamic is already changing policy outcomes--scuttling nationally popular bills in the Senate and distorting the balance of the courts--but there's a puzzling contradiction inherent in this rural privilege. Voters there believe the nation has failed them, and to some degree, they're right. With on-the-ground reporting from five very different rural counties spread across the country, this book offers unique insights into how the struggles and resentments of rural people ripple out to determine the kind of country we all live in. Schaller and Waldman critique the structures in place that have led to this imbalance, but they also provocatively criticize rural voters and states themselves for the choices they've made on behalf of themselves and the country. And, they point the way toward a political reimagining that would not only offer a better future for rural people, but make it possible for rural America to stop dragging the rest of the country down"--  |c Provided by publisher. 
505 0 |a Prologue: Small towns, big trouble -- Essential minority, existential threat -- Rural ruin -- The greatest political hand ever dealt -- Cultures at war -- The unlikely king of rural America -- Conditional patriots -- Race and rurality -- Despair, distraction, disillusionment, and democratic decline. 
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