In a current political opinion article on the CNN website, former Kansas congressman and U.S. secretary of agriculture Dan Glickman examines the relationship between U.S. Democratic presidential candidates and rural voters.
As is customary with presidential elections, various presidential candidates have recently been making pre-caucus visits to politically influential Iowa. Mr. Glickman brings up the question of whether or not the Democratic candidates will continue to pay attention to rural states like Iowa after the election.
In his view, Glickman sees some key players in the Democratic party as being out of touch with rural voters. There are some who mistakenly believe that conservatism is basically built-into rural voters, and it’s not worth trying to garner their votes.
There are rural areas situated in every geographic section of America, and more than 60 million people live in those areas. The 2016 presidential election proved that rural voters, particularly Midwest residents do play an integral role in national politics.
A large percentage of rural American residents are older, and health benefits such as Social Security and Medicare are of great importance to them. Many of these people also participate in Democrat-backed programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.
Mr. Glickman states that rural areas and the U.S. agriculture industry have received much-needed assistance from the federal government since the 1930s. A high incidence of poverty is in place in America’s rural communities and the opioid epidemic has made a significant impact in those areas.
In conclusion, Dan Glickman says Democratic candidates for president need to meet with the voters and be respectful of rural culture. Although they may disagree with Democratic candidates on some social issues, rural residents’ interest in jobs, health care and the economy could lead more of them to vote Democratic.
While American citizens are often led to believe that rural and urban people are very different from each other, Dan Glickman says that we are all actually quite similar to each other. Hopefully, the current crop of presidential candidates will be there to help rural Americans after the dust of the upcoming elections settles.