That the Washington Examiner has its own ax to grind is true. They're greatly interested in showcasing communities that don't need government of any kind, especially the federals. That's their pitch, their angle, their politics.
No matter. I'm still proud of what Timothy P. Carney came up with in an article titled
"In America's strong small towns, Trump's anger fails to resonate," What he did is trace voting results in heavily Dutch Calvinist areas of some Midwestern states and report what turns out to be an notable refrain.
It seems that folks with a Dutch Reformed or Calvinist background don't care for Trump, not at all. Mr. Carney features my own hometown, Oostburg, Wisconsin, as a heavenly hamlet where community stability and a distaste for nastiness meant the Donald walked away empty-handed. Ted Cruz won Oostburg with 74 per cent of the vote. Makes my heart sing.
"We saw this [wholesale rejection of Trump's candidacy] in Iowa and Michigan," Carney says. "While Trump carried the state, Cruz won in the heavily Dutch counties of Allegan, Kent and Ottawa County on the Western edge of the state. The state's most Dutch municipality, Moline, voted 51.23 percent for Cruz." Carney did his homework. Then, he adds this note: "In Iowa, Donald Trump's worst county was Sioux County, which is 47 percent Dutch and 23 percent German."
What he didn't mention is that some folks who research political attitudes also place those municipalities in a list of the most politically conservative conclaves in their respective states: Oostburg, Wisconsin; Doon, Iowa, Prinsburg, Minnesota. . .Democratic turnout in some of those precincts is high if, embarrassingly, a half-dozen miscreants show up at the polls. In such burgs, the main course in any political meal is red meat, and woe unto those who opt out because they're flirting with hell itself.
No matter. I'm not quibbling. If I were Republican and had only a choice between Trump and Cruz, in a heartbeat I too would pull the lever for the junior senator from Texas (It may take me a day or two to get over having said that, but it's true.)
Google the phrase "What is an evangelical?" sometime and you'll come up with a list of suggested readings as long as your arm. Trump destroyed Cruz's basic campaign strategy when The Donald won, hand over fist, successive Bible-belt states that Cruz, with his professed righteousness, figured long ago he had in the bag. Cruz was dead wrong. Trump took the cross and whacked him with it.
But not in Mormon country, nor in Dutch Reformed country. Timothy P. Carney says--and I'm sure he's right--it's because people there aren't broken. Their sense of community and the sheer strength of their religious culture helps them find a place to stand. Their families are in tact, their difficult lives are taken care of by bonded friendliness, spirituality, and a neighborliness that's rooted in biblical morality. They lead clean lives, love their children, support their schools.
They don't share Trump's spite. They don't like putting people down because "do unto others" is as plain a rule of thumb as anyone needs. They don't like knuckle sandwiches. They dislike bullies. "In places like Oostburg, however, people with struggles can find that support is much closer — and the support goes much deeper, Carney claims. "Oostburg is a strong, functioning, loving town. It has no need for Donald Trump."
All of that may be a little Disneyland-ish, and it may well be Carney's own way of saying 'who needs government?' but that Donald Trump walked away from Dutch communities in the Midwest with a scant pocketful of votes is a score is worth celebrating.
Almond pastries, all around!