He wrote the following for a March 17 issue of New York Magazine, but I'm just now catching up with it (shockingly, I don't read New York Magazine and, particularly, Frank Rich):
"No Sympathy for the Hillbilly"
That makes it all the more a fool’s errand for Democrats to fudge or abandon their own values to cater to the white-identity politics of the hard-core, often self-sabotaging Trump voters who helped drive the country into a ditch on Election Day. They will stick with him even though the numbers say that they will take a bigger financial hit than Clinton voters under the Republican health-care plan. As Trump himself has said, in a rare instance of accuracy, they won’t waver even if he stands in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoots somebody. While you can’t blame our new president for loving “the poorly educated” who gave him that blank check, the rest of us are entitled to abstain. If we are free to loathe Trump, we are free to loathe his most loyal voters, who have put the rest of us at risk.
So how many voters are the Democrats not only dismissing but ridiculing as "hillbillies"? A lot: 43% of all college graduates, 49% of all white college graduates, and 52% of all non-college grades (of all races).
Also back in March, week after Rich 's screed, NY Post columnist Salena Zito explained why the disapproval of the brie and chardonnay set is both irrelevant and delusional:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — While pundits breathlessly reported this week that President Trump’s Gallup approval rating has plummeted to a historic low (dipping to 37 points), not all approval ratings are created equal.
Because in American politics, geography is everything.
Live in an urban, minority or college setting, and Donald J. Trump is underwater in the polls in a big way; he gets a frosty 29 percent approval rating in the cities, 35 percent approval in the urban suburbs, in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal survey.
But, live in the second ring of suburbs outside the cities, or the exurbs or the third and fourth rings that comprise rural America, and the president gets a 53 percent to 59 percent job approval rating in the same poll.
For the most part, the people who live in those regions are pretty much happy with him.
That’s a puzzling notion that has befuddled many journalists, members of the permanent establishment and pundits on both sides of the aisle since the day Trump was inaugurated.
And, in all likelihood, that effervescent support will continue for a very long time. Why? Because the people who live in those outer rings of cities aren’t just separated by geography; they’re separated by culture, traditions and aspirations that differ from those of their city cousins.
And that's the problem for the urban elite that wants its hegemony back: our constitution gives voters in all parts of the country a say in the matter of presidential elections, and no matter how many Upper West Side and San Francisco intellectuals despise them, those loathsome rubes out in the hinterlands can thwart them.
Dismissing wrong-thinking college graduates as Hillbillies offends all Trump voters: graduates, because we don't consider ourselves racist idiots, and genuine hillbillies, who also don't consider themselves racist idiots, but who are sure to resent having people like me included in their ranks. And anger turns out voters far better than robo-calls from Chelsea Clinton.
We can see the result of this dim-witted arrogance right now:
The Chicago Tribune puts its spin on the latest approval polls today, but here's the takeaway, buried about 15 paragraphs down:
Democrats have lost considerable ground on this front. The 28 percent who say the party is in touch with concerns of most Americans is down from 48 percent in 2014 and the biggest drop is among self-identified Democrats, from 83 percent saying they are in touch to 52 percent today. That is a reminder that whatever challenges Trump is having, Democrats, for all the energy apparent at the grass roots, have their own problems.
The radical left now running the Democratic party thinks that appealing exclusively to coastal elites will bring them victory and I imagine that their Parisian equivalents think the same; too, my prediction is that today's elections in France will not only echo Trump's triumph last November but also predict the results here in 2018, and - horrors! - 2020.
So keep it up, please.