As far as connecting and forging bonds with mainstream, grass-roots voters is concerned, that is. Not everyone in flyover country despises brainy, well-spoken urban elites and their corresponding talking points, and yet many millions obviously do.

Because with so many millions of people strapped and the pandemic spiking all over place, Average Joe voters don’t wanna know from wokester razmatazz, elite cultural issues, the “Defund the Police” slogan (as opposed to “Re-Think The Police”), the obviously necessary struggle to fight systemic racism, the support of LGBTQ issues or even (despite the critical importance) climate change.

In a chat right after Dubya beat John Kerry in ’04, a colleague said more or less the same as above. So to really connect with proles the left needs to “bubba up,” I kiddingly replied. Not so funny any more.

Average voters aren’t necessarily dismissive of these concerns, but right now they need help with bread-and-butter, kitchen-table stuff. And one reason that a lot of Middle American fence-sitters voted against Democratic progressives in the House, is that they don’t sense a lot of ground-level empathy from them.

Excerpts from “Elissa Slotkin Braces for a Democratic Civil War,” a 11.13 article by Politico‘s Tim Alberta: