On Monday, former President Bill Clinton spoke at Georgetown University in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his election. While he didn’t come with any of his ceremonial strippers, he did set off some fireworks of his own by claiming that everyone who voted against his wife was uniquely susceptible to untruth. He stated that the counties that voted for Hillary Clinton had higher GDP overall, though not higher GDP per capita, then added, “Even poor people are more hopeful if they’re in a dynamic place. Being trapped with a lack of mobility is more damaging emotionally and makes you more vulnerable to false claims, from my point of view, than if you’re poor.”
So according to Bill, because Hillary carried bigger cities, the poor in those cities were more likely to vote Democratic out of hope. Poor people in other counties, however, were motivated by fear and despair and therefore susceptible to lies — even though the median income for Trump voters was higher than it was for Hillary voters.
This is just a new spin on Barack Obama’s old 2008 line that people from small towns losing jobs vote Republican because “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
The scorn for those who disagree with Democrats politically is palpable — but it’s also idiotic. Poor people in Chicago aren’t more “hopeful” than poor people in rural Texas. They just have different cultural and political priorities in many cases. The Texans aren’t more susceptible to lying, clearly: Bill Clinton was impeached for perjury, and his wife is the least trusted major politician in modern American history, a woman who lied about deleting thousands of emails and storing classified information on a private server, who fibbed about the reasons for the Benghazi terror attack, who was fingerprinted by the FBI as First Lady back in the Clinton White House. Democrats can be suckered just as easily as Republicans.
Democrats are making a huge political error by dismissing those who didn’t vote for Hillary in 2016 as dumber and more pessimistic. They’re committing that error to avoid having to take another look at their own priorities.