AP story shows Democrats have awoken to the problem, but they still don't get it

By Richard Rostron

The Associated Press headline reads, "'The Brand is so toxic': Dems fear extinction in rural US." In the first paragraph, the writer, Steve Peoples, writes, "The Democratic Party's brand is so toxic in some parts of rural America that liberals are removing bumper stickers and refusing to acknowledge their party affiliation publicly."

One Democrat Peoples interviewed states that he "encouraged his daughter to get rid of a pro-Joe Biden bumper sticker. 'I feel like we're on the run.'"

While Peoples considers the political implications of the 'apparent animosity' toward Democrats, it's not until late in the story that he begins to get down to the meat of the issue.

Peoples interviewed Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) who conceded that, while her party has the trifecta of control - the House, Senate and White House - they are "unstable majorities."

She says that Democrats need to change their approach to rural voters, "focusing on farmers and vowing to improve high-speed internet." She said they "are hurting themselves by not speaking out more forcefully against far-left positions that alienate rural voters, such as the push to 'defund the police.'"

She said, "We're letting Republicans use the language of the far left to define the Democratic Party, and we can't do that."

That Democrats are recognizing they have a problem, doesn't surprise anyone. What is surprising is that they are just nibbling at the edges of what is driving their problem.

Defunding the police and rampant crime are certainly issues. But open borders and raging inflation are equally troublesome to Americans. In the meantime, many are bothered by the foreign-policy weakness on display with the Biden administration, both with the Afghanistan withdrawal and the Ukrainian crisis. But even those factors don't fully capture the essence of the problem.

Far-Left socialists are dominating the Democrat party and supposedly moderate Democrats are going along with them. As a result, we have massive spending by elected officials who don't seem to recognize the constitutional restraints to their authority.

Americans have watched politicians impose massively restrictive mandates, without proper legal authority, and then we've seen those same politicians repeatedly get caught defying their own mandates. The message is clear: 'We're elitists and the rules we impose are for you little people.'

At the same time, we've also watched the government leverage the private sector as a means of surreptitiously clamping down on free speech. Instead of defending the free speech of individuals, Democrats have happily accepted the censorship imposed by Big Tech social networks. And they've allowed those Big Tech companies to violate the true intent of Section 230 protections passed by Congress in 1995 to protect nascent companies in the formative years of the Internet.

Many people in rural America are more conscious of the nature of the U.S. Constitution. Some feel they have a responsibility to defend the freedoms enumerated in that document, if not for themselves then for future generations. Threaten liberty and you can count on some Americans to not go along quietly.