Toward a Better Elite in Idaho
The first step toward building a better Idaho elite--with their hearts in the right place and some good ideas on what to do about the problems of the working class--is having leaders who genuinely care about our people. No part of the establishment "normal Republican" attitude suggests that they are willing to drive through rural Idaho and identify with the rural class of loggers or farmers or linesmen or, generally, members of the working class. This can be true of comfortable church leaders. This can be true of politicians and party leaders. As Aaron Renn writes in his latest substack piece, "we must see these folks as our people and find a way to connect with them and provide them better leadership." Renn quotes an Idahoan and then draws his conclusion.
Scott Yenor wrote a piece last year in the American Mind that really stuck with me when he said:
My wife and I sometimes drive through rural Idaho—Trump country. An old minivan with a “No More Bullshit” Trump 2020 bumper sticker pulls up. Out pops a tatted-up mom, smoking and cussing at her three little charges. No father around.
“These are our people,” my wife says. Indeed, we vote with this woman and feel the much same way about the country. But we live very differently from “our people.” Our kids know few people from broken homes, while “our people” may know few from intact families.
Here is a truth whispered to all who align with today’s populism: Healthy nations cannot proceed from “our people” as they currently live. Populism is not enough.
Rather than standing back and delivering endless hectoring lectures to them. . . or ignoring them because they are so cringey, we need to find a way to connect with them, to understand them, to meet them where they are and lead them to a better place, to provide better leadership than what they are getting.
Renn promises to write more on this topic--and we will follow his writings on Action Idaho. Subscribe to Renn's newsletter at the link above.