Democratic Operative: Rural White Voters Not ‘Grateful Enough’

'The Fox News cult hates the values of the vast majority of Americans'

Iowa Voters In Line (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

David Atkins, a Californian regional director for the Democratic Party and a Bernie Sanders supporter, criticized rural white voters for lacking gratitude in a Twitter thread posted Thursday night.

In the thread, Atkins wrote that rural voters are "heavily subsidized, drowning in federal largesse, blessed with political affirmative action & overrepresentation, have all their bills paid by cities and blue states," but still "whine and yell constantly."

In subsequent tweets, Atkins blasted Fox News watchers, claiming that "The Fox News cult hates the values of the vast majority of Americans who aren't rural white evangelicals and want nothing to do with them."

Atkins did temper his criticisms, expressing sympathy for rural whites. "Don't get me wrong: I'm all about reaching out & showing rural white America that it's the plutocrats that are hurting them, not people of color. Rural white America really is hurting," he clarified.

Recent studies suggest that rural middle-class whites are facing a complex set of crises that may not abate for the foreseeable future. While mortality rates across the developed world have fallen steadily for decades, the rate for middle-aged, non-Hispanic whites has risen since the late 1990's.

Research suggested that one major factor in this trend is "progressively worsening labor market opportunities." Labor struggles have been tied to opioid use and declining civil institutions.

The increase in the suicide rate also started among rural whites, along with Native Americans. However, this crisis has spread across age groups and geographic location.