Politico: Macomb Is The 'De Facto National Capital of White Middle America'


Over the decades, Macomb County has been the bellwether county in America when it comes to white, middle America politics. Pundits and political observers often look there for hints of what's to come, and presidential candidates rarely skip over the country during the campaign.   

It is also where two of Michigan's big-name entertainers, Kid Rock and Eminem, grew up. 

"Eminem and Kid Rock are avatars of Macomb’s north and south poles, highly charged and near perfect opposites," writes Politico's Zack Stanton in a story titled: "The Bellwether County That Explains Eminem and Kid Rock."

Kid Rock, the son of a successful car dealer, is a big supporter of President Donald Trump. Eminem, who grew up in a working class neighborhood in the southern sector of the county,  can't stand the current commander-in-chief, and once again made that clear on Tuesday night when the BET Hip Awards aired a video in which he delivered an angry, ranting rap ripping Trump.  

Politico's Zack Stanton writes:  

Eminem is, after all, a product of Michigan’s Macomb County, among the most politically charged places in America—a place studied and obsessed over by generations of pundits, pollsters and political scientists. And if fellow Macomb native Kid Rock can flirt with a political career, then Eminem can at the very least return volley in the war for the soul of angry white men, standing athwart history, middle finger in the air.

For more than 30 years, suburban Macomb County has been something of a de facto national capital of white middle America, a near-mythical political wonderland just north of Detroit that gave birth to the “Reagan Democrat” movement. In 1960, Macomb was the most heavily Democratic suburban county in the United States; by 1980, it had become the most heavily Republican.

What happened in between was a mix of white flight away from Detroit, fears of cross-district bussing, and angst over a sense of a declining quality of life as the auto industry imploded. Many of those voters had traditionally supported Democrats, but as time marched on, saw their personal cultural conservatism unwelcome in a party they increasingly saw as the natural home of liberals and minorities, both of whom threatened their status. They found common cause in the campaign of Ronald Reagan and, before him, pro-segregation demagogue George Wallace (who, in 1972, won Macomb’s Democratic presidential primary with more votes than McGovern mustered in the general election).

Read more:  Politico

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