If people living in Trump country seem like they live in a different world from that inhabited by Silicon Valley executives and the editors of The New York Times, there is a reason for that: They do.
Before the election, I talked to Democratic partisans who were expecting a blue wave that would see Joe Biden winning not only swing states such as Florida but also Republican-leaning states such as Texas, and I talked to Republican partisans who expected Donald Trump to sweep blue states from Virginia to California. Neither of those things happened, of course. The run-up to the election — and, now, the disconnect between town and country over the president’s election-fraud complaints — has contributed to the sense that there are two Americas inhabiting two very different realities.
Some of the snoots living in Blue America sneer that the inhabitants of Red America are ignorant, living in a fantasyland. But in many ways, Red America understands Blue America better than Blue America understands Red America. It doesn’t have much choice: The news media, the entertainment business, technology and social media, and the commanding heights of big business live in Blue America and largely share Blue America’s biases, assumptions and points of view. Some of them are at least a little aware of their ignorance — Dean Baquet, the editor of The New York Times, confessed in 2016: “We don’t get religion. We don’t get the role of religion in people’s lives.” He might have added guns, farming, and much else to the list of things his staff doesn’t get. [ … ]