Skip to main content

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any ad blockers are switched off, or add to your trusted sites, and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us.

Joe Biden’s roads to ruin

Far-right talk radio host Alex Jones and his listeners could spell danger for Joe Biden

Image: The New European

What is going to be the single biggest factor in the US midterm elections, the ones I described last week as “weird” and which seem to be getting weirder?

For a while, it seemed that abortion was going to be the main driver of how people voted in November. No living American has ever experienced a right taken away, especially one that had stood for half a century.

Therefore, chants of “Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote” rang through the land. This was going to be voting as an act of revenge.

Abortion is an issue that Democrats believe might help them tip the balance in key states in these midterms. They’re still likely to lose the House of Representatives, but they are now hoping to tighten their grip on the Senate, where they need a majority of two to gain overall control and no longer need the vote of the vice-president to break a tie.

Yet there is a race that makes me wonder if there’s a hidden factor, a hidden demographic involved in these races. It’s happening in Georgia, which turned out to be the killing ground of Donald Trump’s hopes in 2020.

The Republican candidate there is Herschel Walker, a former star running back with the Dallas Cowboys whose professional career began with the New Jersey Generals, a team owned by Trump himself who played in a short-lived breakaway league. Walker is an avowed Christian; a hammer of “bad black dads” and is endorsed by The Donald. He believes that abortion should be banned, even if the life of the mother is at risk; even if a ten-year-old is raped by her uncle.

All of which sits uncomfortably with the stories uncovered during his campaign – that he has a series of children with different women, that his part in raising these children has been negligible, that in 2009 he paid for one of the women to have an abortion. Walker called this last allegation a “flat-out lie” and promised to sue the website that published it. No lawsuit has yet been filed.

In normal times, this would have ended Georgia’s Senate race. Walker’s opponent, Raphael Warnock, is not only a minister, but is senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church Martin Luther King headed. Yet, the evangelical Christians, who largely make up Georgia’s Republican base, are holding prayer circles for Walker.

They are standing behind him, even though Walker’s son Christian – who is no progressive and calls Trump “Uncle Don” – is calling out conservatives and Christians to take Herschel Walker down as a matter of consistency and faith. So far, they’re not doing it. Walker has slipped behind in the polls, but despite all the scandal and despite the Dems’ strength with women voters over abortion, the race is too close to call.

This is the madness of the 2022 midterms, and many have been trying to understand why it is this way.

There is a new theory, and it involves whether you live in a place full of chain restaurants, and whether you drive to work.

The US driver and talk radio has been a big, fat love affair for the past 40 years. Conservative/right wing radio dominates the airwaves.

What they used to get was Rush Limbaugh, who basically told them that the nation was going to hell. And he was funny about it, always entertaining, even if his views were deplorable.

Now they latch on to the Alex Jones Show out of Austin, Texas, whose menu is mostly made up of conspiracy theories. Jones, whose show is syndicated widely and whose podcasts are available where it is not, is in court right now being sued because he promulgated the idea that the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, where 26 people were killed, 20 of them children between six and seven years old, is a government conspiracy. He told his listeners that all involved were “crisis actors”, that it was all a plot to take away the nation’s right to bear arms.

This followed on from his theory that the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by a white supremacist/nationalist was an inside job; and his theory that the 1969 moon landing is a hoax.

Naturally, he also considers the 2020 election to have been rigged and that Donald Trump won it, not Joe Biden.

Millions listen to this guy every day, and buy the goods that he flogs. For millions, stuck in traffic in their cars, he is a way of life.

If Jones says that Hershel Walker, an alleged walking advertisement against everything evangelicals stand for is OK, then people will vote for him. And if he loses, then the entire election was a fraud and hoax and people should get ready to lock and load and defend their rights.

Alex Jones Country is Trump Country too. It is a land of highways and chain restaurants where people trapped in their vehicles absorb the lies that Jones and his like tell them.

A recent study by Georgia Tech University concludes that it seems that the more chain restaurants a place has, the more people there are likely to be Republican, and support whatever the hell Trump says and does. Where there are lots of Pizza Huts, you’ll find Trumplicans.

Chains are biggest in Kentucky, West Virginia and Alabama. And the chain restaurant capital of the USA is Anniston, Alabama, home to the Talladega Superspeedway, which hosts Nascar racing’s championship.

Nascar people like The Donald. The 2020 turnout in Anniston was 63%. Trump got 1,500,000 votes to Biden’s 800,000.

One thing more than all the other factors tended to identify a Trump voter from a Biden voter in 2020: It is whether you drove to work. Trump lost the election but he won more car commuters.

Today, 83% of Americans commute to work by car. But in New York City the figure is only 55%. In deep red, Decatur, Alabama, it’s 90%. Alabama ranks second in car commuting, and third in chains.

Southerners generally are more likely to drive to work, and the study concludes that across America there are fewer places like Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Maui, Hawaii with hardly any commuting and few chains, and more and more Anniston, Alabamas. It sounds weird, but that is a danger for the Democrats.

Hello. It looks like you’re using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best experience possible, please make sure any ad blockers are switched off, or add to your trusted sites, and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help you can email us.

See inside the What the hell is wrong with Suella Braverman? edition

Credit: Tim Bradford

Could Elon Musk sort out all the world’s problems?

Image: The New European

What else could we call the Anti-Growth Coalition?

A few alternative terms for the ‘enemies of the people’, AKA everyone except Liz Truss…