Cultivating the Roseanne vote

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Cultivating the Roseanne vote

By John Ruberry

[cap­tion id=“attachment_106303” align=“alignright” width=“300”] Roseanne cast pre-​revival via Wikipedia[/caption]

Last week after two decades in rerun sta­sis the sit­com Roseanne returned to ABC with mas­sive rat­ings, even higher than its final episode of its first run in 1997.

For­merly a lib­eral, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, declared that she was a sup­porter of Don­ald Trump two years ago. While Trump isn’t explic­itly men­tioned in the debut reboot episode, her char­ac­ter, Roseanne Con­ner, ends a fam­ily prayer, one that began by ask­ing her pussy-​hat donned left­ist sis­ter (Lau­rie Met­calf) if she pre­ferred to “take a knee,” Colin Kaerpenick-​style, with a bang: “Most of all, Lord, thank you for mak­ing Amer­i­can great again!”

The Con­ners live some­where in north­ern Illi­nois in the fic­tional town of Lan­ford. Yes, my state voted for Hillary Clin­ton, but stick with me for a bit. One of the appeals of the old and new Roseanne is that it focuses on the strug­gles of a blue col­lar fam­ily headed by two over­weight par­ents, Roseanne and Dan Con­ner (John Good­man), whose bulk­i­ness refresh­ingly is not a tar­get of unvary­ing jabs. They are reg­u­lar folks try­ing to get by. Dur­ing the tele­vi­sion inter­reg­num the Con­ners came close to los­ing their home to fore­clo­sure. In the 1980s these type of fam­i­lies were Rea­gan Democ­rats. But since the first run of Roseanne, the Democ­rats have piv­oted to the left, and in the last few years, to the far left. For evi­dence, look at the rise of Bernie Sanders, the only out-​of-​the-​closet social­ist in the US Senate.

I didn’t leave the Demo­c­ra­tic Party,” Ronald Rea­gan, who was born and reared in north­ern Illi­nois, noto­ri­ously remarked, “the party left me.”

The 21st cen­tury Democ­rats – the sec­u­lar pro­gres­sives – also left the Con­ners. This TV fam­ily rep­re­sents the base of the new Repub­li­can Party.

Where the Con­ners live in Illi­nois was always a bit murky, orig­i­nally it was Ful­ton County, a rural county south of Peo­ria. Yes, the old and new Roseanne, as the old vaude­ville expres­sion went, “plays in Peo­ria.” In 1988, when the show hit the air­waves, Michael Dukakis pre­vailed over George H.W. Bush in Ful­ton County, begin­ning a seven-​election pres­i­den­tial win­ning streak for the Democ­rats there.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_106391” align=“alignleft” width=“201”] Ronald Rea­gan Trail north of Peoria[/caption]

But in 2016 Don­ald Trump won Ful­ton by 15 per­cent­age points while four years ear­lier Barack Obama pre­vailed by over twenty points. And for the GOP there plenty of room for growth in the Ful­ton coun­ties of Amer­ica. In south­ern Illi­nois lies Wayne County, where Trump bested Clin­ton by over 70 points.

Call that the Roseanne vote.

And even in Illi­nois, the Land of Lin­coln, there is hope for the Repub­li­can Party.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

By John Ruberry

Roseanne cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Last week after two decades in rerun stasis the sitcom Roseanne returned to ABC with massive ratings, even higher than its final episode of its first run in 1997.

Formerly a liberal, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, declared that she was a supporter of Donald Trump two years ago. While Trump isn’t explicitly mentioned in the debut reboot episode, her character, Roseanne Conner, ends a family prayer, one that began by asking her pussy-hat donned leftist sister (Laurie Metcalf) if she preferred to “take a knee,” Colin Kaerpenick-style, with a bang: “Most of all, Lord, thank you for making American great again!”

The Conners live somewhere in northern Illinois in the fictional town of Lanford. Yes, my state voted for Hillary Clinton, but stick with me for a bit. One of the appeals of the old and new Roseanne is that it focuses on the struggles of a blue collar family headed by two overweight parents, Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman), whose bulkiness refreshingly is not a target of unvarying jabs. They are regular folks trying to get by. During the television interregnum the Conners came close to losing their home to foreclosure. In the 1980s these type of families were Reagan Democrats. But since the first run of Roseanne, the Democrats have pivoted to the left, and in the last few years, to the far left. For evidence, look at the rise of Bernie Sanders, the only out-of-the-closet socialist in the US Senate.

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” Ronald Reagan, who was born and reared in northern Illinois, notoriously remarked, “the party left me.”

The 21st century Democrats–the secular progressives–also left the Conners. This TV family represents the base of the new Republican Party.

Where the Conners live in Illinois was always a bit murky, originally it was Fulton County, a rural county south of Peoria. Yes, the old and new Roseanne, as the old vaudeville expression went, “plays in Peoria.” In 1988, when the show hit the airwaves, Michael Dukakis prevailed over George H.W. Bush in Fulton County, beginning a seven-election presidential winning streak for the Democrats there.

Ronald Reagan Trail north of Peoria

But in 2016 Donald Trump won Fulton by 15 percentage points while four years earlier Barack Obama prevailed by over twenty points. And for the GOP there plenty of room for growth in the Fulton counties of America. In southern Illinois lies Wayne County, where Trump bested Clinton by over 70 points.

Call that the Roseanne vote.

And even in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, there is hope for the Republican Party.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.