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SNL Skit about Kentucky is More Patronizing, Elitist Nonsense


WARNING: This post does not “stick to sports”…if you are hoping for said sports to be stuck to, scroll to the next post. Thank you

“Matt, I don’t think you could talk for 10 minutes straight without at least once mentioning Kentucky.”

The comment above was made by my Law school friend Mark, and reflected what I am sure was the common view of me across the Duke campus. I arrived in Durham at the age of 21, living outside of Kentucky for the first extended time of my life and eager to challenge myself by experiencing something new. I made friends with my mostly older classmates, but it took me very little time to realize that I was completely different than virtually all of them. Not only was I one of the few Kentuckians (only two others were in the school, one of which was Tucker Max, and our common basketball connection kept us sane amidst all of the Blue Devil love), but I was also one of the very few people who came from a rural, non-coastal background. Duke and similar elite schools often brag about their tremendous diversity and by most normal measures. it was one of the Law School’s strongest characteristics. Duke was a leader in racial, gender, ethnic and religious diversity and its position at the time as one of the best Law Schools in the country for International students ensured that our classes were filled with viewpoints from across the land. But it was clear to me from the outset that my background, that of someone from Appalachia, who spent his time attending a small public high school in the mountains and a tiny college with a weird name in Lexington, was different. I embraced that difference and found myself talking about my home state non-stop. Most of the comments were about basketball (the 2003 team’s run that year was a source of much pride), but I also referenced Kentucky towns, events, politicians, stories, whatever could keep my connection to home. Like a lot of people who leave the Commonwealth, I found that I loved it more from afar than even when I was there and wanted to share all the positivity I felt about it to whoever would listen.

It was clear to me early on however that my classmates didn’t share the same affinity for my old Kentucky home. To them, Kentucky was known only vaguely as a place where they had a horse race, chicken, basketball, bourbon, and some may have driven through it one time and thought it was pretty. Few had been spent any time there and to the extent there were opinions to be had, they were mostly of a mocking nature. Their cluelessness about Kentucky as a whole was only exceeded by their cluelessness about Eastern Kentucky in particular and even though the start of those mountains was less than 4 hours away, it might as well have been another planet for most of my fellow students. Like at most elite law schools, the student body trended liberal and when conversation would switch to politics (as it always did, even then), their knowledge about Kentucky was even more limited and stereotypical. To them, Kentucky was just a “Red State” where people didn’t vote their economic interests because they didn’t understand that people (in their mind, like them) were trying to help them. The comments infuriated me, even as they came from people who shared my side of the political aisle. I often joke that I argue much more with people I agree with than those I don’t, and that mindset comes from the Duke years. I spent many hours defending Kentuckians against the elitist notion that they were too stupid to understand their votes and (even worse) that we were simply intolerant hillbillies who weren’t worth the time. My anger in those conversations would rise quickly and some of the maddest moments of my life have been in arguments with these Duke and DC liberals. Even if I agreed with them on policy, I could see that their disdain for the people I grew up with and loved made them wholly unappealing to me…and if that was true of me, it would be exponentially more true for those who might have different opinions than they.

I say all this as a backdrop to the feelings I had last night when I watched the “Donald Trump goes to Kentucky” sketch on Saturday Night Live. I must preface by saying, I am a huge fan of Saturday Night Live and think that they are the single most consistent source of really good comedy that exists on television. Unlike many haters who love to say “SNL just isn’t good anymore,” I think it actually is and this season has been one of its best. Whether its Alec Baldwin as an arrogant Trump, Kate McKinnon as a desperate Hillary or Melissa McCarthy as an angry Spicer, this season’s skits have been really good and the election of Trump seems to have given the show new life. With that said, last night’s cold open was an example of the elitist-thinking nonsense that not only so frustrated me at Duke, but has also made many in Kentucky give up on Progressive politicians nationwide. The skit is set in Boone County and has Trump visiting to try to get some of his momentum back after a few tough weeks. I encourage you to watch it below if you haven’t yet seen it.

At the core of this skit is one simple notion. SNL believes that Kentuckians are too stupid to realize that Donald Trump isn’t good for them. Person after person gets up, explains the difficulty they are dealing with, Trump suggests he will not help them, and then they say they support him anyway. For all four “Kentuckians” that are shown, the love of Trump is more important than whatever he says and they all sit down looking like naive rubes who just don’t know what is best for them. I am sure the writers were attempting to make a point (that I believe has some validity) that Trump has sold many of his voters a false set of goods, but in so doing they make the “Kentuckians” the butt of the joke, and like many in my law school class, they are to be mocked for not understanding how unintelligent and naive they are.

As I watched the skit, I was disappointed but in no way surprised. The SNL skit is a perfect embodiment of the elitist liberal sentiment that helped Trump get elected in November. The sentiment is what drove many long-time working class people in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania to switch sides and vote for Trump after years of voting for Democrats. Like the sentiment as a whole, the SNL skit is as patronizing as it is incorrect. First, it showcases at moment one how clueless it is about its subject by setting the rally in “Boone County, Kentucky” and acting as if it is in coal mining country. As anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Kentucky could tell you, Boone County is a Cincinnati suburb that has about as much similarity to the Eastern Kentucky coal mines as I do to Lebron James. Had the skit been set in Harlan, Pike or Perry County, it would have been no less offensive, but it would have at least been geographically correct. But to the writers of SNL, such differences are irrelevant because in their mind all of Kentucky is one homogenous, flyover area, and reference to one county is akin to any other. There is no knowledge that Western Kentucky has Midwestern farmland, Lexington and Central Kentucky are horse farm territory, Northern Kentucky leans suburban, Louisville is a major city and Eastern Kentucky is Appalachia. In making fun of Trump (with a joke that actually contains some truth, suggesting he believes there are only two jobs, Goldman Sachs and coal miner), SNL makes the exact same mistake they mock Trump for making. To them all of Kentucky is a coal mine, so each county is the exact same.

But if the selection of the county were the biggest problem, I wouldn’t be spending my Sunday writing this post. Instead the much more egregious error is the portrayal of the “Kentuckians” as naive rubes unable to resist Trump’s manipulation of them. That this construct is patronizing is obvious, but it is also objectively false. I am not a Trump supporter. I think he is almost certainly a fraud who has made promises he will not keep and whose policies will hurt those I care about (the working class of Kentucky) more than they will help. But I make the distinction between Trump and Trump supporters. Because to me, most Trump supporters aren’t naive at all…instead they are people who are happy to finally have someone, anyone tell them their lives and areas of the country are important. For the last 50 years, virtually every national politician has forgotten about places like rural Kentucky. What used to be a description of a huge part of the electorate, the “Blue Collar Democrat”, is now almost a relic from the past. The reasons why are numerous, but I think the vast majority come down to one word…respect.

I don’t know if Donald Trump truly respects people from Appalachia or working class Kentuckians. But I do know this…at least he voices their concerns and says they are important. Trump is the first politician since Bobby Kennedy to look at the people like those in Eastern Kentucky and acknowledge the truth. The world is leaving them behind and the Government has been complicit in letting it happen. While too many elitist liberals focus on mocking the things that are important to them, like their faith, social values and family life, Trump got up and said “we will bring your jobs back and help make American great again.” I think Trump is mostly full of it but at least he acknowledged the problem and the fact that their situations are in peril. Contrast that with Hillary Clinton, who told Kentuckians she was going to put every coal miner out of work, not realizing the devastating effect the decline of coal has had on communities throughout the mountains. Trump is almost certainly not going to be able to bring coal back to its heyday, but he did at least put forth the truth that these communities need help…a fact that had been lost with a President who in 8 years never bothered to visit the area once and a candidate who only did once in order to try and stop a Bernie Sanders surge.

What many in the liberal elite (and the writers of SNL) don’t realize is that for people in Kentucky loyalty to coal is not the point. As decades of bluegrass and country songs will tell you, the experience of life as a coal miner is a tough one and many wanted to find ways to do other things. But coal mining did help build communities and support families and create work that could help lead to a fulfilled life. Coal miners and their families have a pride in the coal mining culture, the bonds that it created and the area of the state where it was such an important part of life. When Hillary Clinton says she wants to do away with coal miners, she is saying to them that she wants to do away with their way of life. That is a big deal and it is not surprising that when repeated with such brazenness, it will cause strong animosity. It is one thing to disagree with someone…it is another to mock and degrade them and Clinton’s comments did just that.

Contrast that with Trump…most people I know that support him realize he is not exactly a bastion of truth telling. Unlike the four rubes in the video who express their undying loyalty to him, most I speak with aren’t huge fans of him as a person and they acknowledge he doesn’t share their values, especially the moral ones. But what they appreciate is an acknowledgment that they and their way of life matter and exist as something beyond a group that can still be mocked in a PC culture. I think most Trump supporters genuinely WANT him to succeed but I am not sure they genuinely believe he WILL succeed. If their healthcare is taken away with no better alternative, if his budget ends the Appalachian Regional Commission and if coal jobs are not regenerated or replaced with something new, I don’t think Trump support will be ubiquitous. Trump made lots of promises and I do think his Kentucky supporters will expect him to deliver.

However so long as the other side is represented by the mindset showcased in the SNL skit, they won’t be an alternative considered. If portrayals of Kentuckians continue to be that of naive rubes the disdain for elitist liberals will only increase. So long as the true reason for their support is not understood, that Trump has at least given lip service to respecting them and their way of life, other alternatives won’t be considered. There are Democratic politicians who get this…people ranging from Joe Biden to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. When they talk about the legitimate concerns of the working class, they do so with an understanding of those they are speaking about and in a non-patronizing tone. Unfortunately their reward for that is often disdain from liberals and their numbers in Washington are rare.

It is just one skit on Saturday Night Live. And in many ways, I agree with the overall premise of part of the skit’s tone. Trump has told the working class one thing and his policies that he is attempting to enact are often the complete opposite. But in making that point, the SNL writers made the easy target, Trump supporters, the butt of the joke. The reason why they did it is simple. Those writing such material don’t know anyone like the people they are portraying and mocking condescension is easier than true understanding. For all the talk around political circles about what working class white people think and the celebration of the memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” (which I did like, but is a memoir, not a piece of sociological research), the correct answer is the simplest. So long as working class people are not represented in Washington, either by corporate Republicans who only care about the top 1% (like Mitch McConnell) or candidates who speak with disdain about their culture (like Hillary Clinton), individuals will always gravitate to those who affirm their worth. This was Trump’s greatest trait and the reason his support in such areas was so strong.

When I was a clerk on the DC Circuit, I took my three co-clerks home with me to Middlesboro one weekend. All three were very liberal, one from New York, one DC and one LA. Needless to say, they had never been anywhere like Middlesboro before. I think they went in part as something of an anthropological experience, and were likely ready to laugh at what they saw. One even said to me with glee before we went, “I want you to take me to the weirdest places in the mountains that you can.” Whatever they came into the experience hoping to see, they left with something else. I introduced them to friends who quizzed them about their hometowns and what it was like growing up in an urban area. They accompanied me to my church where complete strangers hugged and welcomed them in a very handsy mountain way. My mom and I took them driving deep into the hollows of Bell County, where she described the lives of people that no one in Federal (and State) Government even seems to acknowledge exist. My Mother and Grandmother cooked for them, we hiked to the Pinnacle and even went to the Oasis for country music night with my great friend BoBob. As we drove back to DC one of my friends, a gay, Howard Dean supporting liberal from New York, said to me, “I have never been to a more welcoming place in my life. The people were just so kind to me. I wish the rest of the country could see what I did.” I do too. People from the mountains, and Kentucky in general, are some of the most friendly, caring and loving people in the world and their reward for those traits is all too often the mocking disdain of an elite class that knows nothing about them. That has to change and it won’t until those in politics or comedy writing start seeing them as more than just a punchline.

Article written by Matt Jones

120 Comments for SNL Skit about Kentucky is More Patronizing, Elitist Nonsense

  1. guindage
    10:47 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Bravo, Matt. Bravo. As a Harlanite who ended up at Penn Law then NYC, I know exactly what you’re talking about and couldn’t have said it any better. Great piece.

    • Angelo
      1:52 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Great job Matt! From Beaver Dam coal mines to NYU. There is one thing i can say that i learned about writing at Beaver Dam: Shorter paragraphs are easier to read… Hit return… Often… PS: fyi i know the story about Rupp’s cadaver…

  2. playmorezeppelin
    10:48 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Hmmm. An ignorant demographic who supports their underwhelming president despite being s**t on time and time again. Sounds familiar.

    • WillySpankit
      8:16 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Man, for someone so intellectually superior, you have a really tough time reading don’t you? If you did read and comprehend the article, maybe you’d realize that liberals with your attitude are part of the reason Trump won the working class so handily.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:40 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Whooosh. He’s talking about Dems.

    • playmorezeppelin
      9:50 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      If you read into my comment with a little more consideration you would realize that I’m talking about liberals.

    • WillySpankit
      6:26 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Haha fair enough. The shoe really fits anyone who gets too excited about either side.

  3. LebanonLawyer
    10:55 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Turkeys voting for Thanksgiving.

  4. BiasedBigfoot
    11:00 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Matt, I normally don’t agree with you on politics, but at least you have the Big Blue Balls to allow comments to be posted in your articles. (Unlike J. Miller)

  5. Tbow7576
    11:05 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    You da man Matt! Well said, as a Londonite I feel like everyone thinks we’re just a bunch of meth making rednecks, but you can’t know something or someone until you go there and meet them

  6. kuhlkat
    11:07 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Stick to sports….and ur gay friends

  7. kuhlkat
    11:08 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Just kidding Matt….kudos to u for calling out the ridiculously clueless liberals who run your party.

  8. leon singleton
    11:10 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    SNL is Berkley politics.

  9. bch88
    11:12 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Get those VOTES!!

  10. bigblueplane24
    11:14 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    I mean if they don’t like it, they should be more informed. I don’t feel bad that people choose to live being ignorant , where ideology is more important than facts.

  11. STLouisBBFan
    11:25 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    The difference between Kentuckians, and most flyover state people, is that Kentuckians care about others often above themselves. This is very difficult for the elitist “me” crowd to understand and sadly, as your friends realized, they have never even witnessed such behavior. I am a 45 year old transplant from the midwest who has been in central Kentucky since high school. I do not know any coal miners but would vote to at least give the people of Eastern Kentucky a shot at an improved life through mining – whether it comes to fruition or not. I would do so even though my personal gain may be greater by voting another way. Why? Because they are Kentuckians and, as you note, just good, decent people who deserve a chance. Being a transplant, I always thought the state motto should simply be “A Better Way.” To me, that describes what the state offers. A better way of life for families, children, and individuals – not necessarily wealthier, just better in the areas that matter. Sadly, traits honored by Kentuckians are a shrinking commodity in this country. Write more Matt – diddle with Drew and crew less. That is your gift.

  12. zack8271
    11:32 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    These are just empty words from a clown who supported a President who called people from places like Kentucky bitter clingers who hang on to guns and religion. If he really did care a thing about how Kentuckian are portrayed, he wouldn’t support the politicians responsible for that portrayal. Even while he criticized SNL, he couldn’t help but say how much he loves the show and how great Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon are. This is nothing more than a way to start a political career, and it makes me never want to read another article on this site again. This article is WAAAAAAY more patronizing and insulting than anything SNL could ever broadcast.

    • KYcats11
      12:43 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Bye, we don’t want you around anyway.

    • keiths
      6:56 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      You’re an idiot

    • rjrobinson1980
      1:21 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Suffering fools, you REALLY need to wise up. There are TONS of cities in KY with lead in their water, because back when the water lines were laid, they used LEAD pipes because they didn’t know it was toxic. That’s how lead gets into drinking water, dummy.

    • rjrobinson1980
      1:22 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Sorry, posted on the wrong comment!

  13. Xzander
    11:40 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    Oh loved the comment about lead in the water. Pretty sure that was in Flint Mich.

    • Suffering Fools
      12:08 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly! That was as bad an error as coal miners in Boone County. We don’t have lead in our water because Kentucky limestone filters out lead and other impurities. That’s why bourbon comes from here – you can’t make it with lead in the water.

    • rjrobinson1980
      1:22 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Suffering fools, you REALLY need to wise up. There are TONS of cities in KY with lead in their water, because back when the water lines were laid, they used LEAD pipes because they didn’t know it was toxic. That’s how lead gets into drinking water, dummy.

  14. jbksr
    11:58 pm April 9, 2017 Permalink

    “Because to me, most Trump supporters aren’t naive at all…instead they are people who are happy to finally have someone, anyone tell them their lives and areas of the country are important.”
    That seems naive to me.

    You used to be able to go from high school to a job that you can support a family with. You rarely can do that now. I’ve spent time in asia and the middle class there in many cases makes a dollar an hour. You can pay someone 10 dollars an hour here in America, or you can pay someone from another country a dollar an hour to do the same work.
    Then there is the supply and demand of people. More than 7 billion people, it pushes the value of a person down. Automation increases that pressure.

    • bhb71
      2:06 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      It’s pretty messed up that we live in a world where automation is a bad thing. We live in a country where we are making strides towards renewable energy and factory automation, and people are upset about both because it’s costing people their jobs. For all the things people say about capitalism and how it spurs innovation, it seems to be holding us back right now.

  15. njCat
    12:07 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    There are many very kind and giving people in KY. I know because I grew up there. Not sure SNL or anyone else said they weren’t. The point they were making is the Trumpeteers were duped by a con man and now that he has been exposed they are only doubling down. This is not going to end well.

    Kentuckians have to look no further than their current senators if they have a beef with Washington. Those two obviously could care less about Eastern KY.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:35 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Obama was the quintessential con man. He was just a Harvard lawyer…he was elected to run the most powerful country in the world, and he had never run anything…even a law office.
      When POTUS. you can’t just vote “present”.

    • rjrobinson1980
      1:24 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Obama was a SENATOR before he became president, so yeah, he HAD run something before he ran for president, dipshit.

    • runningunnin.454
      2:03 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah, junior senator, along with 99 other senators, that voted “present” on the majority of votes that came up.
      I don’t consider that running anything, dumba$$.

  16. ukfiberguy
    12:11 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Funny how Matt cares so much about people being made fun of when he himself calls people Balonyhead and Capt. Suntan. Grow up.

    • bluetide
      1:43 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      But that guy DOES look like he has baloney on his head and that other guy DOES look like he lives for his suntan. These are just facts not making fun of.

    • olejordy
      12:02 pm April 11, 2017 Permalink

      Big difference between joking on Kentuckians and joking on people associated with UL. Joking on both Ramsey’s makes for good radio and continues to enhance the UK/UL rivalry. But joking on pretty much ALL Kentuckians is something we should all be against.

  17. LeitchfieldAlex
    12:14 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Amen Matt, super article right on target. I hope Trump is successful. I don’t believe all the B.S. he says
    but maybe he’ll do some good in the end and make us great again! lol

  18. Dusten
    12:19 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Eh, this seems like an overreaction here. I didn’t really take the message as Kentuckians being the butt of the joke as much as it was more broadly about Trump supporters who have voted against themselves. I thought it was a funny and we’ll done skit, and feel like you might be pandering a bit here. They had to set the scene somewhere and my impression was that this was somewhere he’d been recently? I’m not offended. Everybody’s a critic I suppose.

  19. ky wildcat fan
    12:26 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    I may well be naive and clueless myself but I can’t understand being a liberal with how far left the party has gone these days.Still kinda making my mind up on Trump but I voted against Hillary way more then i did for Trump.

  20. PinkUKfan
    12:38 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Great article, Matt. It seems like such a simple solution, and one that any PR person could emphasize to candidates on either side of the aisle: acknowledge your constituents and tell them that they matter. Why is this so hard for politicians to do and mean it, or at the very least, sound like they do? Politics has gotten far too polarized and elitist on both sides of the aisle, which I suspect has to do with the Almighty Dollar commanding allegiance instead of the constituents. That’s not likely to change. What can change is that people can start getting more involved in their local governments. Ours was a government founded for the people, by the people; not for the corporations, by the corporations. And we’ve sat back for far too long and let corporations decide our fate because they’ve got the cash to back up their agenda.

  21. rlburd2
    12:46 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Everyone seems to have missed the point, even still.
    Trump didn’t win because he’s great. He won because he ran against Hillary Clinton.

    I voted Trump, like many others clearly did, not because he made me feel all special inside – it’s because he was the better of two choices. AKA, what nearly every election comes down to, the lesser of two evils.

    Two paragraphs and I said more 😉

    • elcorazon
      10:43 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      God forbid a qualified woman become President instead of a know-nothing clown

    • Tomnationwide
      4:22 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      I voted for Trump despite knowing we would end up in an endless cycle of crazy. But he was better than Hillary. I really don’t understand why people don’t understand that the politics of business as usual is not working and that America is rapidly deteriorating before our very eyes because of people like Hillary. If the country is screwed in 4 years I’m ok with that just as long as our government got the message that how they do business is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

    • dballrb
      12:38 am April 11, 2017 Permalink

      As a 46 year old man who was born and raised in Manchester,Ky, I’m proud of my mountain roots.Coal mining was/is the lifeline of my family(not to mention local politics).I now live in FL and have for most of my adult life.I,like Matt,have brought freinds home with me to visit from time to time and as recent as a couple of years ago. They all said the same thing,”Wow,I can’t believe that people still live like this!”.Poor,but proud,simple but proud etc,etc.One thing that I noticed almost immediately living the city life is that my friends,peers,mostly 18-22 year olds at the time, were way behind the learning curve trying to live on their own compared to myself.They found it hard,I found it quite easy making the change from the hard scrabble life in which I had been raised in.Now that I’m older,I identify as an Independent because neither major political party has all the answers.If they did,there would be no need for an opposition party.But one thing is very clear to me….,These PC,safe space,feeling entitled,snowflake generations need to stop feeling “triggered” and put there big boy/girl pants on and stop bitching,crying acting like they deserve everything…No one owes anyone anything,they owe it to themselves to be the best that they can be. If I can do it starting behind the 8 ball,anyone can….late.

  22. conley79
    1:13 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    The party has gone way too far to the left for most people who work for a living. We don’t mind helping people that are down on their luck, we think everyone should have health insurance but we want to work for things and we don’t want the things we work for given to those who won’t work or take advantage of the system. If they want to win back the blue collar worker they should make someone like Joe Manchin the poster boy of the party. Sanders would have to be running against a really bad opponent to win in a general election.

    • bhb71
      2:01 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      How would you feel about a system that put all of those people to work for the public? They get to feed their families, it isn’t a handout system, and we as a state get to benefit from it.

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:43 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      From whom does the money come to pay all those people?

  23. StuckinLville
    2:30 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Hey Matt, or maybe Trump got voted in because people didn’t want that lying sack of sh*t criminal Hillary as a president and because our systen is rigged, Trump was their only choice. And voting Democrat all those years has really worked out for Eastern KY huh? Kinda like it did with the black community. Like you, I hate when people steretype Kentuckians, but I’m also not dumb enough to not realize that maybe people are getting tired of Democrats and their on going lies that they care. If Liberals care about people, why are they so up in arms about attacking people that killed innocent children? I hear the argument all the time that they are innocent children and we should let the refugees come here, but what about now? To those who say war isn’t the answer, would Hitler have been stopped with it? Democrats preach that they care, but the only care long enough for the votes and people in the moutains and black communities keep drinking the kool-aid. If Democrats cared about EKY, they would leave coal alone. Republicans, democrats, they are all the same with their own agendas. Was Trump the right choice? Probably not. But Hillary would have been the worst mistake this country ever made. According to US law, she shouldn’t have even been allowed to run because she violated federal law when she was found to have mishandled confidential information, yet our FBI director turned a blind eye to it. So in other words, the elitist didn’t vote Trump in, people sick of the same ol lying ass politicians did.

    • oruacat2
      9:52 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      That would be a fair point had you not voted in a lying sack of sh*t criminal instead of her, but keep trying.

  24. GroundControlToNumber9
    3:36 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt wants us to believe that Kentuckians are too stupid to realize that “The SNL Version of Donald Trump is the same person that is in the White House” and… that isn’t good for them.

    Sorry hombre… Kentuckians aren’t that stupid either.

  25. GroundControlToNumber9
    3:42 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt, write us a long letter about Barack Obama’s truth telling. Or where was the article during his tenure that asked why the media doesn’t point out his lies?

  26. Get Sh*t Right
    4:20 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    It’s becoming a cultural norm for rural people to vote conservative, like pulling for a sports team. This way people can “win” on election day, and complain the rest of the time about how terrible politics are, until the next election comes up and it’s time to root for your team again! Fun! Environmental legislation rolled back, coal Ash in your water?! Lock up Hillary! Your local factory refusing to pay living wages? Obama was a socialist! There’s a heroin epidemic, and no government intervention? Men don’t belong in the women’s room! The government is trying to sabotage affordable health Care act, and your state has the most successful version in the country? Black Lives Matter are racist terrorists!

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:42 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Most Kentuckians treat Black Lives Matter like the KKK because that is the only position that is defensible with reason.

  27. pops11849
    4:49 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Although I am not a native Kentuckian, I have lived in the commonwealth for the last 29 years.When I first caught your act on KSR you struck me as a typical bleed-blue shallow ‘cats fan, but since I could not stop listening to you I have come to see you as the voice of the real Kentucky base. It takes a brave man to speak your opinions out the way you do, but in your typical Bobby Heenan way you make your statement your way, while verbally sticking both middle fingers out. This article is some of the most intelligent analysis of the Trump phenomenon and his supporters I have seen yet, and I applaud your eloquence as well as your insight. Of course, one can expect this from any student of Gary Deaton’s.

  28. runningunnin.454
    5:50 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Elitists of the East and West coasts, like those in the North, are the truly ignorant…
    If you’re lucky enough to live in Kentucky,
    you’re lucky enough.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:44 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Elites fear “flyover country” because we have the one thing they fear most: freedom. They are afraid to fly through the open door of their coastal birdcage, and they hate those who were not afraid.

      That is, in a nutshell, the core mindset of a coastal leftist.

  29. keiths
    6:59 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    You elect a clown, expect a circus! I LOVED the skit, it showed what idiots voted for this imbecilic madman who can barely speak a sentence.

    • catsarerunnin
      7:56 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah I didn’t support the candidate that used her own server for her own selfish political reasons which also put our national security at risk but I’m an idiot for not voting for her….

    • runningunnin.454
      8:36 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      So H. Clinton is running for national office and is so stupid, pandering to her radical left-wing environment buddies, that she alienates Kentucky, W. Virginia, Pennsylvania, and states out west.
      You might be an idiot if you were to vote for somebody that stupid…and smug, and arrogant.

  30. NoelGallagher
    7:15 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    I saw the skit and as a former 10 year resident of Union Kentucky SNL should do some research. Union is very upper class suburb of Cincinnati known for $500K Mcmansions, elitist Country Club and one of the higher rated public schools in the state. The closest coal mine has to be 150 miles away.

  31. JoeMoney333
    7:18 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    So what I’ve really noticed from these kinds of articles is that there really isn’t a demographic for angry comments. There are equal parts Conservatives and Liberals on here solely because they are either angry and Matt, or voters, or most likely themselves. So it’s funny to see either side call each other ignorant when this is the one facet where there really is equality.

  32. borgie01
    7:42 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Nice attempt at triangulation Matt. Some will be fooled by your position but not all. As long as you stand with the extremely progressive national democrat platform you will be viewed as a relic of the past.

  33. Gazza
    7:51 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Shut up Matt and stick to UK basketball. We know you are a big liberal.

  34. catsarerunnin
    8:01 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    The difference between SNL now….which I don’t watch….and SNL in its heyday….in the 70’s and 80’s which I did watch….is the show then was irreverent to everybody. The SNL of those days would be making fun of the SNL today.

    • theWilkman
      9:25 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      How do you know if you don’t watch?

  35. Sentient Third Eye
    8:28 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    To be honest, I didn’t think that skit was all that bad in the sense of being derogatory. Most of the audience didn’t come off all THAT badly. The real problem is that the overall writing of SNL is an insult to anyone with an IQ over 70, and it has been that way for over a decade. Sad. They need to rewatch the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” to re-learn that if satire is too overt, I loses all power.

  36. NCCatFan
    8:29 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    To my friends from places other than the Kentucky Bluegress, the attached article attempts to reconcile Kentuckians voting against their own best interest for more than 200 years. I have tried to explain that phenomenon on Facebook and in person, but always fallen short. Matt Jones is a UK sportswriter and columnist who also happens to be a Dukie lawyer who spent time in my current home state of North Carolina. Matt manages to sum up my own identity crisis and confusion: love of the place and the people while being unapologetically progressive. Matt gets it, and in the process explains my own cognitive dissonance. I have a lifelong love of Kentucky, my home. Well done, Matt, and thanks!

  37. Betula Uber
    8:32 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    How about people all over the US aren’t familiar with anywhere unless they are from there or have lived there?

    I would say that most people, even with a cursory knowledge of Kentucky, wouldn’t know the difference between Boone County and Harlan County.

    It’s a comedy show, this ranting about coastal elites smacks of insecurity.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      8:39 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      That’s true. Most of New York is not an urban jungle, but that’s all we ever see on TV. The entire north of Arizona has a non-desert climate, but we ever see anything except the desert (unless it’s something about the Grand Canyon). Michigan never gets on TV unless it’s about building cars, but 99.9% of people in Michigan do not build cars. Not everyone in Louisiana is a Cajun. Not everyone in Florida is a pill doctor. The list goes on and on…

    • CATandMONKEY
      8:50 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      I have attempted and failed for twenty+ years to explain to my former Louisville and Lexington neighbors this exact point. While the elitist-leaning prohressives of those two cities see themselves as more NYC than Harlan, to the people on either coast…we are ALL shoeless hillbillies. Not fair but that is how we are all viewed.

  38. Sentient Third Eye
    8:36 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Kentuckians didn’t vote Trump because they like everything about him. They voted for him because they just had eight years of a President who used regulation to kick them when they were down. Mining jobs were already diminishing, so how did Obama respond? By kicking people who were already down. And by endorsing a candidate who enjoyed that the damn “deplorables” were dying younger because joblessness drove them to addiction. Faced with a then-current regime who blatantly relished the fact that Kentuckians and other non-coastal elites were being destroyed, how else could they have responded to this literal existential threat?

    So in the same way a mugger forces a crime victim to buy a gun, Obama actually elected Trump.

  39. rickshelton
    8:40 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Thanks, Matt, for your article. As an proud Trump supporter I would disagree that we “are people who are happy to finally have someone, anyone tell them their lives and areas of the country are important.” My support is not so much about me or Kentucky as it is the country. Trump acknowledged the obvious… our economy stinks (after 8 years of Obama and the media telling us otherwise), our foreign policy is in shambles (Iran going nuclear, Syrians fleeing by the millions, Israel completely isolated), Obamacare made our healthcare worse, the liberal media is all-in for democrats (see SNL, HuffPo, MSNBC, NYTimes, LATimes, Hollywood, on-and-on-and-on), open borders is no way to run a country, and manufacturing is an important part of our economy. I don’t exactly know if Trump can make any headway on those issues but at least he recognized the problem and was willing to attempt a fix. Hillary seemed happy with 90% of the status quo with little hope for meaningful change.

    As I tell my son and his friends, I am glad you are paying attention. I don’t agree with more government as the solution but at least you care enough to be informed.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:06 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Obama and H. Clinton appeased Iran and N.Korea for years.
      In 2012, Obama told Bashar Assad if he used chemical weapons against his own people, there would be consequences…well, yeah there were; 5 years later.
      If you don’t have a backbone, don’t draw a line in the sand.

  40. runtsfan
    8:42 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Hillbilly Elegy comes to KSR.

  41. Brad Bader
    8:43 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Yes, Appalachians have their reasons for voting for Trump, and they don’t all boil down to ignorance and naiveté. But this narrative that we voted for Trump because the “liberal elite” made fun of us is more patronizing and insulting than any ham-fisted SNL skit. The implication is that the only reason we voted Trump was spite — as if we’re so simple-minded that we would place the future of this country (and quite possibly the world) in anyone’s hands so long as it upset those with liberal politics. Surely you see how that’s just as condescending as the notion presented in the skit.

    Your heart may be in the right place, but you come off just as “elite” as those you decry. The so-called “elite” have a certain degree of obliviousness, and this particular post was about as oblivious as it comes.

  42. Trinity45
    8:53 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Great job, well written, I will say this, I stopped watching SNL years ago because they just are not that funny any more, and they tend to be too political. I prefer my comedy and my politics separate.

  43. Zeus
    8:53 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Plant the seed Matt, plant the seed.

  44. CATandMONKEY
    8:54 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    The idea that anyone who actually is supported by either party as a viable candidate- represents or cares about the “common citizen” is the most naive idea of all.

  45. fairplay
    9:03 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Well said. I voted for Trump , not because I bought all his BS but simply because I hoped he would do some of the things he was talking about. And he has – Judge Gorsuch. The Dems were openly hostile to every value I hold.

    • the ghost of Bill Hicks
      9:31 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      lol at GOP “values”. Do your values match up with Ralph Shortey?

  46. Sentient Third Eye
    9:28 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Another thing people forget about Trump is that he is VERY non-ideological. He went from being a slightly-left-of-center to having positions that are right-wing on some issues, almost libertarian on come, and still slightly-left on some others. He’s not a true Republican or Democrat, and that’s probably a good thing. If only someone would break the device he uses for Twitter.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      9:30 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Geez, I made a lot of typos, didn’t I? Why again don’t we have an edit function? Some boards had that back in the 20th Century! Did WordPress get their equipment as East German surplus?

  47. secrick
    9:51 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    No one watches SNL any more . TRUMP …..

  48. loservilletard
    10:19 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    he fact that Matt continues to be lib shows the lib elitist just don’t get it, even if they are from KY. he should offended the lib media and libs in general do not understand that the government is not and will not be a solution to anything but national defense. Just like everyone in t how wanting to know what the government is going to do to help them. Quit relying on government. Take care of youlself

  49. jonthes
    10:21 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    As a gay native of Lexington, a huge UK fan and someone who knows a lot of American history and modern politics, much of what my native state does and votes for is indefensible. On politics many Kentucky voters are dumb as a box of rocks, and that’s being polite. When you vote out of anger, hatred and racism, you get McConnell, Trump and W. And you deserve them. You think you’re sticking it to some imaginary enemy when you’re stabbing yourself in the face. Trump, Romney and the Bushes have no more in common with the average Kentuckian than Putin does, a man who has stolen billions from his own countrymen while presiding over a nation of rich resources where the poverty and addition rates in the wide population are astronomical. Come to think of it that’s my birth state has become too. I don’t know what would ever get through to the fools who support these vile men, but obviously reality doesn’t. You’re offended by SNL? Look at yourself.

    • Howdy Doody
      10:32 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Kentucky got everything we deserve for voting in a Lunatic POTUS and a Theocratic Dim Wit Governor.
      That SNL skit was spot on…I am surprised they did not incorporate the dirt bags who threatened a mans life, family and business into the the hilarity..

    • runningunnin.454
      11:26 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      We could have voted J.Kerry and H. Clinton. If they were around during WWII, Clinton would be in jail, and Kerry would have faced a firing squad.
      And the Secret Service and the FBI should investigate Madonna and other left wing loons that threaten to blow up the White House.

    • original slappy
      7:00 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Where is racism? This topic has nothing to do with racism. And our president wasn’t racist until he ran against the Dems/mainstream media.

  50. elcorazon
    10:35 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt, you’ve become quite the snowflake. I don’t think much thought was given to the location in the skit and I doubt people outside of Kentucky thought it had much to do with Kentucky. It was more about Trump and the fact that his supporters don’t seem to care about whether he does what he says or whether anything that happens is positive for them, than it had to do with flyover country or anything. Not everything on tv is personal. I recall your show making fun of all kinds of places that you knew nothing about. I didn’t find it elitist. It was ignorant at times. It was more about just providing entertainment than it was about getting each detail correct. As you often say, facts are optional. It wasn’t SNL’s greatest skit, but it was alright. And I don’t think any attempt to make fun of Kentucky was part of the humor nor was it intended to be.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      11:04 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed that the SNL wasn’t that bad, really. It was pretty bland and, honestly, too angry to be funny, but it did not attack Kentuckians in any way more than they ever attack anyone in a skit. I say again that they need to go back, watch the Not Ready For Prime Time Players, and learn how they did it. It was 180-degrees from the current SNL, and that made it funny.’

  51. msumner835
    11:09 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    The ‘skit’ is typical liberal nonesense. What they always do. Who they always are. Interesting that you are uncomfortable, yet you are still a liberal. Their policies are still the elite, vile, impossible pablum it has always been. Always reliance on government, discouraging individual rights and responsibilities,and seeking political and economic paths already proven unworkable and, ultimately, harmful. Yet, you blindly follow. Establish another site for your hopeless ideology, and stick to Ky BB here.

  52. ToniTonyToneDelkDelkDelk
    11:32 am April 10, 2017 Permalink

    So a large group of the population voted for a guy who claimed he was going to look out for their best interest after he told them what their best interests were. Now he’s not following through on his promises while toting a dumpster fire of an approval rating, and SNL or the liberals in the media are to blame?

    Got it.

    Its gonna be a long 4 years.

    • original slappy
      7:03 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      I’d like to know how he isn’t living up to his word?
      You probably watch too much CNN.

  53. silverado
    12:08 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Nice job, Matt. I agree with everything you’ve said about Kentuckians, their generosity, their diversity and their aspirations. Very well done!

    The problem with this election was that Trump did not have strong competition, and that’s putting it mildly. His vast shortcomings were clear to many of his own voters during the run-up, but these voters chose to ignore them because they felt they had nowhere else to go. Now, as the reality of a Trump presidency sinks in, Trump voters will either abandon him (and many have) or they will defend the indefensible. They’ll cheer the confirmation of Gorsuch to the Supremes, the only Trump “success” so far, but they won’t mention that O’Connell blew up a critically, historically important Senate rule to get him confirmed. They took heart when Trump vowed to save coal industry jobs while refusing to acknowledge that the industry has been in decline for decades due to market forces – and coal country voters are just now beginning to realize that he won’t be able to reverse the decline. His executive orders don’t promote any new ideas whatsoever, but rather are designed to undo someone else’s work – a distinct failure of imagination. When Trump learned that Healthcare could be “so complicated,” he sent Bannon to the House to threaten its Freedom Caucus members – and the bill to repeal the ACA, as he promised to “do” on Day 1 of his Presidency, was shortly withdrawn. His White House staff is in disarray. His popularity and issue polls are historically low. Only the base of his base support him now as he redefines the term “fail fast.”

    Legislatively, there are no bright lights on the horizon. He can’t even decide which of his other campaign promises to pursue at this point. “The Wall” isn’t going to happen since he recently discovered that hundreds of miles of the border follow rivers that we would have to give to Mexico should we build a Wall on our side. Infrastructure? His party won’t support the expense. Comprehensive tax reform? No…its success was dependent on savings from the restructuring the ACA, and the House bill to do that would have devastated healthcare for many Trump voters throughout the land. A definite no-go. The promise to steer clear of foreign wars? Already compromised. When even his hardcore base supporters realize that the promises he made were without the knowledge of how to implement them, they will turn away.
    When they realize the extent to which he will have to woo Democrats to get anything done, they will turn away.

    • elcorazon
      12:22 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      who’s O’Connell? Sorry that you were unable to vote for the better candidate and instead were looking for good man to vote for.

  54. gadgetgirl
    12:12 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Preach it!

  55. WeepNoMore
    12:33 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt, just wise up!

    Can’t believe it’s taken you so long to realized that the elitist, know-it-all mainstream media and, for that matter, the vast majority of the Democratic Party have no use for Kentucky and the non-coastal states that elected President Trump.

    SNL could just as easily have picked Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, etc. for this skit. The SNL producers in particular and the mainstream media in general deplore this country’s heartland, simply because we are smart enough not to succumb to their propaganda and support their elitist, Godless agenda.

    You’ve clearly been indoctrinated by the the liberal professors and administrators that dominate our colleges and universities. Wake up and realize that the elitist Alt-Left has no interest in you or the nation’s heartland. Or, alternatively, you could join some of your fellow snowflakes and demonstrate for a SNL safe space!

    • elcorazon
      12:37 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      It scares me how many people are so indoctrinated in the right-wing conspiracies, that they believe the crap you just spewed.

    • WeepNoMore
      6:51 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      elcorazon, no more than snowflakes like you, who take the garbage the Alt-Left spews “hook, line and sinker”, befuddle me.

  56. Caliparty09
    1:11 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Besides the county, everything else was spot on. You have to be a special kind of derp to vote for Donald friggin Trump and expect him to help the working man.

    • BlueFrank
      3:48 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      Because Hillary does care about the working man??

  57. kampus korner
    1:18 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt, like you, I take personal umbrage when I hear or read about the people in my beloved Kentucky being mocked or spoken of derisively. At age 67, I’ve heard it all my life. Of course, this disparagement about native Kentuckians existed long before I was born and will likely continue long after I am gone. Unlike you, I am not from the mountains of eastern Kentucky. I grew up in central Kentucky. However, in my experiences, the “liberal elites” and other misguided souls you reference don’t single out a particular geographical region to direct their Kentucky citizen mockery.

    Regrettably, when it comes to many quality of life indices, Kentucky has, for decades, been ranked near the bottom among all states in educational attainment, heart disease, obesity, toothlessness, lung cancer among other societal maladies. Whether we like it or not (and I don’t), these facts help to confirm the very stereotype us native Kentuckians detest. Over the years, I’ve witnessed many politicians, newspaper columnists, college professors, community activists and others offer up solutions and make commitments towards ameliorating these important demographic deficiencies. Alas, during my lifetime little to nothing has changed and I see no prospect during my remaining years on this earth, that Kentucky’s pitiful quality of life measures will significantly improve.

    Right or wrong, when it comes to the perceptions that many people (including the writers of “Saturday Night Live”) have of us, it is based in large part because of what the facts reveal. I certainly don’t like it when Kentuckians are contrasted with people who live in other states, as being comparatively illiterate or stupid. On the other hand, our pathetic core demographic deficits don’t do much to dispel this stereotype.

  58. sixpoundtrout
    2:57 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Well said!

  59. BlueFrank
    3:47 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    They kind of hit home talking about Kentuckians but the real problem with the left is that they put everyone who doesn’t agree with them is the worst person in the world. Think immigrants should come to this country through legal means, RACIST! Not sure that we should spend trillions upon trillions of dollars on the environment and kill thousands of jobs, ANTI-SCIENCE IDIOT!! Think there just might be a muslim terrorism problem, XENOPHOBE! Don’t believe in the gender pay gap, SEXIST! Don’t want a man to pee with your daughter, TRANSPHOBE!!! Trump voter, FACIST!!

    Classical Liberal ideas are what the democratic party should be built on but instead, they have turned to name calling. That is why Trump won. People are tired of being called names.

    • original slappy
      7:07 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

      This is why Trump won. And the snowflakes have only put the exclamation point at the end of the sentence since the day he was elected with the way they have behaved

  60. Moosetits
    5:32 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Very well said, Matt. This is why I (and many others) would love for you to enter politics. Not only do you genuinely care about Kentucky, but you’re smart enough to know what’s best. Very good read brother, keep up the good work.

  61. Harlanian
    5:40 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    When the same political correctness police refer to me as an inbred hillbilly, I just regard them as ignorant liberal hypocrites who don’t deserve attention to their agenda. They are either stupid, evil or both. I hate both political parties, but regard a conservative as a much less evil.

  62. nicky
    6:10 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Love ya Matt but that’s some contradictory gobbledygook

  63. FunkyMonkey
    7:24 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Matt is definitely running for Senator McConnel’s seat,… starting to bash the media is the foundation for your basic political rhetoric. Mark my words, he is running.

  64. oruacat2
    7:46 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Random points:
    1)NKY, along with Lexington and Louisville, is frequently mocked as “elitist” by those very same “warm and friendly rural Kentuckians” everyone always rushes to coddle.
    2)The only people I ever hear use the term “flyover country” are the people who live there, and it’s always in the same “woe is me, I’m so oppressed” tone that’s become the norm.
    3)You never hear liberal/Democratic lawmakers or elected officials denigrating entire geographical swaths of American citizens – but you constantly hear elected Republicans doing so – it’s why “coastal elites” has become just another idiotic talking point on the rightwing, along with “San Francisco values”. Sure, Joe Public on both sides can mock each other mercilessly in their stupid online slap fights, but Republican officials GET REWARDED when they do it. Find me comparable Democratic Senators and Representatives who do the same thing or squash this “liberal elites just don’t get it” nonsense.
    4) “Coal country” needs to recognize that anyone who supports fracking is waging the true “war on coal”. Cheap natural gas killed your industry, not any sort of regulations trying to protect the water that YOU also must drink and the air that YOU also must breath. Wake up.

  65. The Original WTF Guy
    8:41 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    The level of censorship here would make one believe Matt was a Trump supporter. It seems if you write stupid Trump-supporting idiocy you get posted, but anything that dares counter that gets moderated.

  66. JHulk
    9:34 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

    Kentucky and many other Appalachian states have been the punching bag for the Media for years. We are considered ignorant hill folk or country bumpkins who should be amazed by running water and cement ponds. I did not grow up in Eastern Kentucky but any Kentucky native knows that this state has several regions with unique character. We don’t appreciate that the jackasses who make fun of us can’t be bothered to at least do some research on the geography and local industry.

    Browsing Facebook comments and newspaper comment sections after the election proved that plenty of people don’t understand the reality of the Urban/Rural divide. I saw so many comments from people claiming that rural Trump voters were voting against their economic self-interest. It may seem that way to an urban dweller but when the major employer shuts down in a small rural community it feels like the apocalypse. Those people may have sick family members or they are single parents who can’t just leave town to find another job. It can cost thousands to move to another city and then you may have to wait months to get a job. Nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and saving money is nearly impossible for them. They voted for the candidate who wanted to bring jobs back to their hometown. That is economic self-interest!

    Hillary Clinton was a staunch anti-coal candidate and did not offer blue collar Americans a vision of fulfilling employment. She could preach about job retraining all she wants but Facebook and Google are never going to open an office in Boyd County. Manufacturing, coal mining and construction offer a level of fulfillment for some people and at least Donald Trump recognized that. Some people just don’t want to be fashion bloggers, bankers or whatever Samantha Bee does.

    I think people of every political flavor agree that we want the same things in the end. We want to be healthy, safe and happy. We want our kids to grow up and have opportunity and our communities to be successful. I don’t want to see crushing poverty and a lack of opportunity strangle Eastern Kentucky any more than I want it in Detroit. Unfortunately, we disagree on how to make that happen. I do think that the coal industry is going to eventually wither away but attacking the people who have spent generations working in it is a low blow. We may talk a little slower but we don’t take kindly to thinly veiled snark at our expense.

    • ESR
      10:59 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Amazon opened a large call center in Huntington, WV a few years ago. Why isn’t it possible that Google or Facebook or some other large company won’t open an office in Boyd County or somewhere nearby?

      You stated “They voted for the candidate who wanted to bring jobs back to their hometown.” No he doesn’t! He could not care LESS about the poor. Hell, he doesn’t care about anyone outside his own bleeping FAMILY! He told them what they wanted to hear. He is a master manipulator and his own best publicist. He knows exactly what to say to get what he wants. He absolutely is not going to do anything for them.

      As far as the coal industry withering away, it already has. There are only 50,000 coal miners left in the entire US. They will all be out of work soon. I don’t know what the solution is, but there has to be some sort of re-training/education for these folks. I agree, moving is very expensive and not practical for them, but if IT firms, Amazon, etc., will create more jobs in both Appalachia and the south, it will be good for everyone.

  67. HunterGTS
    10:07 pm April 10, 2017 Permalink

  68. Debbe May
    7:05 am April 11, 2017 Permalink

    Your experiences with Kentucky Trumpeteers is different than mine. I run into person after person after person who voted against their own best interests and will do so again if given the opportunity. They still defend Trump no matter what. So I thought the skit was sadly true for a significant part of the Kentucky voting base. There are a few people who will turn against Trump but the same people that have put Mitch McConnell back in Washington year after year are the ones who will vote for Trump again, if he survives 4 years and if we do. I wish that wasn’t true but it is.

  69. Debbe May
    7:10 am April 11, 2017 Permalink

    It isn’t just Kentucky. It’s everywhere. They interviewed a stroke victim in Georgia who had voted for Trump and they asked her about the Meals on Wheels, what would she say to him. She said she would ask him “What if it was your mama?” Then they asked her if she still supported Trump and she said yes. They pulled Kentucky out to mock but when I look at the people who live around me, my family extended family members who voted for him, etc., they look at him as their great White Hope to stop all the assault on the White Middle and Lower Classes. They don’t realize they voted for the one who has continued to lead the assault. Now Trump wants to stop the Social Security payroll tax. He isn’t likely to get that through but they don’t get it that he is working for his own class and no one else.

  70. andyraf
    5:06 pm April 11, 2017 Permalink

    Sadly, so many comments on this article just confirm what SNL was implying: that Trump conned Kentuckians, but they will continue to support him no matter how badly his actions affect them.

    -What’s with the whole “elite” thing? The article used it four times, and it litters the comments. Who exactly are all these “elites”, and why do you believe they hate you?
    – The major difference between Trump and Hillary with regard to their actual campaigns and policies: Hillary was up-front about coal going away and was behind retraining and funding efforts to find new employment options. Trump promised to bring coal back, and people interpreted this as Trump “standing up for them and their way of life”. But it was all al lie- doesn’t that even matter? Do people think it’s OK to be conned as long as the con man whispers sweet things into your ear?
    – Calling Hillary a “lying sack of sh*t criminal” is just ridiculous. I asked this a conservative coworker why he felt this way about Hillary, and he asserted that she “personally killed over 80 people”. How can anyone have a meaningful conversation with anyone who believes that?

  71. ESR
    10:51 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    I grew up in OH, but only 20 minutes from Ashland, KY in Appalachia. I definitely have heard many, many folks in that area say they love Trump, mostly b/c they think he is going to bring jobs back to the area. I wasn’t the least bit offended by the skit b/c I felt it was pretty accurate. He is full of crap and tells them what they want to hear. The only time they ever thought, “Oh shoot, maybe he isn’t the second coming of Christ” is when he threatened to take away their healthcare and they realized their lung cancer and diabetes from smoking 3 packs a day of cigarettes while drinking an entire 2-liter of Pepsi might not be covered in the future.

    I’ve lived in a major metro area for 25 years and have little to no sympathy for them anymore when it comes to how they vote. I absolutely have sympathy for the lack of jobs, the poor education, the opioid epidemic, etc., but they ARE voting against themselves and until they wake the up and realize it, nothing is going to get better for them.

    Have you read “The Liberal Redneck Manifesto”? I strongly suggest it. It’s both entertaining and educational to the thought processes of those in Appalachia (the authors grew up in rural TN and rural GA) and some of the reasons they are where they are.

  72. Tom Dotson
    4:24 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    In the politically correct 21st century, there is only one demographic group which can be safely ridiculed on network television.
    The stereotype of the ignorant and barbaric hillbilly remains as strong today as it was when the yellow journalists of the late 19th century first presented it in the big-city newspapers of that day. The foundation stone of that stereotype is the tale of the Hatfield and McCoy Feud.
    I came face-to-face with it more than 50 yers ago, during my first week as a graduate student at Cornell University. A fellow student from New York City asked me in the grad student’s lounge: “What kind of people kill a hundred of each other over a pig?”
    With half a dozen of my fellow students listening to the query, I was shocked and deeply embarrassed. “What the hell are you talking about? I asked.

    He then produced a print-out of the microfilm of the New York Times article from 1930, reporting the death of Cap Hatfield. That article said that the feud started over a pig, lasted for half a century and claimed over a hundred lives. I told him it was a crock, and left the room.

    I did not stay to argue the point, simply because I knew that my fellow students would not take the word of someone who spoke a dialect that they associated with Southern ignorance over that of the nations “Newspaper of record.” After all, they frequently cited the “Times” as a fact source in their written essays and dissertations.

    The super-sized feud yarn is a foundation stone for the stereotype that persists to this day. And it is mostly lies!

  73. catlaska
    4:25 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    My experience has been that the KY portrayed by Hollywood is not as influential now, as it once was. In other states, I do not run across people that have a negative impression of Kentucky. I have even allowed it by broaching the subject first. There are never any takers and people either a. haven’t given it much thought or b. disagree and say they have no negative notions about KY. That’s not to say it’s always been that way, but things seem to have changed. Hollywood has less influence and is basically seen as being out of touch with everyone.
    I will say that UK is not UK outside our state, it is The United Kingdom. Also, people shoot bourbon, rather than sip. And like Matt said, they all think it’s pretty from driving through. And being away, also made me feel more love and pride in my state. It truly is a wonderful place, with so much to offer.
    I don’t think the skit is super important and was a stretch from the past, trying to further the anti-Trump agenda. I also do not think Trump is a fraud, needs more time and should be given a chance and respect. Even though I differ politically, I still think the article was very good. Thank you Matt! Love all that you and your colleagues do for our state and our college.