The Tattooed Hipsters of Des Moines

At the Plum Line today, Paul Waldman alludes to something I’ve recently noted–the startling emergence of Iowa as a Very Cool Place–and something I’ve talked about endlessly–the political principle that a vote is a vote.

We spend so much time contemplating what different demographic groups find appealing and repellent that it’s almost as though we forget that a vote is a vote. For instance, Democrats are often scolded for their unpopularity among voters in rural areas and small towns, because of a mythos that says those are the most virtuous and true Americans and therefore their votes are somehow more desirable than those of people who live in suburbs and cities. But they aren’t. The vote of a tattooed 20-something hipster in Des Moines is no less helpful than that of the 60-something farmer who lives a hundred miles north.

Yep. And the votes of Latinos and white-working-class folk are interchangeable, too, as Waldman also notes. Now it’s not true in presidential elections that all votes are equal, thanks to the Electoral College. But maybe we can fix that some day.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.