Just when you thought Maine’s leftist media elites had hit rock bottom in their post-election meltdown, along comes the Portland Press Herald editorial board with a patronizing hit piece (Nov. 20) slamming us “rural voters” in Maine and across the country for the deplorable outcome on Nov. 8. The Press Herald’s grotesque caricature of the people who live and work outside the urban areas oozes condescension and contempt and tells us far more about left-wing progressives and their twisted worldview than it does about anyone who lives in rural Maine.

Here’s how the editors profiled voters in the “other Maine” who voted for Donald Trump by wide margins.

First of all, rural Mainers are much more likely to be cigarette smokers. Moreover, smokeless tobacco use is twice as common as in urban areas. Obesity rates are higher, and so is alcohol abuse, as well as teen birth rates and youth suicide. Get the picture? The Press Herald editorial board counsels that what we really need out here in the “other Maine” is more government programs to expand access to health care, not empty promises from Donald Trump about bringing back manufacturing jobs.

Bear in mind that these same fat, chain-smoking, alcoholic, suicidal losers voted decisively for President Obama just four years ago. So what happened in the meantime? The Portland progressives explain rural Maine’s – and rural America’s – embrace of Trump’s right-wing populism by pointing to the loss of manufacturing jobs. But that simplistic single-issue analysis misses the “culture war” element of Trump’s victory, and the shellacking of Democrats up and down the ballot over the past eight years.

Since Obama took office, Democrats have lost 910 state legislative seats nationwide. Republicans now hold 56 percent of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats, up 12 percentage points since 2009. In addition, Republicans picked up 12 governorships (now at 31) under Obama, with majorities in 69 of 99 state legislative bodies.

Think of it as a huge middle finger from the country class to the ruling class.

The Press Herald’s air of moral superiority, its smug condescension and its elitist contempt for Trump voters are not unexpected. We’ve already heard much the same from the mouths of Obama and Hillary Clinton. At a San Francisco fundraiser in 2008, Obama referred to rural Pennsylvanians as poor losers clinging to their bibles, bigotries and guns. And it was Clinton herself who famously called Trump supporters “racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic … bigots.”

Democrats ran an “us versus them” culture war campaign against the deplorables and had their heads handed to them. And now the left’s dumbfounded reaction looks like a full-blown case of post-election stress disorder.

The outcome illuminates the yawning chasm between the secular progressive faith of the ruling class and the Judeo-Christian worldview that still holds sway outside of America’s big cities. America is still predominantly a culturally conservative country after all.

Large majorities of the rural voters so despised by progressives are opposed to abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy and don’t have a problem with requiring parental notification and consent for teen abortions.

These same voters take their Second Amendment rights seriously and voted accordingly on Nov. 8, rejecting former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bogus background-check initiative – Question 3 – by huge margins.

Folks in the country class are appalled that illegal immigrants get better medical care than disabled American veterans. And we resent being lied to, as in: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”

Most of the voters outside Greater Portland, Lewiston and Bangor hold to the primitive notion that marriage means a man and a woman and that nobody should have to pay a fine or go to jail for refusing to bake a cake. They think that confusion about one’s “gender identity” is a symptom of mental illness, not a badge of victim status. And they don’t think it makes any sense to let teenage boys share locker rooms or showers with teenage girls.

For years, these voters have been bullied and intimidated by the left’s assault on free speech, known as “political correctness.” They were made to feel that they are in the minority and that their views are evidence of bigotry. If nothing else, Trump’s stunning, unexpected victory has blown political correctness to kingdom come and empowered the silent majority to stand its ground.

Jan. 20 can’t come soon enough for us deplorables.

Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, was re-elected to a third term in the Maine House of Representatives on Nov. 8. He serves on the Labor, Commerce, Research & Economic Development committee. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]

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