I didn't say anything about working class rural America's political choices but I'll come back to that. My primary goal was simply highlighting the hypocrisy of insisting that identity trumps merit when it's for the "greater good of the nation" (not your words, my summation of your argument) and then insisting that there's something wrong when other people apply the same argument for the same reason, the greater good of the nation. The argument in favor of affirmative action goes specifically to the issue about maintaining who is in the upper and upper middle class class at a generational level. It's precisely about having a static society. Which you don't think has merit, having a static society, but you dislike a tool designed specifically to address it. That's inconsistent logically when put against the backdrop of actual history. To return to working rural America's political choices - the repeated criticism is that they have constantly voted for people who support the policies that are killing them. Not just in this last Presidential election but for the last 50 years. They have repeatedly voted for politicians who have advocated for free trade and movement of goods even though it is, to quote you, "killing them off". It's historically absurd to then lay that at the feet of liberals when these policies come from the brain trust of the conservatives whom working class rural America overwhelmingly support politically. I'm going to say something un-PC. Rural America has been fucking themselves over economically for decades because they don't want to be politically aligned with black America even though they suffer from the same problem regarding the economy and the prioritization of capital over labor.