Listen up, South Dakota. What kind of a person do you want representing you in Congress? Some scientist who studied the environment and went to Europe and worked with the U.N.?
Or do you want someone who was once voted "outstanding young farmer of the year," and totally never leaves South Dakota?
Identity politics are fucking weird. Ignore the fact that this ad, produced by the South Dakota GOP in support of Congressional candidate Kristi Noem, constantly veers into self-parody. Look at its message. This isn't even an attack ad, really, it's just: The other guy is brainy and travels a lot and he's not like you. Because climate science and Europe.
And here's the GOP's case for Noem: she farms. She has a family. And she hasn't left South Dakota much.
That's pretty much it. Thanks to the work of these guys, it assumes that "cap and trade" and "environmental studies" and "the U.N." are all understood as signifiers for "big government radical"—it doesn't even have to say anything outright negative or untrue. Just being involved in mitigating climate change in one way or another is supposed to be damning. The silly ad reminds us of the vast divergence of vision still present in the US of A; many of us see a science-proficient guy who worked in Europe and once did research in a biosphere as an aspirational figure. Others now see an untrustworthy outsider.