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The deeper message here is that rural, older, white America occupies one land; younger, urban, increasingly non-white America lives in another — and the dividing line on social issues (not just guns, but abortion, equal marriage rights, and immigration reform) runs between the two. Begich, Baucus, Pryor, and Heitkamp may be Democrats but they’re also from rural, older, white America. That land has disproportionate political power in the Senate, and a gerrymandered House — which may not bode well for immigration reform over the next few months, and suggests continuing battles over “state’s rights” to determine who can marry and when human life begins. Over time, though, older, rural, white America is losing ground to a nation becoming ever younger, more urban, and increasingly non-white — a fact that threatens the former so much that it’s in full backlash against the forces of change. Robert Reich

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