Commentary: The Huffington Post is going on a listening tour?

John Massoud

The Huffington Post, after having been embarrassed by failing to understand voter outrage in November 2016, has announced it will be doing a “bus listening tour” of what it calls “Middle America” to ask this important question: just what does it mean to be an American?

The Huffington Post says it is doing this listening tour because: “Trust in the media has bottomed out. We hope to rebuild some of that – and learn from it – by listening to the public and elevating their stories through our massive distribution network.”

The tour will go through 23 different U.S. cities. However, a closer look shows just how narrow minded this tour will be. For example, the tour will be going to such “conservative strongholds” such as St. Louis,  Detroit,  Des Moines,  Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and the list goes on and on.

My guess is that the “learned people” at the Huffington Post have deluded themselves into thinking they are going to meet and talk to real conservative voters. In actuality they are going to meet liberal voters from what they derisively call “flyover country.” If the Huffington Post was serious about wanting to get to know more about Middle America it could find no better place to visit than Shenandoah County.

Tour members could go to Restoration Fellowship Church in Strasburg and sit through a sermon, and talk to the parishioners. You’ll see these are good God-loving people who are sick and tired of having an agenda shoved down their throat. Ninety-eight percent of us could really care less if someone is gay or if they are transgender or whatever they do. Americans are a live and let live people. But we get sick and tired of having Nancy Pelosi talk to us about how not funding military transgender reassignment surgery harms national security.

We resent being called haters each time we remind someone marriage is a Biblical ceremony. We are hard-working people and we want jobs. We want our share of the American dream, which we are not getting now, in large part because of overreaching regulations.

So to the Huffington Post, want to learn about the real America, don’t visit the few liberal enclaves in “flyover country.” Spend a few days shoveling manure in a pig farm in Conicville. And see how burdersome the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency regulations are. Go to any of the local diners, have some pancakes with sausage gravy and just listen to my neighbors wonder how they will make ends meet. Talk to the Woodstock, New Market, or Strasburg police, all of whom love protecting our towns but are getting sick of seeing the rise in drug use.

Come see a Strasburg Express college all star baseball game. Or a Strasburg vs. Central High School football game. Or talk to the members of the local Kiwanis Club who volunteer their time to ensure that needy children get fed good meals, and meals not subsidized at taxpayer expense.

This is America. We really don’t care what color or ethnicity or sexual orientation or whatever someone else is. If someone is nice to us, we’ll be nice to them. We believe in God, and in being patriotic. We get along in spite of our political differences and will reach out whenever someone has a problem.  We attend town meetings and are deeply involved in our local government.  We love our communities and are fiercely proud of who we are and our collective history – and are sick of being insulted by self-proclaimed elites in the media or entertainment industry.

As Alexis De Qucqueville said in the 1830s: “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”

So to the Huffington Post, get out of your liberal bubble, and come meet us one on one. Who knows, you may learn something good.

John Massoud is the 6th District GOP Magisterial District Chair, the head of the Freedom Caucus of the Shenandoah County GOP, and is a businessman and activist in Strasburg.