I suppose it’s amusing in ugly sort of way: Progressives are essentially going against a largely democratic unionized industry (Hollywood) while embracing the agenda of an anti-union and libertarian industry (Silicon Valley). The Author Thomas Frank should write a follow-up to his “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” and call it “What’s the Matter with Hollywood?”
There is no better example of this than the current darling of the progressive movement Zephyr Teachout. Teachout is running for Congress in NY-19 as a Democrat. At first glance Teachout appears appealing to the majority of Americans (left and right) who want to reform American politics and rid our election system of the corrupting influence of money. These are certainly worthy goals. But if you do a little digging, Teachout is not who she appears to be.
Why did Teachout move to the NY 19th congressional district from metro NYC?
Teachout appears to have “shopped” for a congressional district in which to run. NY-19 is a marginally Republican district with a retiring Republican incumbent. She has no roots in the sprawling 19th congressional district. Teachout a law professor at Fordham University in NYC moved to Dutchess County 9 months before entering the race after a lot of online progressive speculation that she should run for congress. There were already perfectly good local candidates running for the seat, a liberal Democrat, farmer Will Yandik and three Republicans. But hey this is politics and we all know politics is ugly. No surprise right?
One of the things that gives Teachout a shot in this Republican leaning congressional district is the cluster of counter culture progressive democrats in places like Woodstock. This is largely the legacy of the music business economic cluster that developed here in the late 1960s and continues to generate considerable economic activity throughout the Hudson Valley. The list of musicians, songwriters, engineers producers and managers associated with Woodstock and the Hudson Valley is impressive.
I imagine that Teachout will want to draw support from this important community, and my guess is that many in this community will reflexively support her. Unfortunately this would not be in their interest. Why? Teachout is the director of an astroturf organization called Fight For The Future. Why is that important? Well first you need a little background.