EVENT RECAP: American Populism Comes to America's Heartland

"To understand the rise of Donald Trump, we must first understand the situation that created it. And that is the selling out of the heart and soul of America to the doctrine of globalism, that is the betrayal of the American people by our elites."


(ALLIANCE, OH) - The story of Northeastern Ohio is a story seen across America's Heartland. Once a thriving hub of manufacturing and American industry, it is now rampant with unemployment, obesity, and opioids. It is defined by falling birth rates and rising divorce rates. It is Ground Zero of the American Empire's failed experiment in globalism.

It is also a region that swung heavily towards Donald Trump in 2016. As compared to the 2012 election, Northeastern Ohio trended right by a larger margin than any other concentrated region in the country.

But why? That's the question that APU Chairman Vince Dao sought to answer in his speech at the University of Mount Union in Stark County, Ohio last month.

In his address to UMU's Turning Point chapter, Dao attributed the rise of Trump to "Middle American Radicalism" -- a concept referenced by the late paleoconservative Samuel Francis in the 1990s. Trump would later dub Middle American Radicals as the "Forgotten Men and Women of America." But regardless of their name, the concept has not changed.

Dao argued that an intentional policy of neglect and abuse from America's elites has driven Middle America towards populism for decades -- and that the election of Donald Trump was the end result.

"Establishing that the system does want to kill this place, here’s my question -- how would you react if someone wanted to kill you? Would you sit there and take it and or would you get pretty angry and try to fight back? There you have the rise of Donald Trump," said Chairman Dao.

Chairman Vince Dao speaks at Mount Union.

Properly understood, Dao explained that the Trump movement was really a product of righteous anger and frustration towards America's ruling class -- and Trump became a hero to Middle America because he was the only candidate that truly related to their disgruntlement.

"He spoke to these people because he was just as angry about the same problems as they were ... he was not one of them, but he understood them and he talked like one of them and he thought like one of them," said Dao.

If Trump was the first person to remember Middle Americans, Dao argued that the conservative movement cannot afford to once again forget them.

"If we want to build a coalition in opposition to the neoliberal system, we find natural allies in those who neoliberalism screwed over the most. And that’s right here in Alliance, in Stark County, in this entire state and region," Dao stated. "If liberalism is the coalition of coastal elites, foreigners, woke capital, and cultural decay, then conservatism is the natural coalition of Middle Americans, family, and tradition," he concluded.

You can watch his full speech from April's event here:

Also headlining the event was Billboard-charting artist and conservative activist Chandler Crump, who discussed the current state of America's Culture War.

Vince Dao and other APU members plan on visiting a number of campuses next semester, including potential returns to the Midwest. High school and college students interested in hosting an APU speaker in the upcoming school year can contact us via the APU website.