Surveying The Country With Our Citizen Roundtable
With John Harwood
So, how’s the country doing, really? We’ll check in with a roundtable of voters from around the country.
Michael Warren, senior writer for The Weekly Standard. (@MichaelRWarren)
Carl Hill, On Point listener from Nashville, Tennessee.
Yvonne Raczkowski, realtor in Joplin, Missouri. (@yraz)
Alex Leith, civil engineer in Denver, Colorado.
From The Reading List:
The Weekly Standard:“What Trump Doesn’t Understand about South Carolina and BMW” — “Driving on Interstate 85 between Atlanta and Charlotte through the northern third of South Carolina, aka the ‘Upstate,’ you’ll definitely see that giant peach-shaped water tower in Gaffney that looks like, er, something else. But after you’re done laughing (or cringing) at this symbol of the state’s domestic agriculture industry, you won’t be able to miss the displays of globalization. Not crumbling shells of industrial towns but big signs with international corporations who have expanded operations to the Palmetto State and made the region a thriving hub of economic activity.
There’s Michelin, the French tire manufacturer with its North American headquarters outside of Greenville. South Carolinians make tires for cars, buses, trucks, and construction equipment in seven different plants in the state. The first manufacturing plant for South Korean giant Samsung opened last year less than an hour south of Greenville, where workers make washing machines. The crown jewel of the 85 corridor is the BMW factory in Greer, which is the German automaker’s most productive assembly plant in the world, and the only one in the United States. Every BMW crossover SUV is made in South Carolina.
So it was a little jarring to hear President Donald Trump, making an appearance Monday night in the state capital of Columbia on behalf of Republican governor Henry McMaster’s reelection bid, chastise the good people of Bayerische Motoren Werke for sending their cars to the United States. Not surprising, though, since Trump’s administration has threatened the European Union with 20 percent tariffs on automobile imports, causing the stocks of German car companies (including BMW) to plummet.”
If you judge the state of America by the noise in Washington, or the screaming on cable news shows, or the frenzy on Twitter, your verdict may be pretty bleak. But how does American in the summer of 2018 feel to a small business owner in Nashville, an engineer in Denver, or a realtor in Joplin, Missouri? We’ll find out in our citizen’s roundtable, with help from a leading journalist.
This hour, On Point: A late June temperature check for our country.
– John Harwood
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.