Most A1F Daily readers are well acquainted with Dana Loesch—the fiery radio and television talk show host, popular author and new women’s policy adviser to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
In Dana’s brand new book, Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run A Country You’ve Never Been To, she explores the elites in Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles, and their complete disregard of and lack of understanding for the millions of fine Americans inhabiting “flyover country.” In fact, Loesch contends that these “Coastals” and those living in middle America have a completely different understanding of the truth on a variety of issues critical to our country.
Through exploring a number of important topics—including the current hot button of private firearm ownership—Dana asks the question, “How much could our politics improve if ‘Coastals’ would actually listen to their fellow Americans?”
We recently caught up with Dana during a brief stop in her busy schedule, and asked her to spend a few minutes discussing the book with us.
A1F Daily: What inspired you to write this book?
Dana Loesch: The seed was planted when the president, during a San Francisco fundraiser, remarked that we flyover folks are “bitter” people who “cling to their guns and religion.” I realized that he and many others didn’t understand the values and perspective of Flyover Nation. It’s easy to fall in love with the part of the country you see 30,000 feet below the airplane windows when ping-ponging back and forth between the coasts, and I wanted to tell our side of things.
A1F: Can you tell us about the two Americas you address in the book? Despite some major differences, Flyover Nation and coastal Americans have common ground. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should focus on where we agree and build inclusion from there.
DL: In Flyover Nation, guns are what you use to obtain the deer meat that becomes sausage for the cheese during Christmas. They’re what keep you safe when you hear a crash in the middle of the night and the law is 30 minutes away on the other side of the rural county in which you live. Coastal elites think we all own machine guns with eleventy-round “clips.” In Flyover Nation, Walmart is where you can get your tires rotated, get your eyesight checked, and pick up a pound of hamburger and a six-foot-tall lawn Santa all in under an hour. It’s where kids can get their first job by stocking shelves or retrieving carts, or where a single mom can work to make ends meet. The coastal elites tend to view it as a place they’re too good to shop at that doesn’t succumb to demands of inflated, artificial wages. In Flyover Nation, church is where the community turns out to worship, fellowship and improve the community, not some anachronistic religious order that exists just to make people feel guilty for living. Flyover Nation is the part of the country that disproportionately sends its sons and daughters, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, and friends to proudly serve in our country’s military. We are Main Street USA with the flags waving, the perpendicular parking spots in front of the barbershop, the gun racks in the back glass of our trucks, the bread basket of America. It’s not an aesthetic you see usually in New York, D.C. or L.A., and our views on many issues differ greatly. Many folks in Flyover tend to feel underrepresented, under appreciated, and honestly, undermined by the coasts. I’ve grown up all my life with the stereotype that because I live in Flyover, I must drive a combine to work. In Flyover, we don’t live grouped up together segregated by highways, freeways or railroad tracks. It’s not like New York, where you could spend your entire life in one neighborhood and never have to leave for anything you need. I think that contributes quite a bit to how geography motivates individualism or collectivism.
A1F: What must we who reside in Flyover America do to turn the tide?
DL: I think it helps if we don't wait to get mad before we get active. We need to be proactive. We need to pay close attention to what happens in our city councils, our mayoral offices and the state legislature. We also need to invite our coastal friends to go to the gun range with us. My absolute favorite thing to do is invite my friends who are lifetime New Yorkers to visit us for a weekend where we take them to the range. Once they learn how to operate a firearm and realize that it’s an inanimate object, a seed within them is planted, confidence blossoms, and they become Second Amendment supporters. We need to do this outreach with love!
A1F: Is it a losing battle?
DL: Nothing is ever lost until you concede the fight.
A1F: What’s the main thing you want readers to take away?
DL: That despite some major differences, Flyover Nation and coastal Americans have common ground. Instead of focusing on our differences, we should focus on where we agree and build inclusion from there. For instance: No one wants a terrorist to obtain a firearm. We also don't want to lose our right to legal self-defense or trial or be wrongly included on some Soviet-style list. We need to evangelize where it concerns truth about firearm laws and self-defense. For some, almost everything they know about guns and crime comes only from what they hear on TV. We need to tell the story of the people who had to fight for several years to get themselves off of a list on which they were erroneously placed. We need to tell the stories of people whose lawful firearm ownership prevented them from becoming a crime statistic. Simply saying “There are 2.3 million instances of defensive gun use annually” doesn’t cut it; that's a big, impersonal number. Humanize those people: the mom who stopped a home invader from harming her or her children while her husband was traveling for work; the grandmother who lived alone and fended off two robbers with her lawfully carried gun; the young woman who stopped a would-be rapist from brutalizing her in a parking garage. These are real stories, real people, and no one in their right mind would argue that any of these people would be better off unarmed and victimized.
A1F: What has been the reaction so far?
DL: It's been great. People like the "Steel Magnolias" flavor of the book because it reminds them of their childhoods growing up in the country. And Coastals like it because it's so different from how they themselves were raised.
A1F: What are you working on next?
DL: I'm not sure yet. I'm proud to be advising the NRA on women's issues, and I've got radio and television. I plan to take a break from heavy writing for the remainder of this year and spend some more time at the range with my family. It's rare that I can get time away for practice to improve my skillset while traveling around the country on a book tour, and I have a couple of new rifles that I haven't had a chance to put through the paces yet!