Democrats should pay attention when trying to adopt Trump's message of "working class anxiety" in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania. We've been told that this is the future of the Democrats, to copy Trump's message and adapt it to the blue side. Only problem is when you live by that message, you die by that message.
Monessen Mayor Louis Mavrakis' outspoken support for Trump turned him into a media sensation. The 79-year-old former union organizer helped decode Trump's appeal in the Rust Belt on Sunday political talk shows and for major newspapers, where he was quoted saying things like: "If ISIS was to come to Monessen, they'd keep on going. They'd say someone already bombed the goddamn place."
Trump himself made a high-profile visit to Monessen, a town of just 7,500, on Mavrakis' invitation. Trump stood in front of a wall of recycled trash to slam free-trade policies and promised to bring back good-paying coal mining and steel-making jobs.
But Mavrakis' coup in getting Trump to town also helped lead to his downfall.
When a group of residents protested his visit, they were led by Matt Shorraw, a local community activist whose family has been in the town for generations.
"What bothered me the most was Trump's visit got our mayor a lot of press, but he basically used that press to say our city is a dump," Shorraw told NBC News.
Shorraw resolved to run for mayor, even though he had never held public office and was only in his mid-20s.
On Tuesday, he narrowly defeated Mavrakis in the Democratic primary. And with no Republican on the ballot in November, Shorraw is all but guaranteed to be the youngest mayor in the town's history.
Here endeth the lesson.