Rural America, the land of farms and small towns, the world of Mayberry and Andy Griffith, has been in decline for long decades. More and more of its people have left the land for lives in the city and the suburb. Fewer and fewer people are required to grow food (the tractor was one of the greatest feats of industrial automation in history), and there are simply fewer and fewer jobs in small communities.

There simply seems to be no way to stop the decline of rural America. Notes David Swenson , Associate Scientist of Economics, Iowa State University, many rural areas are now on life-support, basically supported by the Federal Government, “Federal and state governments provide them fresh water and wastewater treatment assistance, health care access, subsidized transportation and workforce training, but none of that alters the underlying forces inhibiting their collective prospects for growth. Every core industry originally undergirding these areas continues to shed jobs.”

That’s very bad news for farmers and small town Americans, and maybe for the nation as a whole. However, it may be worse news for the GOP, which has increasingly relied on rural areas and their inflated electoral college power, to rule the nation.