Democratic strategists urge Joe Biden to take on Monsanto to win rural support

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The Biden campaign wants to undercut President Donald Trump’s sweeping victory across rural America in 2016 by making its case that the White House has failed voters in small communities.

No one expects former Vice President Joe Biden to win the rural vote outright. But his strategists and supporters are working to peel away voters by hammering on Trump’s economic agenda and haphazard response to the pandemic.

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Many organizers want to see Biden come out stronger on issues like corporate consolidation within the agriculture industry by stepping up antitrust enforcement and breaking up large companies like Monsanto [owned by Bayer] and Syngenta that have tremendous influence on local economies.

Related article:  Glyphosate harms soil microbes? USDA research challenges common criticism of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide

Biden’s best shot at distancing himself from Trump is by taking on an anti-corporate message, said Shawn Sebastian, senior rural strategist for People’s Action, a grassroots network that built out its rural organizing operation in the aftermath of the 2016 election.

“Rural areas have been disinvested from and extracted from by corporate agriculture, corporate health care industries, predatory banks — and everybody knows that,” he said. “I think naming the enemies very clearly and having a plan for taking them on is incredibly popular.”

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