Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Trump and the Rural-Urban Divide

2012 Presidential Results by county

Cracked has a good piece explaining some of what attracts rural voters to Trump:
These are people who come from a long line of folks who took pride in looking after themselves. Where I'm from, you weren't a real man unless you could repair a car, patch a roof, hunt your own meat, and defend your home from an intruder. It was a source of shame to be dependent on anyone -- especially the government. You mowed your own lawn and fixed your own pipes when they leaked, you hauled your own firewood in your own pickup truck. (Mine was a 1994 Ford Ranger! The current owner says it still runs!).....
The rural folk with the Trump signs in their yards say their way of life is dying, and you smirk and say what they really mean is that blacks and gays are finally getting equal rights and they hate it. But I'm telling you, they say their way of life is dying because their way of life is dying. It's not their imagination. No movie about the future portrays it as being full of traditional families, hunters, and coal mines. Well, except for Hunger Games, and that was depicted as an apocalypse.
I can appreciate the do-it-yourself mentality.  I was proud that I used an 8-pound maul to split all the firewood I used to heat my house for 15 years.  I can appreciate the feeling of emptiness one feels as he or she watches all the things one has held dear slowly die (for me, that includes American manufacturing, rural communities, the Catholic Church and the Republican Party).  I can appreciate the resentment toward "the big city."  I just dropped a large sum of money on a piece of land just so the neighboring town can't burn up more farm ground with big shit shacks for Citiots (yes, that is a combination of city and idiot).  However, I just can't understand how anyone can believe that Donald Trump is a trustworthy person, and not a flaming sack of shit. 

As I listened to this story on NPR tonight, I was thinking that it would be better for struggling white folks to notice that their Hispanic neighbors shared many of the same beliefs in family, church and hard work, and that they would each be better off working together to address the inequality and lack of opportunity they each suffered under.  Meanwhile, they are splitting their vote between two ultra-rich asshole crooks who play them off against one another.  I don't know that this is a divide that can be surmounted, but if it is, I better invest my retirement funds in torches and pitchforks. 

No comments:

Post a Comment