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  •  er... "rural" and "dumb" need not apply (21+ / 0-)

    Here's a comment I posted just after Election Day, on a diary headlined The Rural Worldview's Death Rattle:

    I disagree with condemning "rural" to meaning cracker-backwards-racist-bigoted-male-dominant-ignorant-isolationist.

    Jeez.

    There are plenty of big city and suburban neighborhoods I could walk you through where all that and worse would be grossly evident.

    Just as there are plenty of remote, boondocks places full of vibrant, cosmopolitan - not necessarily hipster potfarm yoga retreats, I mean - communities where difference is celebrated, not just tolerated, and certainly not shunned or written off. And votes are there.

    Why should we ink out the boondocks? I can read county and state maps - but I don't buy the blue-red paradigm wholesale. I see purple.

    Sociologically, anthropologically, psychologically, yes people are different - and one way they show difference is in where they choose to live, or where not to live. BUT folks end up in the darndest places, y'know?

    Again - why should progressives write off districts and parishes and counties where people live who like their wide open spaces? This "worldview" you are talking about: I guess if I take issue with your thesis, then I am really taking issue with this label, "rural," as code for this "clannish" intolerant thing.

    Je refuse!

    If you want to consider a different label, I'd be game. But it seems to me, that even for the sake of expedience, writing off "country," or "pastoral," or "rural," is painting the Democratic party into a corner we don't belong in.
    Ask Iowa senator Tom Harkin. Ask Democrats in Vermont!

    We are urban - we are rural - we are mountain fastness and swampy coast. We are desert fringe and downtown river.

    We are etc. Let this tent be open, and let the canvas spread further.

    and here is some expansion:
    there are certainly differences in social structures btwn urban & rural areas - but there are often greater differences within a single city than between that city and a rural area.

    Let's face it, there are plenty of cities where the local "urban" viewpoint is not one of acceptance of differences.

    And there are parts of cities where this cosmopolitan viewpoint is strong - and just a few streets away, one finds oneself in some type of clannish settlement, very inward-focused, exclusive, even "backwards."

    For that matter, do we want every city to be Portland, Oregon? Or Boise, Idaho? San Diego? El Paso? Jacksonville, Florida? The prevailing "urban" worldview of each of these cities - IF it can be succinctly defined - is different, and some of them might be considered to have a "rural" worldview, in terms that the diarist frames this...

    LET US NOT CEDE the "RURAL" and not even the "DUMB" to the parties that are not in step with us!

    (I think many of those "DUMB" white folks are in most cases more HARRIED and perhaps FECKLESS or ABASHED than DUMB, anyway.)

    Here's a quote from George Bernard Shaw (the play "Major Barbara"):

    UNDERSHAFT [with biting contempt] You lust for personal righteousness, for self-approval, for what you call a good conscience, for what Barbara calls salvation, for what I call patronizing people who are not so lucky as yourself.
    Is that who we are? Is that what we are doing? I read "people who are not so lucky" as the ones we are here condemning as RURAL and/or DUMB.

    It is perhaps morally wrong, it is shallow, and it seems to me ill-advised for a progressive movement seeking to grow as the most inclusive American political party.

    Tipped and recced, of course - especially for your succinct and sizzling first 10 lines!

    Hope is, after all, the currency of popular politics, and a coin surprisingly hard to devalue. -- Fred Anderson, Crucible of War

    by ornerydad on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 04:59:50 PM PST

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