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View Diary: "rural" and "dumb" need not apply (185 comments)

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  •  I don't know much about the rural South (2+ / 0-)
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    Wood Dragon, Shippo1776

    but I know a lot about the rural northeast.  Perhaps they are very different in this respect, but I wouldn't paint the entire rural landscape of the U.S. as uniquely poor and uneducated. I've lived in rural parts of the Northeast and urban areas -- and I would guess that there are a lot more people in NYC who have less education (and are probably poorer) than people in the small rural town I grew up in.  There is rural poverty and there is urban poverty.  But it seems okay among progressive circles to  condescend to the rural working class and poor (and even middle class) -- particularly if those people are republican -- whereas one wouldn't do that openly about the people that live in the projects near me in Brooklyn.  Why is that?  Is it because rural poor tend to be white, so we can't be accused of racism?  In any case, I really appreciate your last paragraph.  Also, rural Maine used to be a lot more economically viable.  The community that my parents grew up in was very different than even the one that I grew up in.  It was much more socially mobile.  Much more civic pride.  Still, a large percent of the population in the town I grew up in went on to college, and there was a very high value placed on education. But then they tended to move out of state or at least to a New England city to find work.  It is a sad state of affairs, but not the fault of the people who live there and love their land and their communities and only want to be able to make a decent living and support their families.  It is a sad situation for our country that rural communities are less and less economically viable.

    •  As I wrote in another comment recently (0+ / 0-)

      Over the past decades the GOP has successfully split the old Democratic-Populist-Progressive coalition that was responsible for most of the progressive reforms in the US from roughly 1900-1965, along racial, regional and cultural lines, pitting whites against blacks, social conservatives against social liberals, rural and outer suburban dwellers against urban and inner suburban dwellers, etc.

      White and blacks, the poor, working and middle class, rural, suburban and urban dwellers, etc., used to be united against their upper class exploiters, whether it was on a farm or in a factory. Obviously, there was racism within this coalition, and tensions across regional and cultural lines. But it managed to hold firm and get some amazing things done, until the modern GOP found a way to split it wide open over race, region and culture, and through economic and labor policy.

      They used the Civil and Voting Rights Acts to divide poor and working class whites and blacks over race. They chipped away at the Wagner Act and other labor laws to weaken one of the left's traditional power bases, unions. They used free trade, corporate consolidation and financial deregulation to impoverish and weaken independant farmers, another traditional power base of the left. They exploited social issues like religion, guns, women's and gay rights and abortion to divide Democrats yet again. And so now, instead of standing united against their common enemy, too-powerful corporations and oligarchs, whites and blacks, rural and urban dwellers, social conservatives and liberals, etc., are divided over such issues, which while clearly important need not be so divisive.

      And even here, they've managed to divide the thinking left over such relatively secondary issues as whether you're from the north or south or a rural or urban region. They've got us fighting each other over pecking order.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:24:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  kovie, you've got the kind of tough (1+ / 0-)
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        and sharp instrument of a mind it's a pleasure to tumble with.

        glad of your historic descriptions & observations here

        may have to start "following" you


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

        by ornerydad on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:38:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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