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

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  •  I grew up rural. (2+ / 0-)
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    stoneboat, Wood Dragon

    My ancestors were German immigrants.  They homesteaded the Nebraska prairie.  They rode out the dirty thirties.  I grew up in Willa Cather country.  Some of my family is still there.

    Stupid people? - not in any way.  

    Isolated....well....I was when I lived there.  My parents were born, were married, lived and died in the same sparsely populated Nebraska county.   My dad didn't graduate from high school.  My family can trace its religious roots on one side of the family (through baptismal records in an old church in Germany) to the reformation.

    My parents believed firmly that being gay was a new thing.  There used to not be any gay people....

    There were no "whites only" signs because there were whites only.  

    Things changed there.  Walmart moved in and main street businesses went away.  Corporate slaughter houses moved in and brought cheap hispanic labor.  The farm economy crashed in the 80's and the days of the little farmer vanished.  Big machinery and big corporate farmers became the norm.  Populations diminished.  

    So, now when I drive through that country I see a lot of dried up little towns, a lot of poverty and a few big houses.  There is a meth epidemic in rural America.  There is a hunger for going back to how they imagine things were in the 1950's and 1960's.

    There is a lot of magical thinking and the likes of Fallwell, Dobson, Limbaugh and Fox News found low hanging fruit.  Just try driving through Nebraska, listening to local radio stations and not be filled with conservative propaganda.

    Maybe it is time for a new awakening though.  The disparity between the haves and the have nots is growing in rural America just like everywhere else in the U.S.  

    Why shouldn't liberal thought be just as hopeful there, as in other parts of the country?

    We need big ideas for diversified, pro-labor, economic growth.  Show these people that and we'd turn them around, just like the white, male population of Ohio.

    •  WOW. Just sweeping. (1+ / 0-)
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      ER Doc

      Ms. Loschen, you are talking about a prairie fire. Those Great Plains are where the Progressive Movement really took hold in the 1910s, 20s & 30s. Linked and joined with the Labor Movement in the mill towns and cities.

      thanks for your wonderful, rhythmic description... lots and lots of very smart people in dKos-land; many have gaps in their historical knowledge base (me included).

      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 11:11:35 AM PST

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