There’s been a lot of buzz the past few days amongst the pundits about how the Democrats have lost touch with Red America. As I said before, I think Dems are right to be considering how they could perform better in those regions which have so often borne the brunt of GOP austerity measures. But I think it’s curious and telling how infrequent it is that we hear the Republicans accused of having lost touch with the values of Blue America. This was the election in which they lost their last Northeastern outpost, New Hampshire. The reality is that there’s a sizable, nearly contiguous piece of the country in which Republican Presidential candidates are failing (thank God) to win votes, despite Karl Rove’s best-laid plans. And despite peculiar arguments pointing out that the red areas have more land mass, about half of Americans live in the blue ones. Strange how, while we in this country hold by “One person, one vote,” not “One square mile, one vote,” conservative pundits – especially the blue-state-headquartered-punditocracy – seem to relish displaying the map and pointing out that the red part looks bigger. I think it’s fair to say that something in the American popular consciousness – maybe racial demons, maybe suspicion of crowds, maybe those much touted “millenial anxieties” over technological and social upheaval – stills holds forth America’s rural parts as more authentically American, more pure, more decent than its cities. Everyone wants to be the candidate of rural values, not urban ones. Personally, it’s important to me to raise my kids in a city precisely because I want to bring them up with the values best exemplified in cities, where larger, more diverse, more densely packed groups of people are forced to find ways to work together in proximity and sometimes in synergy. Interestingly, few of these places vote for Republicans in national elections. The two struck on September 11 are no exception.
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