Skip to comments.Palin's Small Town Snobbery
Posted on 10/02/2008 4:59:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
Americans disdain snobbery in all its forms except the most popular one: reverse snobbery. Joe Biden would never get up in front of a crowd and suggest that the citizens of Manhattan are morally superior to the residents of Possum Gulch, Ark. But Sarah Palin was happy to tell the Republican National Convention that the very best people come from the country.
"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity and dignity," she declared, quoting the late journalist Westbrook Pegler. "They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America, who grow our food, run our factories and fight our wars. They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America." Not like those idle, insincere, lying city folks who dare to suggest that America can sometimes be wrong.
But no one seemed to take offense. The myth of rural virtue and urban vice is an old one in this country, and it persists no matter what the changes in the landscape. And whatever questions Palin may face in her debate with Biden, her paeans to small-town virtue aren't likely to be among them.
Most Americans, it seems, can tolerate hearing of the superiority of the small town, as long as they don't have to live in one. You wouldn't know it from listening to country music stations, or to the governor of Alaska, but four out of every five Americans choose not to reside in rural areas.
Maybe if they ventured beyond the city limits more often, those people would not be so inclined to believe everything they hear about the merits of rustic hamlets, which harbor a full complement of social ills.
Not everyone in rural America gets high on fresh air and the smell of new-mown hay. Illicit drugs are nearly as common out there as they are in cities and suburbs.
In 2007, a survey of 8th graders by the Monitoring the Future project at the University of Michigan found that country kids were 26 percent more likely to experiment with drugs than middle-schoolers elsewhere. Overall methamphetamine consumption among adults and teens is more than 50 percent higher in the country.
The story with alcohol is worse still. "Relative to their urban counterparts, rural youth ages 12 to 17 are significantly more likely to report consuming alcohol," says a 2006 study by the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Excessive boozing among adults, it noted, appears to be no less widespread in Mayberry than in Metropolis.
Nor is the countryside exempt from social problems often associated with the inner city -- such as, if you'll forgive me, out-of-wedlock births. The federal government apparently doesn't tabulate these births according to whether they occur in urban or rural areas. But it does break them down by state, and wide-open spaces are no guarantee of responsible sexual behavior.
The highest rates of births to unwed mothers are in Mississippi and New Mexico, both of which have high rural populations. The most urban states, New Jersey and California, do better than the average in out-of-wedlock births.
It's true that crime is much more common in the city than in the country. Is that because the sight of cattle grazing saps felonious impulses, or is it something else? Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks the explanation is pretty simple. "It's a matter of social control," he says. "Small towns have networks of family and friends, and most everyone knows everyone else."
This deters crime in two ways. First, you don't want to damage your reputation among people who may ostracize you for doing wrong. Second, you don't want to rob someone who can easily identify you to police -- and in a small town, that limits your pool of victims. Crime is more common in cities because they offer a target-rich environment and much less chance of being spotted by someone who can tell the cops your name, address and 3rd-grade teacher.
One of these days, the 80 percent of Americans who live in more populated areas may tire of being obliquely insulted. Most urbanites and suburbanites don't think they're any better than their country cousins. But Palin might want to think twice before telling them they're worse.
And the author knows this ... how?
Nothing remotely offensive or snobbish in this quote. The author then goes on to put words in her mouth. The author is an idiot.
Nothing remotely offensive or snobbish in this quote. The author then goes on to put words in her mouth. The author is an idiot.
(Is there an echo in here?)
So Chapman joins the bullying cabal. Hooray for Stevie — he’s has now kicked a virtually helpless woman when she is down.
As to his facts and figures on the horror of small town America, I have to wonder if it ever occurred to him that it’s a heck of a lot easier to get accurate figures on what’s happening in a small town than in a large city? For one thing, every incident is duly reported, largely because the locals are vigilant. And for another, small-town cops are far more apt to release the real data than big city cops, since no one is sitting in the catbird seat urging cover-ups and gloss-overs.
Another day, another hit job. And, yes, you can expect the Hard Left media play this one up big — after all another “conservative” has “told the truth” about Sarah Palin.
My God keep that poor lady in the palm of His hand.
LOL, but you’re right. Praising small towns and their residents doesn’t mean you are criticizing cities and city dwellers.
I went to college with many from small towns and the main thing I noticed was that they knew how to make their own fun. Bigger city students were used to having fun manufactured for them.
This city girl was not insulted by Palin’s speech, but the point about inverted-snobbery is a good one, often a point I make against the left.
A little bitter there, Steve? Nothing to cling to?
Steve Chapman got up on the wrong side of the bed again. What a maroon.
It must be terrifying to be a writer with perpetual writer’s block.
He wrote Biden's talking points.
Well, yes, if you watch the show cops you can see that the whole country is in a melt-down mode. It’s very sad. Drugs have been very destructive, so have the promiscuous lifestyle promoted by liberals in the movies and in schools. Look back at the 70’s and the movies from that era. I got some very destructive messages and nearly destroyed my own life. Luckily, I found Jesus. It’s so sad, so many people are so lost. If we aren’t careful, this great Giant called the United States could fall. Too much dysfunction. It’s sad because it is all so unnecessary. It’s really sad too, when we have this nice, God Fearing lady with some strong beliefs about God and Country. And look how the elitist Media goes ape. It’s just pathetic. They have no idea that they are biting the hand that feeds their elitists butts. They certainly aren’t doing the real work that makes this country runs are they? No, they are sitting in their Ivory Towers looking down their noses at the people who do. They would be so lost without us, there would be no Ivory Tower for them to sit in were it not for us. I just wish they would show a little more respect.
Spot on. I’ve encountered this very same thing right here on FR. But even that bias against urbanites like myself is nothing compared to what Jim and all the CA FReepers deal with. Jim’s a better man than I am because I’d have banned everyone who suggested my home slip off into the ocean.
Perhaps. But the main stream media sure-as-hell will say that about "flyover country".
I wouldn't bet on that if I were the author. He has no problems telling people his IQ is higher than theirs.
Pile on Steve. You can roll around down there with Kathleen Parker.
I’m from a small town and we do have people just as idiotic as you, so I guess Gov. Palin must be a liar. Call em as you see em dumba$$!
I agree. I think this is just another example of the twisted way in which the Left sees the world. Classic example: If a public meeting were to open with an expression of Christian faith, that “takes away” my First Amendment Right to religious freedom, if I’m not a Christian. I’ve never understood that logic — but it’s much like saying “praising a small town is just a way to attack and insult the people who live in cities”. Huh?
Sounds like this guy is searching for an excuse to complain about Palin.
“Nothing remotely offensive or snobbish in this quote. The author then goes on to put words in her mouth”
If you were as erudite and intellectually superior as Stevie, you would be able to see Sarah’s arrogance in the penumbra of her seemingly innocent words. /s
According to the quote that the author provided by Palin, she did not say “the very best people come from the country”.
The way I see it, by wanting the government to take over ever aspect of daily life, socialists such as Biden and Osama (and extremely numerous others, unfortunately) are demonstrating their belief that they are superior in every way to the unwashed masses who were gullible enough to elect them. So phoop on 'em, no matter where they live.
Look I don’t know this guy from a lump of dog doo. But him aside, I never cease to be amazed at how Republicans enjoy eating their own,...they have this loser mentality which evidences itself in self-deprecation, a desire to cow-tow, to do everything possible to lose an election, to criticize their own, to whine and scream at their own candidates! Liberals always coverup for their own. You’ll never hear a liberal criticize their own candidate. Amazing.
yeah, us rural type folk are bitter, cling to our guns and religion, poor white trash just as likely to marry our cousin cause she has the same color eyes as Angelina, who believe dining out means BBQ at Sonny’s in our work clothes. I don’t see the candidates stumping in the rural areas...why is that?
Is it because we don’t matter?
Townhall.com seems of late to be infected with quite a few columnists of dubious conservative credentials. Kathleen Parker comes to mind.
Might be time for the place to be fumigated.
This is a blatantly anti-Palin article without a “BS alert.”
You’re making the author’s point for him. If I didn’t know better, I would swear you trying to live up to the stereotype.
Because we’re smart enough to recognize BS without an alert? The first sentence was all I needed to read.
Steven Chapman,Kathleen Parker,closet liberals.
Whereas one isn't required to resort to obliquity to insult country folk. People come together in the cities to work, plus there's a grass is always greener phenomenon that affects the young. Many return when and if they can. One could almost consider the movement into cities to be an emigration, like the Irish did in coming to America.
I will add my front row two cents here and thats because I actually live in Wasilla, Alaska or if you want to split hairs 11 miles north of it. But for reference sake I say I live there because thats where all my mail goes to, there is no home delivery where I live, its in Wasilla proper.
In Alaska its been said for many years, there is Anchorage and then there is Alaska or Alaska starts outside the Anchorage city limits.
Well thats very true because I have briefly lived in Anchorage and its a real city, it has bus routes, mail, cable TV and city water and sewage. I however must use a well and a septic tank, I bet that concept gets a lot of undies in a bunch.
Sarah Palin is well known on an up front personal level, many knew her back when she was in high school, I have met her personally and drank beer with them, they are as close to many here as if they lived next door.
Living next door in Alaska very well means your neighbor may be over 50 miles away. But you never the less know them better than you would say the apartment complex in the city.
Sarah is the neighbor like that, the one that drives by and loans you a tractor, an air compressor or helps you haul wood, can most city people make claim like that? I would argue to say its not likely because people that live closer together build thicker walls to defend their borders of privacy, rural people have no real fear of that with the few holdout exceptions of the really weird ones we sometimes have.
I am glad I live away from the city, I have my own water, I have a generator, I fear no riots burning my house of threatening me.
The most important factor in this election is the fact of we the people are voting for a leader to represent us, its that obvious fact that makes Sarah Palin the the choice, at least for me.
All you city dwellers can adopt the muslim-messiah to be your cult leader and after he is elected you can give your lifes earnings to him because he will surely take it and all the while you will have that warm feeling up your crack because thats where you are getting it in return.
The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
From Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia"
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever He had a chosen people, whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth. Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon of which no age nor nation has furnished an example. It is the mark set on those, who, not looking up to heaven, to their own soil and industry, as does the husbandman, for their subsistence, depend for it on casualties and caprice of customers. Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition."
There is a FREE REPUBLIC thread on this quote HERE.
Tough choice there.
I have no facts or figures to back up what I’m about to say, so consider it idle speculation.
I would propose that the drug problem went from the cities to the country. Drugs are piped into where the largest markets are, and distributed outward. Furthermore, the social networks kept some of it down historically. But country bumpkin kids always want to try what the city slicker kids are doing, especially when the media is glamorizing it.
Promiscuity might have gone the other direction. It seems like people have traditionally married younger in the country. As the other poster said, country kids make their own fun.
THe above statements leave out an awful lot of influences, I realize.
he did kinda gloss right past the obvious fact that the 'clingers' are armed and [righteously] dangerous...
Steve Chapman jumped the shark a long time ago...he has some serious issues and probably needs some mental medicine. I’m going over to Townhall to watch the ObamaMorons flock to the comments.
satanic demons always start sweatin when the Lord starts turnin up the heat...to be expected...
What is wrong with Townhall authors? Last week Parker, and now this?
good the best people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity and dignity," she declared, quoting the late journalist Westbrook Pegler. "They are the ones who do some all of the hardest work in America, who grow our food, run our factories and fight our wars. They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America."
Steve Chapman lives in the Chicago area and is generally speaking, a conservative. He attended Harvard University and at times, it tends to show.
Note to Steve Chapman:
Praising one segment of the population does not denigrate the rest. Just as when I praise my son for his good grades, I'm not telling my daughter her grades are inadequate.
Not to worry — she is a sweetie with a core of steel. She doesn’t have to act like a beayotch to prove she’s tough like the lefty women. I don’t worry about this stuff getting to her.
Excellent analogy. And the Irish considered it to be an exile, and even held wake-like ceremonies before departure. Emigration was an economic necessity.
Perhaps telecommuting will facilite a repatriation into small towns. It would be good for the soul of America.