Skip to comments.City vs. Country: How Where We Live Deepens the Nation's Political Divide
Posted on 03/20/2014 9:30:16 PM PDT by Theoria
Differences Between Rural and Urban America Are Underappreciated Factor in Political Split
EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo.The owner of the nicest restaurant in town doesn't serve alcohol, worried that his pastor would be disappointed if he did. Public schools try to avoid scheduling events on Wednesday evenings, when churches hold Bible study. And Democrats here are a rare and lonely breed.
Older, nearly 100% white and overwhelmingly Republican, El Dorado Springs is typical of what is now small-town America. Coffee costs 90 cents at the diner, with free refills. Two hours north and a world away in Kansas City, Starbucks charges twice that, and voters routinely elect Democrats.
There have always been differences between rural and urban America, but they have grown vast and deep, and now are an underappreciated factor in dividing the U.S. political system, say politicians and academicians.
Polling, consumer data and demographic profiles paint a picture of two Americasnot just with differing proclivities but different life experiences. People in cities are more likely to be tethered to a smartphone, buy a foreign-made car and read a fashion magazine. Those in small towns are more likely to go to church, own a gun, support the military and value community ties.
In many ways, the split between red Republican regions and blue Democratic onesand their opposing views about the role of governmentis an extension of the cultural divide between rural Americans and those living in cities and suburbs.
As Democrats have come to dominate U.S. cities, it is Republican strength in rural areas that allows the party to hold control of the House and remain competitive in presidential elections.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
I live in lovely Salida, Colorado. It has the small town feel, crime is unheard of and the cost of living is low here...
I can’t stand the city.
No way the population has declined in Cedar County in the last few years. Lots of people must have lied on the census. People are flowing in here. Retirees. Lots of them from what used to be the decent parts of California. Even more of them from KC and areas around it that have been overrun with crime. Hell, I also know of more from Illinois. I have lived in Cedar for 3+ years and in Polk Co. just to the East for the 7 years before that.
Go to the boondocks. The nearest big city is 2 1/2 hours drive from here over the mountains... it literally feels like another world.
What this doesn’t take into account is that the suburbs are more likely to be more like their rural cousins than their city cousins. They may have cell phones etc but their values and concerns drive them to an area still close to their work but far enough from the rot and decay of most cities to be livable.
Overall I think that the supposed theory is over simplistic. Doesn’t even mesh with how folks have voted and what their concerns are. That fact that some smaller towns are more conservative than larger leftie run cities is not a surprise and really doesn’t address the over arching problems of our country.
City life is so overrated. There is nothing I can’t get from the local Walmart... or online.
Oh, I was not implying that it is crowded here! We overlook a beautiful little valley with just a couple of other structures in sight. Absolute country living!
Springfield is an hour away and KC about 2.5 hours.
No congestion, no long lines, no crime and most of all, you won’t be spooked at night.
I never have to lock my door after dark here.
Same here. Coyotes, deer, turkey and eagles. We have a horse and mule on our 20 acres. Love it.
This is my hot button
City Liberals define the problems and solutions while they live on top of each other like rats then define how rural America is governed
We got’em surrounded everywhere, in every state. We have the high ground, we have the tactical advantage. Oh well....just saying. I am going back to my cable tv and interwebz which keeps me duly distracted from thinking about such useless things...:-D
Been there, seemed like a nice place, good little sandwich shop downtown to receive the steam train visitors. My wife had us go there for Ricky Tims’ quilt shop. I hung out by the train.
There’s an interesting slant to this whole story. When you go to Ohio in the early 1800s....there are two distinctive groups who are settling there.
One group comes from New England, and wants civilization (bridges, townships, churches, schools, “law”, and elected officials). The second group is primarily from North/South Carolina and Georgia. They’ve come for their piece of the pie, personal ownership of property, and civilization is ranked a step or two down on their priorities.
Arguments start almost immediately on territorial rights, the path to statehood, and property taxes (the only method for paying for the infrastructure that some desire). What will occur over the next fifty years is a hostile nature of some counties versus others.
The cog that makes Ohio one of the premier states in the 1880s/1890s....is the civilization sector from New England, and their focus on their political agenda.
This urban versus rural argument isn’t a new thing. It’s been around for a long time, and we simply haven’t grasped the historical nature of how it develops, and where it leads onto.
We live in a quiet place now where purchasing food from the Amish is easier than going to Panera and the cost of living is drastically lower making saving and investing a piece of cake. I also like being able to go outside and seeing nothing but trees, mountains, and the weather; the only sounds are birds and wind. I think cities are for lunatics. :)
Ot Oh, can't have that!
The WSJ goes out of its way to paint ‘rural’ as a cliché environment. The fact is, there are people of all colors in the country and the nearby suburbs, many of whom never go to church and many or whom are not Democrats.
Roger that, on all points !
You and me both, ma'am !
.. keep Manhattan, just gimme that countryside .. d:^)
Interesting reference on Ohio history I was not aware of, sounds similar to hear in California
1st the Indians, then Spanish /Mexicans, miners, then farmers all the while San Francisco, Hollywood and other cities were growing.
Each group for their own idea of what their life was.
It’s the mentality of “One size fits All” solutions that irks me. cities and rural areas have different problems therefore different solutions but governance is reduced to ramming either liberalism or conservatism down each others throats. s\
Sure makes for a lot of anger that could be avoided.
I don’t think the Census is even taken in the rural parts of America anymore, at least the ones that don’t vote Democrat. During the supposed 2010 Census, I was not even asked once, nor was anyone in my house, and we live in a small town outside the Raleigh NC metro area.
Meckler is a known liberal
She leaves out the fact that in many cities its due to racial demographics or the divide is narrow...say 55/45
She is basically just looking at big coastal cities and a couple of Yankee towns
Many sunbelt cities if blacks or Latinos not figured would be fairly conservative
Its not as simple as rural versus city....and what about suburbs.... most are GOP
Wondering how the two regions compare in crime rates.
Most suburbs surrounding 8 of the 10 largest cities are not Republican either, unfortunately.
The internet brings many city advantages to the country such as extensive shopping and ways to socialize with anyone else in the world. Self-driving cars with sleeping quarters will enable people to live much farther from their city jobs. Factories have always avoided ultra high density high rise cities but these semi-rural jobs have been lost China, which is a big unmentioned part of the migration away of young people. The coming robotics wave may bring some high pay manufacturing jobs back to semi-rural areas. The article neglected to mention that much of the city population growth is from massive immigration from third world countries, needed because Democrat city voters don't reproduce at replacement levels. Trends go in cycles and it may soon be trendy again to move away from the polluted and overpopulated concrete and steel communist insane asylums. The first terrorist nuclear attack may set that migration off. Enjoy the peace and solitude of the countryside while it lasts.
I’m not so sure of that
Take race out of this and see results
Why do you think we got the Heck out of Memphis/Shelby County. DEM controlled.
Just moved 22 miles into Tipton county, car ins dropped 40%. We are in the process of selling the other house. Worth much more than we will get out of it, even in a decent neighborhood were there are semi professionals or retired, it is to CLOSE to FRAISER a big crime area. Memphis City schools SUCK!
We have both black and white neighbors, every one is friendly out this way, and it is Conservative, people help each other.
You forgot the factor if they are all black controlled they usually end up with corrupt politicians that rob the small cities blind. Ditto goes for the Latinos.
We get the AR and MS news besides the Memphis news. All those small black control towns are in hot water for political criminals theft of tax funds.
Well the stats prove it - we can safely blame all our problems on country music and Cracker Barrel ;’)