Monday, November 19, 2012

"Urban" vs "Rural"

Two articles I've read recently  from The Atlantic and The Republic have made it clear that the reasons for GOP going down is linked to geography and population. I have gotten really angry in the past at certain GOP remarks about "real Americans" obviously pointing to rural Americans of a lighter hue as being somehow better than those city slickers. Democrats seem to own urban centers in America. One reason is because you can't get too crazy if you got to pick up the trash, clean and police the streets, educate the populace(though there some crazy's in city government right now concerning this, but that's another story), and transport masses of people to and from work daily. There is no right or left wing bus system.

The main points of these articles is that Republicans have ceded the cities to Democrats because their ideology of rough and rugged individualism doesn't really work there.  I don't know about that, as it simplifies their platform a little too much, but it does bring up the fact that they are not using their ideas in dealing with the challenges that occur in city environments. As more and more people live there from a variety of economic and cultural backgrounds, they cannot be ignored and demonized if one wants to win national, regional, and of course, local elections.
If Republicans are ever going to earn real votes in cities in the future, though, they'll have to do more than just talk about them differently. The real problem seeps much deeper. As the Republican Party has moved further to the right, it has increasingly become the party of fierce individualism, of "I built that" and you take care of yourself. Cities, on the other hand, are fundamentally about the shared commons. If you live in a city and you think government – and other people – should stay out of your life, how will you get to work in the morning? Who will police your neighborhood? Where will you find a public park when your building has no back yard?
However, as usual, it's the comments section below that gets the blood boiling.  It started off with welfare queens of all things, and how living in a city you see that that stereotype doesn't exist, and then it does exist, and then people have babies just to get more money, and then….sigh.

No one seems to ask the right questions. There are people who game the system yes. Why would they do that? Are they just naturally degenerate? Could there be some reason for it beyond their  "degenerate nature"?  The delusion of moral superiority due to geography has to end. We need to look at issues in our democracy square in the face and devise the best solutions for them. These surface bogeymen distract from the issues of making society work so that the gamers of the system have less to game.  The point is that the GOP needs to get their feet into population centers so that there is a vibrant debate which can lead to better governance for all. 

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