Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
A clever post from Geoff Manaugh at Worldchanging:
In a related vein, it’s often said in the U.S. that certain politicians simply “don’t understand the West”: they’re so caught up in their big city, coastal ways that they just don’t get – they can’t even comprehend – how a rancher might react to something like increased federal control over water rights or how a small-town mayor might object to interfering rulings by the Supreme Court. Politicians who don’t understand the west – who don’t understand the rugged individuality of ranch life or the no-excuses self-responsibility of American small towns – are thus unfit to lead this society.
But surely the more accurate lesson to be drawn from such a statement is exactly the opposite?
One could even speculate here that politicians from small towns, and from the big rural states of the west, have no idea how cities – which now house the overwhelming majority of the American population – actually operate, on infrastructural, economic, socio-political, and even public health levels, and so they would be alarmingly out of place in the national government of an urbanized country like the United States.