The day after the U.S. presidential election, pundits suddenly came awake to the political/cultural division in our country between the citified folk and the hicks in the sticks (my term, not theirs). It seemed they had just noticed it, but if they were asleep to it before, one look at those county-by-county maps of the nation that were being shown as part of the pre-election coverage made it clear as a bell. In state after state, urban areas showed up as blue spots, patches, or teardrops of varying sizes in a sea of red.
[Incidentally, for those pundits, Morning Fog is pleased to point out that we were concerned about this trend some years ago - see for example "The Purple Ring" (2012) or "...Urban-Rural Dichotomy" (2010). Aaah, so what? - with that and about three bucks, we can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks!]
I confess, as the Starbucks reference shows, I'm "urban" these days - I live a stone's throw from Washington D.C., the belly of the beast, and I voted for Clinton (see earlier posts for reasons). Yet the parents who imparted me their values were basically small-town rural; they used phrases like "I wouldn't know him from Adam's off ox;" I was raised mostly on a series of military bases (real rurality!); and did military service. More than many in our current urban caste, I think, my wife and I still have a foot in the heartland, spiritually and even physically, having recently visited such spots as the California high desert and the coal and lumber country of central-western Pennsylvania.
With my mixed ruban (or urbal?) sensibility, I've always figured the American voter, particularly the small-town one, was a rock of level-headedness. I credited them/us with common sense, common decency, and the ability to see through dishonesty; to know that cream rises to the top, but so does scum; and shit floats too.
But if I could address the non-urban voters who we are told put Donald Trump into office, I'd have to say my belief in that general principle was shaken more than a little by this month's election results. I'm puzzled how you could have been hornswoggled by such a snake oil salesman; considered his wild promises to be anything but ludicrous; been unconcerned about his lack of moral character and common decency; or failed to detect, from his erratic behavior and paranoiac statements -- and here's where he really stands out from his opponent -- that he maybe ain't quite right in the head.
Am I wearing blinders? Will future developments prove that the heartland still beats true? Maybe. I can even think of a few ways that Trump, ass that he is, could solve a couple of this country's longstanding issues. But his latest tweetery of denial, rage, and baseless fabrication on the subject of election "rigging" doesn't offer much hope.
I guess the "good" news is that in so many places, the supremacy of nonsense over common sense is razor-thin, and may be restored with just a few people returning to their senses. But that's just my two-senses' worth.