Saturday, September 12, 2009

So not all nonmetropolitan communities are insular and conservative?

The New York Times ran a story a few days ago about an exurban community of Seattle that is up in arms about its mayor's plan to honor conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck. The dateline is Mount Vernon, Washington, population 30,073, and the mayor's proposal to honor Beck, who was born and spent his childhood there, has met with local resistance. An excerpt from the story follows. It highlights how Beck has valorized life in Mount Vernon, which was probably more truly rural (as opposed to exurban) when he was a child there:

“I know it’s easy to romanticize the past, especially if you grew up in a small town like I did,” Mr. Beck told listeners of his radio program one day in March 2007. “But it seems to me that my hometown of Mount Vernon was full of leaders.”

Mr. Beck went on, recalling how the whole town seemed to turn out to fill sandbags when the dangerous Skagit River would rise and threaten to flood downtown.

“We were small enough to care about each other. ... We were all in it together. It wasn’t about whose responsibility it was, whose fault it was, who you’d end up owing a favor to. You did it because it was the right thing. In Mount Vernon, you grew up knowing that you always had to do the right thing.”

Read the rest of the story to get a sense of how Mount Vernon residents are not entirely in sync with their mayor's plan to give Beck the key to the city. Is it just the Pacific Northwest? or is it possible that some nonmetropolitan residents are not so politically conservative after all?


CityMouse said...

Interesting. I think the word "conservative" might be a misnomer nowadays. Even if you look at the recent elections I think truly "conservative" places are starting to become more liberal. I also think a lot of "conservatives" are more pocket-book conservatives anyway, and if you look at places like Orange County, or certain metropolitan places in Florida, they are very wealthy, urban, and very conservative.

--Karen H said...

I have noticed that those in the Northwest who call themselves conservative are not that different than those on the East coast who call themselves liberals.