Saturday, July 27, 2013

A bifurcated nation

It's not a really new point that Charles Blow makes in his column today, "Carving up the Country," but I'll give it some space here nonetheless.  Here's a quote from the piece, which lists voting rights and abortion as just two issues that illustrate the great divide of our nation:
In fact, we seem to be increasingly becoming two countries under one flag: Liberal Land — coastal, urban and multicultural — separated by Conservative Country — Southern and Western, rural and racially homogeneous. (Other parts of the country are a bit of a mixed bag.)
I get what Blow's saying, of course, but I tend to resist the oversimplification--the alignment of rural with racially homogeneous, though at least he didn't say rural and white, which would overlooked the realities of the Rio Grande Valley, Indian Country, the Mississippi Delta and black belt, and Appalachia and the Ozark Highlands.  (These are the persistent poverty counties, folks, and most of the counties are dominated by a single racial/ethnic group).  As for rurality's alignment with conservative, I have written about that extensively here. In reality, the situation is far more nuanced than that.

I do, however, acknowledge Blow's point that most of the recent wacky abortion restrictions have come out of legislatures in the "flyover" states, statehouses controlled by Republicans (like the ones I noted in this post earlier in the week).

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