Monday, January 23, 2017

What Is a Country?

Thinking about the marches in all the cities this past weekend, I began to ask myself: Are they marching in all those rural counties that flipped for Trump and put him in the White House?

Counties that flipped for Trump (from Obama)

The answer, of course is: No, they love him in the rural parts of America, in Idaho, rural Pennsylvania, the empty places where few people live. When David Brooks roamed about Idaho, all the people he met were sure Trump would win because everywhere they looked were Trump signs and Trump voters. When Mark Shields drove across the open spaces from Maine to Georgia, all he saw along the highways through the open spaces were Trump signs. But Brooks and Shields thought: Well, but in the densely populated cities, in the large metropolitan area, they cannot abide Trump. 

Turned out, those ragged people now are in control. All those cities where the marches occurred over the weekend--those masses don't control their own destiny. The crazy people in those counties where people don't read newspapers, they are in the driver's seat. 

But are they the nation, those dimwits out there?  If Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump--is that the nation which chose its leader, or something else?

So if the masses of people, who live in or around the cities are marching against Trump, who voted to put him in in the first place?

And why should a state, which is, after all nothing but land defined by borders, get two Senators?  Do grassy prairies need health insurance?  Do the deserts of Arizona need free trade?  Do the Great Lakes need to be protected against sexual harassment?  

I've lived in rural parts. I spent a year on a potato farm, after leaving New York City and I looked around at my neighbors and thought, "Wow, these people are here for a reason."  

There are plenty of people living in those empty places who simply could not make it in New York. They had that strange blend Hannah Arendt talked about, a blend of cynicism and gullibility which characterizes certain populations: so there are people who  would not believe in evolution, or global warming or science or in data which shows that the crime rate has fallen, that employment has risen to high levels, but they will believe that most Mexicans living in America are rapists and that Muslims want to behead every American and all the non believers. 

So my question is this: What is America, if it is not its people? 

Well, you will say, it's a people living in a geographic area defined by agreed upon borders. But if geography is part of the definition of a nation, then you can say the land itself is part of what constitutes a nation. And if you agree to that then you agree that that vast chunk of land called Montana is entitled to two Senators. And those two Senators should be able to tell people living in Baltimore they cannot limit gun ownership, because in Montana, people love their guns, even if in Baltimore, guns are destroying neighborhoods.  And Congressmen from the wide open spaces of Texas can tell women living in inner city Philadelphia they cannot have abortions because in Texas life begins at conception and Praise the Lord, we don't like abortions none in Texas. 

But then those two Senators from Idaho can tell all those millions of people living in Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, DC, New York San Francisco, Los Angeles, that they cannot have national health insurance.

But why should a small minority of people living in states where the Aryan nation has its roots, or where people believe in living off the grid, or where people don't believe in vaccination or public schools,  why should those deranged souls living out there in the wind swept plains of Kansas be able to tell the mass of people living along the coasts what is possible for them?

If people living in rural parts of Pennsylvania believe in home schooling, should they be able to tell the citizens of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh they have to home school their kids?

Look at that election map: Those great stretches of "the country" are empty, occupied by half wits, and those half wits rule.

There is something amiss here, and whatever that is, it's what explains President Trump.

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