I Pity the People who Believe This


So this is swirling around..

Urban vs Rural

Mmmm.   No.

You see, quoting some extrapolated Census projection to whine about the lack of political dominance isn’t a sustainable thing.   Neither are calls leaping from ordinary whimsical disdain of country people to outright calls for pre-disenfranchisement and oppression of America’s rural population.

Pennsylvania is a case study in the rural/urban split.   We have had a long history–now gone–of political cooperation between rural Pennsylvania and urban Pennsylvania.   Today nearly all of Pennsylvania’s urban population is represented by a political minority figure and in Philly nearly every citizen is.   Urban municipalities are now left to spending money to hire lobbying groups trying to get influence that it no longer has in the state capitol.   City Hall pays for two lobbying groups alone.

If you look at the statewide contests in Pennsylvania that’s a no-brainer.   A weaker urban vote upstate combined with rural turnout turned Pennsylvania into a red state from a purple one.

At this same exact time last year Philly journalists were meandering the wilderness upstate and trying to understand why the rural vote became so energized:  rural stagnation, the sort of issue that critters in the city don’t really care about–until suddenly there’s an urgent need to win a statewide race.

What’s driving the rural vote to go vehemently against the urban one?   Every social wedge issue imaginable that’s used to drive the two groups apart is one simple answer.   Also: with no shared interest or perspective of rural dwellers with urban ones, plus the sheer disdain city residents have for “Pennsyltucky”.

Rural people are absolutely convinced that urban residents hate them.   It probably was better before the Internet when neither group could easily interact with each other, but now that they can–neither likes what they they see.

The political gap will always stay as wide as the social one between rural and urban people.  It won’t get better until either group shows more empathy for the other.

Or, the easier option: deny suffrage to rural people.