The 2012 presidential election was a big surprise to many of my friends. Most of us don’t know any democrats, unless you count our kids. We can’t imagine how a country could be so foolish.
We’re so upset, apparently, that thousands are signing petitions asking for their states to be allowed to secede. I presume they’re just trying to make a point, but they set off a rather nasty reaction.
The Post’s Dana Milbank had some snarky fun in Wednesday morning’s column, "The Confederacy of Takers."
He says let them secede. They take more from the government than they pay in, anyhow.
Here’s what Milbank and many others miss: This isn’t a blue state, red state, division. It is more accurately a failure to agree between urban and rural communities. We have our values. They have theirs. There are more of them.
The New York Times map make it clear. It’s easy to pick the blue metro areas out of the red states and the red rural areas in the blue states.
Here are some really cool maps showing how the country voted, adjusted so it’s easier to see the difference.
In fact, if you bear down further, you’ll find that there are pockets of red even in the blue urban areas. Even in New York, Romney ran well in Staten Island, but Obama picked up more than 90% of the vote in the Bronx. http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/states/new-york
For rural America, there is much to be thought about in all that. For starters, if Mr. Milbanks wants to start kicking red voters out of the country, he’d better be sure his larder is full, because Ms.Obama’s metro gardens aren’t going to feed him very well.
But, deeper, it is about two different sets of values, both social and economic. Values are not math, so I’m not sure there is such a thing as a "right" and "wrong" in that debate.
My take-away here—remember this election was decided by just 2% wishy-washy voters—is that the U.S. is changing in ways we ruralistas may not like. We may not personally know a real democrat, except our children, but it looks like something we should get used to.