On the rural/urban divide from the 2016 election:
“The Trump voters that I know run a gamut of educational and financial backgrounds but they all have one thing in common: Talk with them long enough and they will say ‘why should I…’. Everyone of them. Guaranteed. My work and my volunteer work puts me into contact with with lots of people, and if you listen to the conversations at the store or a restaurant; it’s a common refrain. I call it Whyshouldism.
“‘Sure, we should be be feeding hungry kids, but why should I be paying for it’ ‘yes, brush burning is bad for the air quality, but why should I pay to haul these leaves to the compost instead’. It goes on.
“This is magnified by the deeply held knowledge by pretty much everyone here that they are very smart and everyone else is not. And since they are smart and cannot figure out a good reason ‘why they should’ no reason must therefore exist. There’s no explaining, because, remember, you’re dumb and they aren’t, and it is very arrogant of you to try explaining things to people smarter than you.
“It is these two things that form the bitter heart of the modern conservative sense of entitlement. And it plays out in such stupid ways here. The state recently changed some regulations on meat handling and storage for restaurants – it wasn’t a huge change, basically temps in coolers and fridges had to be a few degrees lower. But the local pols were ‘there is no reason Capitol City needs to be telling us what standards we should accept, we make our own standards’. No complaint about the actual regulation itself, just that the people here are smarter and wiser than those idiots in Big City and therefore anything they want to do is stupid.
“I think this why the Urban/Rural thing seems prevalent, but you don’t have to take many swings with a dead cat to hit someone like this in say, New Jersey. To me, thinking about is rural/urban is missing the larger picture.
“You watch this and think what the hell has happened ? You can’t even find dems talking like that anymore. What I think has happened is that the generation that overcame the Depression and World Wars by coming together gave rise to the generation that wonders why I have to do anything for those morons. I sort of wonder if it’s a boomer thing – you can kind of draw a line from the 80s ‘Me Generation’ to the current ‘Stupid Entitled Movement’ we have going on, but that does seem a little pat.
“There is, of course, a bit more to it, but this is a comment and not a blog post, so I tried to be brief. But from here, in the middle of nowhere, it seems that whyshouldism has taken firm hold and I just don’t see how a ‘One Nation, Indivisible’ manages to survive that.”