Urban vs Rural

Do You Want Rural America to Set Your Priorities?

Looking at the coverage for the 2022 Midterm Elections, I find myself appalled by the decisions made by voters in Rural America. Although I am pleasantly surprised by the many failures of Republican candidates (as opposed to what pundits had predicted), I wonder by rural voters vote the way they do.

When the Founding Fathers decided on what sort of government the former British colonies would have, they saw the new nation as a union of states. That led, among other things, to the infamous Electoral College which gave the edge in Presidential elections to rural states. The very fact that all states, irrespective of population, have two senators meant that the least populous state, Wyoming, with 580,000 residents, had as much clout in the senate as California, with 39.24 million residents.

The way the Electoral College works is that, for each state, one adds the number of U.S. senators (two per state0 to the number of members of the House of Representatives. That means that Wyoming has 3 electoral votes, whereas California has 53. That doesn’t look so bad at first, until you realize that California has roughly 78 times as many people as Wyoming, not 19 times as many. That distortion is caused by the addition of Wyoming’s two senators.

I don’t get a good feeling about the voters who live in rural America. They’re not all sturdy independent farmers: More likely, they’re living from hand to mouth and are bitterly opposed to us city folks. I also get the feeling that theirs is primarily an “F—k You“ vote.

We have to be aware of the fact that rural voters can get into an awful snit and sink the Ship of State for no good reason.

Things We Take for Granted

We Can’t Make Assumptions That Health Care Will Be There for Us

We walk into the kitchen, pick up a glass, and turn the tap on. What if nothing comes out? Or, worse, what if what comes out is polluted like the water in Flint, Michigan? What if we flush the toilet, and it just won’t go down because the sewer line is all backed up? What if the traffic signals just stop working? Or the telephone lines? Or the electricity?

Every day of our lives, we make casual assumptions that what has worked in the past will continue to work. I have this odd inkling that perhaps we are living at the start of a period in which things we assume will work, just won’t work.

I recently read an article on Salon.Com about how some 20% of rural hospitals are on the point of collapse. Given the money-grubbing nature of our healthcare system—especially on the part of pharmaceutical corporations and health insurers—I can see why there aren’t enough dollars in rural areas to motivate hospitals to remain in business.

This comes at a bad time, when the political divide between the urban areas on the coasts and what has come to be called “flyover country” has led to hard feelings. Much of Trump’s support is, I feel, based more on this urban/rural divide than any particular love for the orange-headed horror. Things can only get worse if Aunt Tillie dies trying to get to a distant hospital, but doesn’t make it.

Government can rectify this situation, but only if voters are willing to let government do the things that government does best. The nihilistic conservatism and Tea Party anarchy of the times makes this difficult.