Urban vs. Rural Politics
The post Eliminating the Electoral College made the point of the political divide in the country between liberals and conservatives is to a great extent a divide between urban and rural living. This stems not from a difference in intelligence or moral superiority of one group over another, but in the difference in life experiences of each. Take a look at a few of the significant political topics.
Urban areas see wealth inequality at greater extremes and in greater numbers than those in rural areas. The extremely wealthy and extremely poor are more evident in cities than in the country simply for the sake of cities being inhabited more by the extremely rich and extremely poor. Also in less populated rural areas it's more likely people understand how each came to their respective positions.
In a large city it might not be uncommon to see a rich person or couple exit some establishment, walking by someone homeless to get into their limousine or chauffeur driven car. Seeing this occur could lead one to believe more that the rich should give more in taxes to help support the poor. As a witness to this scene, you probably wouldn't know the life circumstances of either party but simply see the unfairness.
In a more rural environment this would rarely, if ever, be seen. If it did, the rich person is probably getting directions to get back to the city. Let's say it did happen. In a rural environment, bystanders are more likely to know the circumstances of each of the individuals. Possibly the rich person came from a relatively poor or even middle class family and made money applying their intelligence and working their tail off. At the same time, the homeless person never held a job seeking only to get by in life. Would you feel the rich individual owes anything to the poor?
I recognize that most extremely rich people didn't get there this route. For most it's been money coming from inheritance or just dumb luck. At the same time, I believe most homeless people are in their state because of no fault of their own. It would be extremely rare for someone to choose that kind of existence. My point is not that each deserves what they have gotten in life but that being able to know the context of each of their lives can place a different view on wealth disparity. People in rural areas of the country are more likely to know this context than those in urban areas simply because of the lower population.
As a result, in my opinion, people in rural areas place less importance on wealth disparity than people in urban areas.
People in urban areas are going to see more gun violence than those in rural areas. This stems simply from their being more people coexisting in a smaller area. Whether it's robbery, drugs or simply violence coming as a result of a personal dispute, urban areas see more gun violence than rural areas.
The result is the desire to curb gun violence and liberals see the way to do this is to make gun laws tougher and tougher. Many would go around and confiscate guns if they had the chance. Given the context of urban life, taking guns off the streets is seen as method of reducing gun violence.
In the rural environment, gun ownership is often viewed as a way of life. They're not only meant as a method of self-protection but simply as part of the culture or heritage. Many in rural environments enjoy hunting. Taking guns from hunters is seen as taking part of their culture away.
Personally, I grew up in a rural area with guns always around and hunting was a favorite pastime during the different seasons. Although I don't hunt very much anymore, I still own several guns. Two of the guns I own are guns from my family. One is a 22 rifle that was originally purchased by my great grand father, somewhere around 100 years ago. The second is a shotgun that was originally purchased by my grandfather. Even the thought of liberals reaching their desired goal of no guns gets me angry.
I've been to large cities. Let's face it, they stink. Whether it's exhaust fumes or poorly functioning sewer systems, cities stink. Not only do they stink but many are littered with garbage decaying, which adds other fumes to the stink of the city. Many large cities have park areas set aside where even in the midst of the city you can get some somewhat clean air. But it's still far different life in the countryside.
As a result, people in urban areas are more prone to be concerned about environmental issues than people in rural environments. Liberals focus on saving the planet with the mistaken belief that since their world needs help, the rest of the world is in the same condition. It's just not true.
The Green New Deal being pushed by liberals wants us to eliminate the use of petroleum fuels and transform farms to grow foods producing zero carbon dioxide. All under their belief the world is just as dirty as their world. Eliminating petroleum from farms would seriously cut the amount of food produced simply because we currently have no viable alternative method of providing power to the large tractors used on today's farms. A farm that doesn't produce carbon dioxide would also rule out the production of meat products. Animals exhale carbon dioxide. In addition, manure from the animals decays forming carbon dioxide along with methane.
All in the sake of saving the world we would end up with millions starving because there is simply not enough food to go around. No meat products means no more beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or eggs. The Green New Deal is the extreme on environmental protection but it goes back to the difference between urban and rural living. In rural areas, the family farm is common and part of the heritage where the heritage in urban areas is limited to the city park.
The divide between urban and rural living drives the political divide between liberals and conservatives. Both sides offer differing opinions based on the context of each. To make any progress in crossing this divide, both sides need to spend time examining the context of the other side.