I Spend Every Day in America — A Response to Jim George

 

Yesterday, Ricochet member @jimgeorge wrote about how he spent the day in the “real America.” You can find his piece here. According to George, it’s a place where everyone still loves America, the Founding Fathers, and the flag. It’s a place where people are warm and welcoming and guns and religion are referenced constantly. It is far, far away, we are assured, from the Clinton Archipelago.

Okay, so I need to push back against this a little.

@jimgeorge wanted to exclude New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Palo Alto from his list. Because, somehow, they are not the “real America.” Let me take that list in reverse order.

Palo Alto is the home to Hewlett-Packard, Skype, and a slew of other technology companies. It was the incubator or former headquarters of Google, Facebook, PayPal, Apple, and many more. The last 20 years of incredible prosperity in the United States wasn’t built on the back of dying steel mills and coal mines in the “real America,” it came from the creation and dispersal of information technology around the world, centered in Palo Alto.

Chicago is (and God help me, you’re making me defend Chicago) a center of American commerce and culture. The commerce part speaks for itself, so let me address one aspect of the culture part. America tends to take the best from around the world and make it our own, but there is a short list of art forms that are uniquely American inventions. One of them is rock and roll music. We would not have rock and roll music as we know it if it were not for Chicago blues, created by black musicians who came to Chicago during the Great Migration.

Los Angeles is the center of the American television and film industry. And by that, I mean the world’s television and film industry. The world watches American movies and American television. The world’s popular culture of the last hundred years came from Los Angeles. Not only is it a major source of culture, but a major center of American commerce based on selling that culture.

And then there’s New York City. I don’t know how else to put this: the most recognizable symbol of America in the world, other than the stars and stripes, is the Statue of Liberty. I don’t really need to make the case for New York City, do I? It’s the capital of the world. The idea that religion is somehow shunned there is ridiculous. Google Maps lists 96 churches there, including two of the most beautiful in the country. And that’s just Catholic churches in Manhattan.

I dislike the notion of the Clinton Archipelago. It overemphasizes the divisions in our country. Half the people who voted in 2016 voted for Hillary Clinton. That includes a large chunk of your friends and neighbors. Even in West Virginia, the state where Donald Trump won his highest percentage of the vote, a quarter of the people still voted for Hillary Clinton.

Now, I don’t deny that there are people in the above-mentioned places that hate America, God, the Founding Fathers, and apple pie. But you’ll find people like that everywhere. That doesn’t mean they’re not part of America. They’re still our countrymen. They’re still Americans.

America has always been a very big, very diverse place. If you look at the 13 colonies, there was incredible diversity, from Dutch patroons, to Virginia planters, to Pennsylvania Quakers, to New England Puritans, to Maryland Catholics, to the guys who split off from the New England Puritans because they couldn’t stand them. They had very different views about things, very different cultures, and very different values. But they were all Americans.

The truth is that there is no part of America that’s any more “real” than the rest of America. Dividing America up does the country a disservice. There’s much talk these days about division in America. Fostering that and furthering that does real harm, because once you decry “them” as an “other,” it’s not a big step to violence.

Whenever you’re tempted to divide “Red America” from “Blue America” or “Trump country” from “Clinton country,” or whatever other formulation that separates the people in “real America” from the people who live in “those parts” of the country, I ask you to remember one thing:

The most popular musical in America (all of America, not just the “real” parts) right now is about the Founding Fathers. It is a love letter to America and the American founding. And it was created in New York City by a man who was a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Thanks Fred.

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city. I never used to believe in these sorts of divisions, until I went to college and met a bunch of people from the North East. Then I understood the contempt they had for me and my state. 

    The sense of “real America” vs. “fake America” is the very real dripping venom that flows from places like NYC towards “Flyover Country” and the South. When I am called “Deplorable” or “Wacko Bird” it is clear that is not an expression of love and affection towards a fellow American. Regardless of what people may do in Chicago or Palo Alto or what churches there are in NYC, the fact is, there is a heavy amount of disdain for fellow Americans coming from those places towards much of the rest of the nation. 

    I think, finally, what we are seeing is the reaction to that. The “deplorables” if you will, are finally responding with contempt of their own. They are tired of being told, by those in command of the culture, the universities, and of the entrenched governmental types that they are bigots, racists, sexist, stupid hicks. We are seeing a response. 

    I would prefer it, if as Americans, we would love each other as Americans. However, I don’t think that is possible for the left to do. Heck, I am not even sure, as Americans, they love America. I do not think things will end well. 

    • #2
  3. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Well yes, of course, however as the melting pot which we were gives rise to “diversity” as defined by an in group or its mob,  it’s breaking down.  Diversity combined with centralization gives rise to tribalism.   The melting pot was diverse, fractious, disputatious, but high functioning and not really tribal.  That erodes when the center has the power to allocate resources, power, values, correctness, from the top down.  Diverse can’t work there and the real America addressed in the referenced article still can.  Those high tech marvels born out west were bottom up products of the real America, they too are evolving in the direction of top down.  Chicago was great, creative unique, decentralized and even corrupt, but still bottom up.  There is a vast difference and it matters. 

    • #3
  4. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I hate it when I agree 100% with Fred, but in this case I agree 100% with Fred.

    If you have to exclude nearly half of Americans from America in order to say “I love America”, then you don’t actually love America. Period.

    And for the record, I hate all of America, which is why I’ve absconded to a European social democratic paradise.

    • #4
  5. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city.

    But the disdain you describe here is as old as the US itself, if not even older. Large swaths of northerners have looked down upon southerners (and vice versa) since colonial times, and urban dwellers have similarly felt superior to their rural brethren (and vice versa) for just as long. Not to mention the countless waves of ethnic, racial, and religious divisions that have been commonplace throughout our entire history.

    Indeed, about the only times we haven’t experienced widespread animosity (or at least mutual distrust) between huge groups of Americans have been the (thankfully few) instances in the past century when we were attacked by foreigners.

    So the America that many of you claim to love has never really existed as an actual country, save perhaps for a few years after Pearl Harbor and a few months after 9/11.

    • #5
  6. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city. I never used to believe in these sorts of divisions, until I went to college and met a bunch of people from the North East. Then I understood the contempt they had for me and my state. 

    Hmmm…have to give that some thought.

    I spent my Freshman year of college (1980-1981 school year) at a small liberal arts college (Denison University) which was known as something of an Ivy League reject school. 

    There were a lot of Northeaster’s there, and I can’t say I ever experienced that.  Although in thinking about it now, most of my friends were midwesterners – my roommate was from Michigan, and the guys I spent the most time with were from Ohio or Indiana.

    So was my experience atypical, or has the regional/political divide intensified since the early 1980s?

     

    • #6
  7. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    There’s a split that divides “real America” from the rest, but I agree with Fred that’s it’s neither geographical nor political. Real America exists wherever people are willing to work hard within the free market to make life better for themselves and everyone else, wherever people respect the rights of their neighbors to think and talk and pray as they wish, wherever people respect the country, it’s laws, and the people who serve it in any capacity. 

    You will find those who want to undermine that real American on the left and the right, and those who work to uphold it on both the left and the right. The underminers live in both the biggest cities and the smallest rural towns; so do the upholders. 

    • #7
  8. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Mendel (View Comment):

     

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city.

    But the disdain you describe here is as old as the US itself, if not even older. Large swaths of northerners have looked down upon southerners (and vice versa) since colonial times, and urban dwellers have similarly felt superior to their rural brethren (and vice versa) for just as long. Not to mention the countless waves of ethnic, racial, and religious divisions that have been commonplace throughout our entire history.

    It’s a lot older.  

    If you drill down, it’s just another version of the urban-rural divide, which goes back to at least ancient Rome.

    • #8
  9. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city. I never used to believe in these sorts of divisions, until I went to college and met a bunch of people from the North East. Then I understood the contempt they had for me and my state.

    So, there’s a lot going on in this paragraph.

    1. The disdain, to the extent that it exists, runs both ways.  Plenty of people in the South are disdainful of the North East.  See this post for an example.
    2. Second, speaking for myself, I don’t have disdain for the South.  I like the South.  All my disdain is directed at other cities.  When I found out that the World Series was between Boston and Los Angeles, I cared even less than usual.
    3. The disdain you speak of isn’t nearly as widespread as you think.  That’s why so many people from the North East move to the South.

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I think, finally, what we are seeing is the reaction to that. The “deplorables” if you will, are finally responding with contempt of their own. They are tired of being told, by those in command of the culture, the universities, and of the entrenched governmental types that they are bigots, racists, sexist, stupid hicks. We are seeing a response.

    Okay, so let’s talk about this term.  “Basket of deplorables” was first used by Hillary Clinton to describe the legitimately deplorable parts of the Trump coalition, basically the alt-right.  She used it to describe half of Trump’s supporters, which she later backed off from.

    The term “Deplorables” was promptly adopted as an identifier/badge of honor by the alt-right.  Then sometime in 2017 it was adopted more widely by Trump supporters as an identifier/badge of victimhood.  But it was never meant to apply to all Trump supporters, just the deplorable ones.

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I would prefer it, if as Americans, we would love each other as Americans. However, I don’t think that is possible for the left to do. Heck, I am not even sure, as Americans, they love America. I do not think things will end well.

    And this paragraph describes the problem.  It’s easy to demonize people as not part of “real America” if you believe they don’t love the country.  Some don’t.  A lot of them do.  Most of them probably.  But you paint with such a broad brush just because these people disagree with you.

    Look at Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Again, a vocal and unapologetic progressive and Hillary Clinton supporter and an Obama supporter before that.  One cannot listen to Hamilton and think the man does not love America.

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Fred Cole: Los Angeles is the center of the American television and film industry.

    I thought that this was going to be about culture.

    • #10
  11. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Mendel (View Comment):

     

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city.

    But the disdain you describe here is as old as the US itself, if not even older. Large swaths of northerners have looked down upon southerners (and vice versa) since colonial times, and urban dwellers have similarly felt superior to their rural brethren (and vice versa) for just as long. Not to mention the countless waves of ethnic, racial, and religious divisions that have been commonplace throughout our entire history.

    It’s a lot older.

    If you drill down, it’s just another version of the urban-rural divide, which goes back to at least ancient Rome.

    The urban-rural divide is rooted in real interests and cultural differences and the more centralized our governance, the more those difference fester, but it’s far more than that.  

    Think of children.  There are real differences between 6 year olds and 13 year olds, or girls and boys of the same age.  And if we try to make them live with the same public good,  a tv program in one room, they line up against each other and fight.  In contrast,  let them do their own thing with their own toys interests, books and gimmicks those differences don’t matter.  When we or any other nation turn our economy into a centralized provider of public goods, including goods that should never be public or public goods that should be decentralized we fight over them, and must clamor for more political control, join with like minded kids to assure we get the public good our group wants.  

    I’m using public goods as economics defines them.

    • #11
  12. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Great post, Fred.  I don’t know about the rest of Ricochet, but I need reminding, every now and then, to look outside of my bubble. 

    We conservatives do need to be more empathetic.  It’s hard sometimes, though, when so much bile is directed our way from those outside our bubble. 

    I’m eager to defend those who are being attacked unfairly.  If Obama had been attacked with the vitriol that Trump is subjected to daily, I would have leapt to Obama’s defense.  Really. 

    My wife and I have remained good friends with two couples who are hopelessly left wing. They’re nice people, who give to charities, support our cops and soldiers, and clean up after themselves.  When I think of lefties, I should more often think of these two couples and not the mean-spirited kind.

    I’m not as sanguine as you are about the wonders of Hollywood.  Yes, it’s the entertainment capital of the world, but it’s also the a prolific distributor of hardcore porn and anti-conservative values.  It’s hard for me to love Hollywood when its actors love to get up and tell Trump (and his supporters by implication) to to fark himself. 

    By the way, I have a Portland, Oregon, address, and I sometimes don’t recognize my city from others’ harsh descriptions.  My city has become a cliche.

    I walk around Portland all the time, and it’s an interesting and safe city.  In fact, I would like to move back to the city center, but my wife is not as eager as I am.  I love walking around the waterfront, the Pearl, the Esplanade, Powell’s Bookstore, and Courthouse Square.    Yes, there are some bums with their hands out, but they don’t bother me.  In fact, I like to give them a buck and stop and talk.  Most are eager to tell their stories about how they ended up begging on Portland streets.  I ignore the weekend protests and noise from the Left. 

    Thanks for the post, Fred. 

     

    • #12
  13. Gaius Inactive
    Gaius
    @Gaius

    Thanks for writing this, Fred. Reading Jim George’s post which was obviously sincerely written I was struggling to express how wrong-headed I think this kind of thinking is, while still remaining civil. 

    I grew up in Eastern Utah and currently live in downtown Manhattan. I neither consider myself a cultural refugee nor a cultural exile. In fact I’ve always hated the idea that I had to choose between a rural and an urban America. First off I’m an American damn it, and every square inch of this place is my backyard. I’ve never been to Chicago, nor Montana for that fact, but I like to think I wouldn’t blink at signing up for the fight if the wily Canucks tried to Anschluss either one of them. Secondly, in point of fact I genuinely love and appreciate both variants of American culture and relish mixing and matching my tastes between the two. Urban lifestyle/rural ideology seems to be somewhere close to the sweet spot, if not exactly. It’s quite easy to take the hipster coffee and various spicy ethnic foods while leaving the socialism on the counter (Also, we have diners here too; they’re great). As you point out, NYC provides no impediment to being a practicing Catholic.

    Now, if I could just own a gun here…

    • #13
  14. Gaius Inactive
    Gaius
    @Gaius

    Gaius (View Comment):
    Urban lifestyle/rural ideology seems to be somewhere close to the sweet spot, if not exactly.

    I knew plenty of people back home who favored the opposite combination; granola crunching lefty outdoors folk who couldn’t be bribed to set foot in one of the major metros. Are they supposed to be part of the real America or the fake one?

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city.

    But the disdain you describe here is as old as the US itself, if not even older. Large swaths of northerners have looked down upon southerners (and vice versa) since colonial times, and urban dwellers have similarly felt superior to their rural brethren (and vice versa) for just as long. Not to mention the countless waves of ethnic, racial, and religious divisions that have been commonplace throughout our entire history.

    Indeed, about the only times we haven’t experienced widespread animosity (or at least mutual distrust) between huge groups of Americans have been the (thankfully few) instances in the past century when we were attacked by foreigners.

    So the America that many of you claim to love has never really existed as an actual country, save perhaps for a few years after Pearl Harbor and a few months after 9/11.

    Not sure where that last line fits what I posted exactly. 

     

    • #15
  16. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Fred:

    I think that you’re largely correct, but I think that Jim has a point as well.

    There is a significant portion of the Left that actively hates America and its founding principles.  Evan Sayet talked about this in his excellent talk at Heritage more than 10 years ago (on YouTube, here).  The basic question was whether you responded to 9/11 by wanting to put an American flag sticker on your car (as did then-Leftist Jonathan Haidt) or whether you thought we deserved it.

    I don’t know how much of the Left is in this category.  My impression is that it’s 40-50% of the Left, but this is probably an overstatement due to media influence, especially social media.  Perhaps it is as little as 25% of the Left.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Fred Cole (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    The people of the North East look down on me because I am from the South. There is real, and enduring disdain of the South from the North East. Many of the people from NYC I have met are some of the most provincial people I have ever known, thinking the sun rises and sets on their city. I never used to believe in these sorts of divisions, until I went to college and met a bunch of people from the North East. Then I understood the contempt they had for me and my state.

    So, there’s a lot going on in this paragraph.

    1. The disdain, to the extent that it exists, runs both ways. Plenty of people in the South are disdainful of the North East. See this post for an example.
    2. Second, speaking for myself, I don’t have disdain for the South. I like the South. All my disdain is directed at other cities. When I found out that the World Series was between Boston and Los Angeles, I cared even less than usual.
    3. The disdain you speak of isn’t nearly as widespread as you think. That’s why so many people from the North East move to the South.

    I live in one of the big places people from the North East move too. I assure you, the disdain for natives does still exist. Not so much from Midwesterners. 

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I think, finally, what we are seeing is the reaction to that. The “deplorables” if you will, are finally responding with contempt of their own. They are tired of being told, by those in command of the culture, the universities, and of the entrenched governmental types that they are bigots, racists, sexist, stupid hicks. We are seeing a response.

    Okay, so let’s talk about this term. “Basket of deplorables” was first used by Hillary Clinton to describe the legitimately deplorable parts of the Trump coalition, basically the alt-right. She used it to describe half of Trump’s supporters, which she later backed off from.

    The term “Deplorables” was promptly adopted as an identifier/badge of honor by the alt-right. Then sometime in 2017 it was adopted more widely by Trump supporters as an identifier/badge of victimhood. But it was never meant to apply to all Trump supporters, just the deplorable ones.

    I choose to disagree with your interpretation. Not to mention, none of that applies to those of use called “Bitter Clingers” by Obama. Part and Parcel of the same stuff. 

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I would prefer it, if as Americans, we would love each other as Americans. However, I don’t think that is possible for the left to do. Heck, I am not even sure, as Americans, they love America. I do not think things will end well.

    And this paragraph describes the problem. It’s easy to demonize people as not part of “real America” if you believe they don’t love the country. Some don’t. A lot of them do. Most of them probably. But you paint with such a broad brush just because these people disagree with you.

    Look at Lin-Manuel Miranda. Again, a vocal and unapologetic progressive and Hillary Clinton supporter and an Obama supporter before that. One cannot listen to Hamilton and think the man does not love America.

    I am not demonizing anyone. Nowhere in my post, did I say anyone was not a real American nor did I say they were not in real America. In fact, all I did was question the love of America that some of them might have. I wonder why that is? After 9-11-01, a reporter for some NYC paper or magazine was upset her daughter wanted to show a flag. The party of patriotism is the Republicans not the Democrats. If we mine left and right, there are more people on the left who dislike America. Michelle Obama was never happy with her country until her Husband got elected. There are more examples of course, but I think I am justified in wondering if some of the people on the left in this nation love her. 

     

    • #17
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Fred:

    I think that you’re largely correct, but I think that Jim has a point as well.

    There is a significant portion of the Left that actively hates America and its founding principles. Evan Sayet talked about this in his excellent talk at Heritage more than 10 years ago (on YouTube, here). The basic question was whether you responded to 9/11 by wanting to put an American flag sticker on your car (as did then-Leftist Jonathan Haidt) or whether you thought we deserved it.

    I don’t know how much of the Left is in this category. My impression is that it’s 40-50% of the Left, but this is probably an overstatement due to media influence, especially social media. Perhaps it is as little as 25% of the Left.

    I agree here. I mean, from the Media way of looking at things. 

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Fred Cole: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Palo Alto

    I’ve visited those cities except for Palo Alto.  They are great cities, and filled with great people.  They are part of the Real America.

    However, the three cities I visited are also run by people who do not represent the ideals this country was founded on (Democrats), and the decline is beginning to show in several ways, most notably the negative impacts on the middle class (taxes, housing costs, lousy schools for starters).

    I can see why many people outside the big cities (particularly New York, LA, and Chicago) don’t view them as being Real America.

    • #19
  20. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge
    Jeff Hawkins
    @JeffHawkins

    Big city people look down on small city folk, and think they’re not enlightened, then asribe some kind of “worldliness” and deeper knowledge to their experience

    Tier I College alums look down on lesser schools. alums of lesser schools look down on the non-college educated.  Said lesser schools also ascribe to left wing ideals of Tier I schools to make it seem like they’re part of the upper class.

    When Texas was flooded or Oklahoma got tornados, it was because Jesus hated them.  When people mounted up to help dig out NYC, or help New Orleans, it was all of us coming together.

    I don’t think the Left hates the principles of the country.  I think there’s a caste system made up of mostly leftists that only like them when they can be used to keep the “lesser people” in their place.  I think the reaction of the Bill Kristols and Tom Nichols of the world coincide more with this philosophy as well.

     

    • #20
  21. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Thanks for writing this, Fred. It’s about time somebody said it. 

    • #21
  22. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Big city people look down on small city folk, and think they’re not enlightened, then asribe some kind of “worldliness” and deeper knowledge to their experience

    Tier I College alums look down on lesser schools. alums of lesser schools look down on the non-college educated. Said lesser schools also ascribe to left wing ideals of Tier I schools to make it seem like they’re part of the upper class.

    When Texas was flooded or Oklahoma got tornados, it was because Jesus hated them. When people mounted up to help dig out NYC, or help New Orleans, it was all of us coming together.

    I don’t think the Left hates the principles of the country. I think there’s a caste system made up of mostly leftists that only like them when they can be used to keep the “lesser people” in their place. I think the reaction of the Bill Kristols and Tom Nichols of the world coincide more with this philosophy as well.

     

    I think this speaks to the sort of things I have run into. Not, universal though. Enough to generate more than one event for me. 

    • #22
  23. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Fred Cole: The world’s popular culture of the last hundred years came from Los Angeles.

    Wait, this is a defense?

    Fred Cole: And then there’s New York City. I don’t know how else to put this: the most recognizable symbol of America in the world, other than the stars and stripes, is the Statue of Liberty. I don’t really need to make the case for New York City, do I? It’s the capital of the world. The idea that religion is somehow shunned there is ridiculous. Google Maps lists 96 churches there, including two of the most beautiful in the country. And that’s just Catholic churches in Manhattan.

    So if I were to move Lady Liberty somewhere else… I’m just trying to think Who I’m gonna call for that.

    Counting churches to tell me that NYC is religious is like saying they’re well informed because they get the New York Times. The existence of Church buildings doesn’t indicate that people fill them, and even if they’re full that doesn’t mean the people inside are Christians.

    As for the rest, don’t tell me about how the coasts make a lot of money. Money don’t make good people. You want to sell me that the coasts are part of America, demonstrate to me that they hold to American values. Do they

    • believe that each man is his own person, entitled to make his own mistakes and live his own life as it suits him?
    • believe in the fundamental equality that no person is morally worth more than any other?
    • demonstrate any humility at all when their beliefs conflict with someone else’s?
    • #23
  24. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Counting churches to tell me that NYC is religious is like saying they’re well informed because they get the New York Times. The existence of Church buildings doesn’t indicate that people fill them, and even if they’re full that doesn’t mean the people inside are Christians.

    I am betting similar things could be said of those in many rural areas. In fact I know so given that I was born and raised on a farm south of a town of 5,000 people that was at least 3 hours away from the closest metropolitan area, my state only has 3 million people.

    As for the rest, don’t tell me about how the coasts make a lot of money. Money don’t make good people.

    To be honest I don’t think Fred was making the argument that “money” makes them good. He was linking the idea of being productive and inventive as being American and that many areas on the coasts are hubs for just that.

    You want to sell me that the coasts are part of America, demonstrate to me that they hold to American values. Do they

    • believe that each man is his own person, entitled to make his own mistakes and live his own life as it suits him?

    Do you have evidence that they don’t? Do you have evidence that rural Americans do?

    • believe in the fundamental equality that no person is morally worth more than any other?

    Do you have evidence that they don’t? Do you have evidence that rural Americans do?

    • demonstrate any humility at all when their beliefs conflict with someone else’s?

    When rural Americans argue that their ways are more God-fearing or more conducive to the good life that is not demonstrating humility in the face of a disagreement, and that does happen. Both sides are plenty guilty of this charge.

    Fred was not arguing that urban America is more American than rural America. He was trying to argue that they are both equally American. I think we can all agree he overplayed the New York bit a little much but his main theme was right. Urban America is just as necessary to the understanding of the nation as rural America is.

    • #24
  25. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    You want to sell me that the coasts are part of America, demonstrate to me that they hold to American values. Do they

    • believe that each man is his own person, entitled to make his own mistakes and live his own life as it suits him?

    Do you have evidence that they don’t?

    Code of federal regulations thick enough for you?

    Nobody in Wisconsin is banning plastic straws, or drinks over 16 oz. Small town America didn’t decry George Washington as a racist, or bandy the notion that halloween costumes are cultural appropriation. It wasn’t rural counties that started measuring intersectionality or demanding that the rest of us check our privilege. 

    • #25
  26. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Code of federal regulations thick enough for you?

    Nobody in Wisconsin is banning plastic straws, or drinks over 16 oz.

    Federal regulations are an example of all states since they originate with laws passed by the congress of all Americans. I will not argue against the plastic straws or other wrong regulations. But I will point out that those cities tend to be outliers and not the norm, so you are not arguing against the norm.

    Small town America didn’t decry George Washington as a racist,

    Do you have evidence that every city did? Because I doubt that some university’s race/gender studies department represents a whole city.

    or bandy the notion that halloween costumes are cultural appropriation.

    Again Some university race/gender department does not represent a whole city. You are being unjust in such broad strokes.

    It wasn’t rural counties that started measuring intersectionality or demanding that the rest of us check our privilege. 

    Again some garbage sex/race studies department does not represent a city. Just because said university resides in some city does not mean it is the city’s fault for the asinine statements made by some of a university’s  faculty. 

     

    • #26
  27. Hank Rhody, Red Hunter Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter
    @HankRhody

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Do you have evidence that every city did?

    Yeah, I keep a tally. Every last municipality in America in descending order of population, and whether or not they’ve specifically decried Washington.

    • #27
  28. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge
    Jeff Hawkins
    @JeffHawkins

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

     

    • believe that each man is his own person, entitled to make his own mistakes and live his own life as it suits him?

    Do you have evidence that they don’t?

    Depends if you think this entails the right to not pay for others’ mistakes

    Universal health care, welfare, pushes for rent control and student debt forgiveness tend to fall into this category for many people.   

    • #28
  29. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Do you have evidence that every city did?

    Yeah, I keep a tally. Every last municipality in America in descending order of population, and whether or not they’ve specifically decried Washington.

    You should at least do the honors of using the sarc/ markings when you reply like this. Arguing that because rural Americans did not decry Washington and that some university faculty did is not substantive evidence that cities are less American. I don’t have any particular love for any city but I do prefer well thought out arguments and you haven’t argued very well that cities are less American.

    • #29
  30. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Hank Rhody, Red Hunter (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    Do you have evidence that every city did?

    Yeah, I keep a tally. Every last municipality in America in descending order of population, and whether or not they’ve specifically decried Washington.

    You should at least do the honors of using the sarc/ markings when you reply like this. Arguing that because rural Americans did not decry Washington and that some university faculty did is not substantive evidence that cities are less American. I don’t have any particular love for any city but I do prefer well thought out arguments and you haven’t argue very well that cities are less American.

    Yeah, but you gotta admit, it was funny.

     

    • #30
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