Rural Rage
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never miss viewpointsKerby Anderson

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett writes about “The Myth of Rural Rage,” arguing that red states and small towns are not full of hate. Her comments have a great deal of credibility since she is a university professor, and a lifelong liberal, who apparently has always voted for Democrats. She reads The New York Times and listens to NPR, but agrees with Uri Berliner, the liberal at NPR who expressed his concern about systemic liberal bias in its news reporting.

She tells the story of Craig (a retired person living in Iowa) to personalize the fact that the liberal media and liberal politicians have a false and biased view of rural America. She got to know him and many others when writing her book, The Overlooked Americans.

She refers to the General Social Survey that shows, even on politically charged issues, urban and rural Americans largely feel the same way. “Statistically, about half of both rural and urban Americans are religious, even if rural Americans are more likely to openly discuss their belief in God.”

She reminds us there have been shrill warnings that rural Americans are angry, vengeful, and ignorant. In his book (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) that I will mention again tomorrow, Frank Thomas portrayed rural America’s loyalty to the Republican Party as a form of “derangement.” The election of Donald Trump in 2016 led to countless essays in the liberal media about rural revenge.

She concludes by arguing that “our public intellectuals and leading media outlets have a duty to reset the conversation about rural America and take the time to find out the truth about the people who live there.” I appreciate her honesty and her sentiment, but I don’t see it happening soon.viewpoints new web version

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