How often have we who live in the Midwest been treated like ‘hicks’ by our friends or relatives who have moved to either coast. The politicians have also embraced this same dichotomy: the Democrats are the party of diverse, urban areas, lying along the two coasts where all the action, arts, science and any worthwhile inventions occur, but it is Republicans who endorse ‘flyover county’ where the small towns, farms and factories exist. Since most the citizens live in highly populated coastal cities, it is only reasonable that the popular vote should win over the electoral college vote representing fewer actual people voting.
But – and this is a significant – But , it is the urban areas that consume far more food and energy than they produce. And guess where food and energy come from?
These non-urban areas provide the massive amounts of food and energy needed to sustain the growing urban centers. And to a degree it sets food and energy apart from other sectors of the economy as described by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at J.P. Morgan in his latest survey of the energy economy. To simplify, the counties Trump won, produced only 36% of the GDP — but it was the 36% without which those dynamic, productive cities could not exist!
Now this is a sobering thought to me. Although I live in a small town in a mid-western state, we are proud we remain citizens of one of our country’s few remaining blue states. On the other hand, both houses of my state government are Republican with a Democratic Governor and our news media are reflecting a growing divide between urban and rural areas. In fact, I blush as I vividly remember how we ‘town girls’ in an even smaller town, where I grew up, looked down on the ‘farm kids’ who arrived in school buses each day. For some years I thought milk came in a carton. Visiting my grandparents when very little offered me my first experience with milking a cow. It probably seemed ‘icky’ to me.
It was Charles Lane, columnist for the Washington Post, who reminds us that one of the Constitution’s many purposes was to facilitate economic interdependence among a diverse population spread across a giant continent. I needed such reminding. Chances are, most of us could profit from a reminder or two about how we need one another’s talents. Depending on each other, is as it should be!