Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bias on Display

Writing at The Week, Damon Linker correctly describes the political divide as one between urban and not-urban. It is clearly a major way to understand the presidential vote in 2016.

That said, he proceeds to describe the urban-rural split from the urban point of view. He contrasts the city's energy, dynamism, and diversity with the not-urban's squalor, backwardness, homogeneity, and religiosity.

In other words, there is no balance in his description - he's all urban=good, rural=bad. He contrasts what could be a city like Austin, TX, with a rural area like a WV coal town where the mines closed 5 years ago. Why not compare murderous Chicago with bucolic Idaho?

By way of comparison, see the same divide from a not-urban perspective. Cities are dirty, noisy, dangerous, frenetic, anomic but crowded, and expensive. Not-cities are natural, quiet, low crime, calm, friendly but roomy, and less expensive. That's the rural=good, urban=bad take.

What both sides can agree on is that the two are very different, different things are good about each, each has drawbacks. And people may like one at certain periods in their lives, another later (or earlier). That's been true for me.

As COTTonLINE readers know, I now favor the non-urban, whether rural or exurbia. As a retiree I can live where I choose; I choose rural. From where I sit in CA most of my "neighbors" are white-faced cattle grazing on winter pasture. In WY they are mule deer feeding on Aspen shoots. Life is good.