Dear New York Times Editor:
This last week I read two related NYT opinion articles. The first piece is entitled “Why Rural America Voted for Trump”. It ran January 5, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/opinion/why-rural-america-voted-for-trump.html?ref=opinion
The second piece “Vietnam: The War that Killed Trust” ran on January 7, 2017.
The Times is commended on these recent articles. Thank you
Rural America voted for Trump in large numbers not because Americans view others as fundamentally good or bad as the opinion piece suggests. They voted because economically and socially the countryside is challenged by a larger, dominant culture. Rural traditions from firearms ownership to logging, mining, farming and ranching endeavors and outdoor recreational pursuits are confronted by initiatives (laws, regulations, executive orders, court decisions) from the larger, more affluent urban culture. These initiatives are seen by many as disruptive to well established rural traditions and community-based economic opportunity. Reading the comments for this article provides a range of opinion regarding rural people and the country-side. The top NYT pick articulated
Individual Writing from San Jose CA January 5, 2017
You’re asking me to understand people who hate and despise me, my ideas and my tolerance. I do understand. I understand that they have no intellectual curiosity or critical thinking. They are against taxes, but wonder why their roads revert to gravel and why they have to rely on volunteer fire and other services. They think I am lazy. I worked for nearly 50 years, many times 20 hour days. I’m retired, but they resent my drawing SS and Medicare, deeming them “entitlements”. They don’t understand I paid for them from my paycheck just as they do. They do not make the connection. I pay taxes that go disproportionately to states I don’t live in, whose citizens dislike me. I’d like to live in peace with them, but they’re the belligerent ones always on the attack. What is it that I’m missing?
The author presents a series of general perceptions about rural folk:
- Urban populations are despised by those in rural areas
- Rural people are antagonistic and belligerent
- Rural people are ignorant
- They do not pay their fair share for public services
- Rural public services are subsidized by urban populations
- They are against her earned entitlements