I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Was I born in a small town?

with one comment

Backtracking a bit, to things that were hot talk last week but that continue to intrigue me.  Consider this part of an ongoing series about what certain terms and phrases mean.  See also elitism and feminism.

Today we’re going to talk about Sarah Palin’s small town values.  One part of this is, of course, “what are small town values?“, which TDS has handled much more aptly than I, but I’m also curious about what even qualifies as a “small town” which could have such values.

Web analysis varies – less than 10,000 people? 5,000-15,000?  Does Park City, Utah, population roughly 8,000, have the same values as Hope, Arkansas, population roughly 10,500?  Which has more “small town” cred?  Why?  Why should it matter?

Who can claim STVs?  Only people who currently live in a town of less than 10,000 people?  How about college towns where the permanent residents number in the 10k range where the population doubles between September and May?  Does it matter whether the students vote locally or absentee?  Can you have small town values if you grew up in a small town, but move to a city?  How about just a town of 20,000 in a conservative county?  What if you were born and raised in New York or San Francisco or Boston or (OMG) Washington, DC (which a lot of people like to characterize as nothing but an overgrown small town that thinks its something because we have a lot of marble buildings) and then move to a town of 7,000 people to get away from it all?  If I live in a suburb of 3000 people (I don’t.  It’s 18k+ as of the 2000 census, which is still smaller than I anticipated.) but work in a city of 10 million, can I have small town values?  Only between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.?

It matters, of course, because here we have one of only two seriously electable political parties/presidential tickets playing identity politics of the worst kind – vote for us, say the Republicans – not because we have policies that are going to actually help you pay your mortgage and put food on the table – but because we are like you, just with designer clothing and high paying jobs. 

It’s easy as one of those damn liberal elitists to automatically equate these so-called small town values as essentially being what we call small mindedness or ignorance.  But it’s really not that simple.  Small-town vs. big-city, Red State vs. Blue State – what these phrases are is code for differs, but in the end, it’s just more us vs. them, which completely ignores that for better or for worse, we’re all in this together.

Ooh, purple!

Ooh, purple!

The point of this election should be what is best for the majority of Americans wherever the hell we live.  It should be about improving the US’s stature in world affairs.  It should be about a better life for all Americans, from the CEO worried about falling stock prices to the Ivy League professor worried about tenure to the factory worker worried about layoffs to the family facing forclosure and homelessness.  It shouldn’t matter where our ancesters came from or what our middle name is or what color our skin is – this election is about all of us and what we want the Unites States to be.

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Written by emandink

September 16, 2008 at 8:33 pm

One Response

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  1. […] leave a comment » You know, it feels like just a few weeks ago that I was writing about what the heck the McCain-Palin campaign means by small town values. […]


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