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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

How is the writer paying her bills? I grew up in a town of less than 3,000 inhabitants. It had all of the standard American racism and Christian fanaticism but I still love the place. My wife and I decided not to settle there partly because we hoped raising our white kids around non-whites would inoculate them against most forms of racism.

But the main reason we decided not to settle there is that there are few ways to make a living. Not get rich, just cover your food, shelter, and medical care.


RedEmmaSpeaks wrote

Basically yes. There really aren't any jobs outside of Food Service or Retail, and because there are so few jobs, they fill up fast and generally stay filled up. If somebody quits or leaves their job for whatever reason, the manager has countless applicants waiting to take their place. The factory, mining, farming jobs that sustained most of these places have gone the way of the dodo and aren't likely to come back. Even if you're fortunate enough to live not too far from a major metropolitan area, congratulations: the money you save in rent by choosing to live in Small Town USA instead of Major City, will soon be devoured up by transportation costs.

In any case, few things annoy me than pundits opining about Small Town America or Real America™. First of all, most of these paeans to Real America™, are written by people living in New York City or LA or other major metropolitan areas, people who likely haven't spent a day in a small town, never mind lived in one. cf. David Brooks's infamous [One Nation, Slightly Divisible] ( which was universally hated by Red States and Blue States.

From what I've managed to gather from all these editorials, written or otherwise, by various pundits, Real America™ is small, rural, and predominately White. Coastal cities do not count as Real America™. Major cities also do not qualify as Real America™. While you can't step outside anywhere in New York City without seeing a veritable sea of humanity, somehow in a city of 8 million people there isn't one single Real American™.

Unlike most of the writers of these hymns to Real America™ or the politicians and pundits who endlessly reference them, I have actually lived in several small towns that would probably fit their definition of Real America™. My father is a preacher, so I have spent a considerable amount of time in various Podunkvilles, have sat in the pews with them and eaten with them at church dinners and the few restaurants in town.

Right now, I am living in the reddest part of a red state, people who would die before they voted for anyone without an (R) next to their name. We are pretty much owned and operated by the Good Ol' Boy Network.

Naturally, a lot of them are Donald Trump supporters. I am able to sympathize with them on some level, because they do have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed, but again, my sympathy only goes so far, because in voting for Trump, they demonstrated they would happily throw minorities and women under the bus on the off-chance it would improve their own lives. Most would call that pretty reprehensible. They are being screwed over so badly, but again, they still choose to elect these people, they choose to support these horrible policies.

Though one thing I raise my eyebrow at, regarding the article, is the fact her dying hometown has a population of 14,000. Compared with some of the places I've lived, 14,000 is a freaking metropolis.


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I don't have anything to add, I just wanted to throw in an "Everything you wrote makes complete sense to me" with more than an upvote.