Urban Politics


I'm sick of hearing all about "Middle America" and "America's Heartland" in political campaigns. These cliches are always accompanied by some idealistic portrait of farm life or a rural town. Well, I have news for you_ That vision of America is bullshit.

In the 2000 census, it was reported that 79% of americans live in urban areas. That's right - 4 out of every 5 people in the US live in cities or suburbs.

The real America is skyscrapers and strip malls.

So why do we persist with this hokey, idealized version of rural life and the past? Who exactly does it resonate with? Wouldn't catering to the cities be a more politically expident political strategy? Take money away from highways to dying towns and invest in in public transportation that will reach millions. Take away farm subsidies (that just prop up big agribusiness anyway) and invest it in clean air standards and alternative energy for our smog-plagued cities.

Given just the raw numbers, if you ran on an urban issues slate, and did well in the cities, you'd easily muster up the electoral votes to win the presidency. Oh no, North Dakota feels slighted? Wyoming isn't getting exorbitant amounts of Homeland security money? Well, tough shit.

This is an urban country, and is becoming progressively more so. Get used to the idea that urban values come first. Keep your bible-thumping bigotry and gas guzzling hemis. Give us clean air, public transportation, and a heaping helping of diversity and tolerance.

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