“We are seeing a divide in this country that is as significant as when we had slave states and anti-slavery states,” Hickenlooper said. “This rural-urban divide, people in rural areas of Colorado and across the country feel like the urban areas have just left them behind and don’t care.”
This isn’t exactly correct. And I say this as one who lives in both the urban and rural worlds. It’s not that the rural areas feel like “they’ve been left behind.” Or that urban areas”don’t care.” It’s that much of America, and I include much of the suburbs here, looks at “urban America” and wonders how people can stand the level of corruption, taxation, and just civil stupidity that is endemic to so many urban areas. It’s not that the rural areas want what the urban areas have. It’s that the more rural areas don’t want the urban, big government, high tax, hyper regulatory, disease to spread. That’s the issue. Urban America seems to have taken leave of its senses. (And yes we are speaking in the broadest terms here.) Rural America just doesn’t want to end up like San Fransisco, or LA, or Chicago, or New York, or Detroit.
And one of the things many people who are stuck in the city don’t get is that many of us who were once stuck in the city, but have been liberated by technology, checked out of the city to the land of open spaces because we had the chance.
For many people there is no reason to live in a big city. If one is stuck one is stuck, but for those of us for whom a laptop is all that is needed for work (maybe even just a phone) – and there are millions of us now – why live in a crowded, over taxed, dirty, over regulated city? One can visit the city anytime. But if one doesn’t HAVE to live in the city why would one?
Of course there is the mater of taste. I see the appeal of Manhattan. Being able to take a cab to the Guggenheim, or being able to get good Chinese food at 3:30 in the morning has its appeal.
But there’s a reason “rich” people have always had a “farm” in the country.