X Close

The harshest American divide Race and class distract from a greater cleavage

Middle America has been neglected (Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.)

Middle America has been neglected (Getty Images/Bob Riha, Jr.)


May 8, 2023   5 mins

For almost a decade, the West has been engaged in a deepening conflict. Sometimes it flares up as a political debate; sometimes as a culture war. But whatever form it takes, it is inevitably framed as a disagreement between classes, races or ideologies.

This is a mistake. Demography may be destiny, but it is geography that determines its political shape. The greatest division today is to do with place: in particular, three basic terroirs — urban, suburban and rural — which reflect a divergence in economic interest, family structure and basic values, particularly between big city economies and those on the periphery.

This fracture is widening at a time when the demographic balance between these regions is shifting. For much of the past two centuries, the overwhelming inclination was towards urbanisation, with dense cores serving as the prime engines of economic, cultural and social change. Today, however, that pattern is shifting, particularly since the pandemic, which saw two million citizens move out of big US cities. Even in urban-oriented Europe, 63% of cities experienced a population decline during the pandemic.

Does this mean “the era of urban supremacy is over”, as the New York Times put it? Quite possibly. But don’t expect the urban leadership to acknowledge it. Even as they desperately attempt (and largely fail) to lure workers back downtown, urban political interests continue to dominate the national conversation — even amid high levels of crime, street-level disorder and the resulting shuttering of businesses.

Largely ignored by the city-dominated media, the world’s urban core has been losing this battle for generations. This is not only evident in the United States, but also across Europe and Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, little more than 5% of growth from 1966 to 2021 was in the core cities. In Europe, barely 37% of people live in cities, with the rest in fast-growing suburbs, small towns and rural areas.

Of course, many cities have experienced some revival over the past decade, but that “boom” has largely benefited educated newcomers and their wealthy employers. Urban regions became both richer and poorer; according to Pew research, the greatest inequality in America now exists in “superstar cities”, such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and San Jose.

These shifts have, unsurprisingly, shaped urban politics. As middle-class families have left, the urban terroir has been gutted of the old urban bulwark of solid middle and working-class families; as Fred Siegel has observed, it is dominated by an “upstairs/downstairs” coalition of the affluent and dependent.

This demographic reality has driven a shift towards a more progressive politics. In 1984, for example, Ronald Reagan won 31% of the vote in San Francisco and 27.4% in Manhattan. In 2016, Donald Trump won only 10% of the vote in each. Between 1998 and 2018, urban counties — which sometimes includes suburbs — went from 55% to 62% Democratic. Today, there is not a single Republican Mayor of a city of more than one million people. Recent victories of progressives in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, New York and Minneapolis, despite widespread social disorder and economic decline, suggest this pattern may well be inexorable.

The antipode to the urban terroir lies in the countryside and rural hinterlands, which are experiencing a modest revival across the Western world. Yet even as they begin to regain appeal, rural areas are struggling against the dominant urban drive to “net zero”, which threatens economies based on local fossil fuel development, farming and manufacturing. For instance, it was high energy prices brought on by climate policies that sparked the Gilets Jaunes movement in France’s small towns, villages and exurban communities. To meet climate demands and limit their use of chemical fertilisers, Dutch farmers, among the world’s most efficient and ecology minded, have similarly risen up and joined their Spanish, Polish and Italian counterparts.

Even worse, the urban elites propose reaching their net zero fantasies by physically disfiguring rural communities. This offensive is being pushed by oligarchs such as J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, who resents peasants blocking land acquisition for subsidy-driven “green” investments and seeks federal help to secure these lands. But he is just one man of a wider movement, in which rural areas, home to the vast majority of proposed new solar and wind projects, are now asked to fulfil the green dreams of Manhattan, San Francisco and west Los Angeles. In California, the Nature Conservancy estimates that fulfilling the state’s net zero targets would require up to one-tenth of the farming acreage in the coming decades.

People living in the areas have responded as one might expect: between 2015 and 2022, community rejections of such projects in the US grew from 50 to over 500. A similar narrative is playing out throughout the EU and among farmers Australia, who fear transmission lines and windmills will not only make their farms less productive, but destroy the surrounding landscape.

For now, the political revival in small towns and rural areas represents an enormous boost to the Right. The once-strong progressive populism of rural communities has evaporated as more residents now feel more threatened by urban interests than corporate power. As a 2020 study from the Bennett Institute at the University of Cambridge found, there is a “deepening geographical fracture” in European societies reminiscent of “the stark urban-rural political divides of the early 20th century”.

This can be seen most clearly in the United States. In 2008, Barack Obama won nearly one quarter of the country’s non-metro counties. Eight years later, Hillary Clinton won barely 10%. In the past, notes Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University, the rural states regularly elected Democrats. How will Biden fare? “He couldn’t get a cup of coffee in this part of the country,” he told me. “To say he’s unpopular is an understatement.”

Caught between these two increasingly extreme polities lies the third terroir, “the middle landscape” of suburban and exurban areas. Although these areas constitute an absolute majority of Americans and two-thirds of Europe’s 99 largest metros, they have little political power. This largely reflects the fact that suburbs tend to be populated by middle and working-class households, often too preoccupied with making a living and raising a family to indulge in political theatre. In other words, the middle landscape has the numbers, but has not found its voice.

Yet ultimately, it is the suburbs that will determine America’s future. They remain, unlike the other terroirs, contestable, home to at least 40% of all US House seats. For almost 20 years, the Republican-leaning suburban voters held steady at around 47%, with Democratic leaders at 45%. In 2016, the suburbs voted 50 to 45 for Trump, but two years later the suburban electorate tilted blue, effectively handing the House back to the Democrats. Then, in 2022, the predicted GOP landslide never developed, in large part because suburbanites split their ballots.

Whether this will be repeated remains unclear. On the one hand, Biden’s embrace of policies that seek to force communities to densify and take in low-income residents are not likely to be widely popular among suburbanites, who, after all, moved there to escape the city. On the other, the suburb’s changing demography could work to the favour of Democrats, as culturally liberal millennials and ethnic minorities join the city exodus.

But none of this represents the politics of choice — a programme suited to the needs and aspirations of this middle terroir. Right now, politics is inflicted on these communities rather than being shaped around them. Until they gain a voice, the West’s geographical cleavage will continue to widen, producing endless conflicts that fail the majority caught in between.


Joel Kotkin is the Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and author, most recently, of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (Encounter)

joelkotkin

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

32 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

Both Oregon and Washington states have separatist movements that want to break the rest of the state away from the coastal cities. British Columbia is the same – outside of Metro Vancouver and half of Vancouver Island the rest of the province is rural working class and not progressive at all. The BC economy there is still mining, forestry, fishing. But it is the voters in the City that elect governments. As progressive politics get more deranged (trans issues) and harmful to the rural economy (net zero) – I think this tension could create real civil conflict.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Joel has been arguing this for years however cities are becoming more green and the countryside is becoming more paved. There is more flow within families from one to the other than ever before and is a fake division.
From todays WSJ
For Many Big Cities, It’s Their First Rodeo. ‘You Don’t Do That In Cowboy World’Bull riding is becoming more popular in metro areas, and that poses hurdles—trucking dirt through traffic to the arena and teaching manners; no booing

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

Where this is occurring it’s not so much evidence of a “fake division” as it is of an overall flattening, which is hardly a good thing.

Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

Where this is occurring it’s not so much evidence of a “fake division” as it is of an overall flattening, which is hardly a good thing.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Northern California has also had a long-standing “State of Jefferson” movement. Living in western WA, I could chuckle at the separatist movements 20 years ago. Now, I can sympathize with them, though they are unlikely to succeed given the legal hurdles to statehood in the federal constitution. But the practical outworking has been a migration of conservatives out of the coastal blue states, which fortifies the red states’ redness and leaves behind even more flaky leftwing politics. And at some point, should increase the red states’ congressional delegations.

As a conservative in a state that is increasingly flaky left, the question becomes whether 1) to stay and be a “happy warrior,” fighting an uphill battle for reason, or 2) say to h#ll with it and move to a neighboring red state, where there’s some freedom and sanity left, as well as a lower cost of living AND much less crime, AND the agriculture and natural resources. At some point, the coastal big city denizens need to face the consequences of their poor choices.

Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  James Stangl

Unfortunately when they do face them they simply leave the coasts and start colonizing the hinterlands.

Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  James Stangl

Unfortunately when they do face them they simply leave the coasts and start colonizing the hinterlands.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Joel has been arguing this for years however cities are becoming more green and the countryside is becoming more paved. There is more flow within families from one to the other than ever before and is a fake division.
From todays WSJ
For Many Big Cities, It’s Their First Rodeo. ‘You Don’t Do That In Cowboy World’Bull riding is becoming more popular in metro areas, and that poses hurdles—trucking dirt through traffic to the arena and teaching manners; no booing

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Northern California has also had a long-standing “State of Jefferson” movement. Living in western WA, I could chuckle at the separatist movements 20 years ago. Now, I can sympathize with them, though they are unlikely to succeed given the legal hurdles to statehood in the federal constitution. But the practical outworking has been a migration of conservatives out of the coastal blue states, which fortifies the red states’ redness and leaves behind even more flaky leftwing politics. And at some point, should increase the red states’ congressional delegations.

As a conservative in a state that is increasingly flaky left, the question becomes whether 1) to stay and be a “happy warrior,” fighting an uphill battle for reason, or 2) say to h#ll with it and move to a neighboring red state, where there’s some freedom and sanity left, as well as a lower cost of living AND much less crime, AND the agriculture and natural resources. At some point, the coastal big city denizens need to face the consequences of their poor choices.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

Both Oregon and Washington states have separatist movements that want to break the rest of the state away from the coastal cities. British Columbia is the same – outside of Metro Vancouver and half of Vancouver Island the rest of the province is rural working class and not progressive at all. The BC economy there is still mining, forestry, fishing. But it is the voters in the City that elect governments. As progressive politics get more deranged (trans issues) and harmful to the rural economy (net zero) – I think this tension could create real civil conflict.

John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago

All of which argues for more state and local control. Tight gun control policy might make sense if you live in a densely packed city – but if you live thirty miles from the nearest police station? “One size fits all” policy doesn’t make sense on many fronts.
HOW DO I CANCEL MY f*****g ACCOUNT?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Cartledge
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  John Cartledge

Not to mention this is where voter suppression is mostly practiced. Heaven forgive to give blacks in the rural south or Latins in the southwest political power as they have in the cities.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
1 year ago
Reply to  John Cartledge

Not to mention this is where voter suppression is mostly practiced. Heaven forgive to give blacks in the rural south or Latins in the southwest political power as they have in the cities.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark M Breza
John Cartledge
John Cartledge
1 year ago

All of which argues for more state and local control. Tight gun control policy might make sense if you live in a densely packed city – but if you live thirty miles from the nearest police station? “One size fits all” policy doesn’t make sense on many fronts.
HOW DO I CANCEL MY f*****g ACCOUNT?

Last edited 1 year ago by John Cartledge
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago

A small point with reference to recent “progressive” victories: dependency breeds dependency. With a growing percentage of the electorate reliant to an ever increasing degree on state largesse, funded by mortgaging the future, the more they will vote for the party which keeps that state provision flowing. It is a cycle from which it is very difficult to break – and just as the left hates and fears economically successful societies, because they entrench an aversion to socialism, so the right should hate and fear the situation of now. And it gets worse, for economic dependency breeds all manner of criminal habits, if only to pass the idle and meaningless time. It is literally “decadence”; and it serves to show that the left will lure people into becoming over-worked ants by first turning them into useless slugs.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Yes, this a million times.

Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

True, but with one caveat: the woke cultural left is not nearly as concerned about class issues as its forebears were. They are happy to ally themselves with big business so long as the latter toes their cultural line, or at least appears to. Thus the phenomenon of “woke capitalism.” (Of course the wokesters don’t realize that they’re the ones being co-opted, as was pointed out by Augusto Del Noce fifty years ago.)
What we have in the States is a very large cadre of powerful people who are what used to be referred to as “fiscally conservative but socially liberal.” In fact, for U.S. elites this is probably the default position nowadays.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Grano

Not seeing many of those fiscally conservatives having any impact. But with the US debt becoming unsustainable the issue may finally cause reform. The current devaluation via inflation harms all but mostly the poor. Cities may discover an inability to deal with the poverty.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob Grano

Not seeing many of those fiscally conservatives having any impact. But with the US debt becoming unsustainable the issue may finally cause reform. The current devaluation via inflation harms all but mostly the poor. Cities may discover an inability to deal with the poverty.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Yes, this a million times.

Rob Grano
Rob Grano
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

True, but with one caveat: the woke cultural left is not nearly as concerned about class issues as its forebears were. They are happy to ally themselves with big business so long as the latter toes their cultural line, or at least appears to. Thus the phenomenon of “woke capitalism.” (Of course the wokesters don’t realize that they’re the ones being co-opted, as was pointed out by Augusto Del Noce fifty years ago.)
What we have in the States is a very large cadre of powerful people who are what used to be referred to as “fiscally conservative but socially liberal.” In fact, for U.S. elites this is probably the default position nowadays.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago

A small point with reference to recent “progressive” victories: dependency breeds dependency. With a growing percentage of the electorate reliant to an ever increasing degree on state largesse, funded by mortgaging the future, the more they will vote for the party which keeps that state provision flowing. It is a cycle from which it is very difficult to break – and just as the left hates and fears economically successful societies, because they entrench an aversion to socialism, so the right should hate and fear the situation of now. And it gets worse, for economic dependency breeds all manner of criminal habits, if only to pass the idle and meaningless time. It is literally “decadence”; and it serves to show that the left will lure people into becoming over-worked ants by first turning them into useless slugs.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

USA is Rome 350 A.D. on Meth……. The West is. I think China may be hitting the opium pipe again….1/3 of young Chinese men unemployed, unmarried, this with demographics on a massive decline. Their economy has much smoke and mirrors, their money fake.

Like Rome when it fell – it mostly left no civilization intact West of Constantinople, and so all fell to a Global Dark Age for 800 years, or 1000, or 1200 depending on how you count things.

As USA is basically the global economy, being the Global Reserve Currency, (and do not listen to the silly de-Dollarization coming soon gang, it is the base the global economic pyramid rests on) when USA goes it takes all Globalism with it. Like post Rome leaving just Barbarous tribes and city states waring, that also will be the outcome now.

The ending of Enlightenment Classical Liberalism (as in those thinkers who wrote the USA Constitution) in the west – to Socialist, Neo-Marxist Postmodernism, self loathing, Lefty-woke (Corporatocracy) Liberalism is almost a mirror image of Romes moral decline. A self destructive and self interested pathology analogous to a girl with aneroxia nervosa, or a youth in the hands of Stonewall, it is out to kill its self – and looks like it will succeed.

A sharp and hard return to MAGA, and MBGA, and MEUGA – a return to past patriotism and unity and Morality – to Family, Community, personal responsibility, duty, work ethic, may save us – Kennedy running as Democrat, Trump as Republican – if they win and hold things could change. But Europe have None similar outside of a couple East Europe states.

The wicked Biden regime may be too ingrained, we may be doomed, too typical throughout the West – most likely…

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Mary Harrington recently stated that she thought this “America is the late Roman Empire” analogy is way off. What if it’s not 350 AD; what if it’s 44 BC? The American Republic is clearly feeble and teetering, but the American Empire way be just taking its first steps. Like Rome did before, the new imperial America will wear the skin of the republic for as long as possible — the Roman Senate existed well into the 3rd century, long after everyone knew it was powerless.
To paraphrase Adam Smith, many today are underestimating the amount of ruin in a large nation like America.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

It is the decline in spirit, that which enables peoples mind and body to be tempered by adversity. Once the body and mind has been tempered by adversity it can go on to overcome great challenges. Examples are James Brindley, G Stephenson, Shackleton, Violette Szabo GC and Nimsdai Purja.
Affluent America often uses it’s wealth to protect it’s children from adversity and therefore these never become tempered; consequently they are insecure. Edward III said of his son when he was fighting for his life “Let him win his spurs”. George V and George VI spent their early lives as naval officers. The Sultan of Egypt was amazed to see Prince George as a Midshipman carrying bags of coal into a ship.
One divide between people is how they react to adversity. How much of woke politics is because people cannot cope with adversity?

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

bang on – it takes way more courage to individually challenge injustices than it does to join a large group that might do it for you. Wokes seem unable to deal with criticism and the conversation that that might engender – plus the possibility of feeling ‘anxious’ – poor little fragile things. Damn shame these foolish creatures are in a position to influence policy making due to being used by mendacious corporate and political entities. Ho Hum thus it ever was …..

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

bang on – it takes way more courage to individually challenge injustices than it does to join a large group that might do it for you. Wokes seem unable to deal with criticism and the conversation that that might engender – plus the possibility of feeling ‘anxious’ – poor little fragile things. Damn shame these foolish creatures are in a position to influence policy making due to being used by mendacious corporate and political entities. Ho Hum thus it ever was …..

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

It is the decline in spirit, that which enables peoples mind and body to be tempered by adversity. Once the body and mind has been tempered by adversity it can go on to overcome great challenges. Examples are James Brindley, G Stephenson, Shackleton, Violette Szabo GC and Nimsdai Purja.
Affluent America often uses it’s wealth to protect it’s children from adversity and therefore these never become tempered; consequently they are insecure. Edward III said of his son when he was fighting for his life “Let him win his spurs”. George V and George VI spent their early lives as naval officers. The Sultan of Egypt was amazed to see Prince George as a Midshipman carrying bags of coal into a ship.
One divide between people is how they react to adversity. How much of woke politics is because people cannot cope with adversity?

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Mary Harrington recently stated that she thought this “America is the late Roman Empire” analogy is way off. What if it’s not 350 AD; what if it’s 44 BC? The American Republic is clearly feeble and teetering, but the American Empire way be just taking its first steps. Like Rome did before, the new imperial America will wear the skin of the republic for as long as possible — the Roman Senate existed well into the 3rd century, long after everyone knew it was powerless.
To paraphrase Adam Smith, many today are underestimating the amount of ruin in a large nation like America.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Villanueva
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

USA is Rome 350 A.D. on Meth……. The West is. I think China may be hitting the opium pipe again….1/3 of young Chinese men unemployed, unmarried, this with demographics on a massive decline. Their economy has much smoke and mirrors, their money fake.

Like Rome when it fell – it mostly left no civilization intact West of Constantinople, and so all fell to a Global Dark Age for 800 years, or 1000, or 1200 depending on how you count things.

As USA is basically the global economy, being the Global Reserve Currency, (and do not listen to the silly de-Dollarization coming soon gang, it is the base the global economic pyramid rests on) when USA goes it takes all Globalism with it. Like post Rome leaving just Barbarous tribes and city states waring, that also will be the outcome now.

The ending of Enlightenment Classical Liberalism (as in those thinkers who wrote the USA Constitution) in the west – to Socialist, Neo-Marxist Postmodernism, self loathing, Lefty-woke (Corporatocracy) Liberalism is almost a mirror image of Romes moral decline. A self destructive and self interested pathology analogous to a girl with aneroxia nervosa, or a youth in the hands of Stonewall, it is out to kill its self – and looks like it will succeed.

A sharp and hard return to MAGA, and MBGA, and MEUGA – a return to past patriotism and unity and Morality – to Family, Community, personal responsibility, duty, work ethic, may save us – Kennedy running as Democrat, Trump as Republican – if they win and hold things could change. But Europe have None similar outside of a couple East Europe states.

The wicked Biden regime may be too ingrained, we may be doomed, too typical throughout the West – most likely…

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

I always smile about articles bemoaning “the death of the High Street”. As “the middle landscape” moved further away from the centre there were more convenient and comprehensive was of shopping. Indeed you can argue (like the article) that the “the middle landscape” lost the town and county political orientation for one of consumerism.
Now that consumerism is under threat the “the middle landscape” could jump in unpredictable ways. But I don’t see any likelihood of the High Street being revived to its former glory.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

I always smile about articles bemoaning “the death of the High Street”. As “the middle landscape” moved further away from the centre there were more convenient and comprehensive was of shopping. Indeed you can argue (like the article) that the “the middle landscape” lost the town and county political orientation for one of consumerism.
Now that consumerism is under threat the “the middle landscape” could jump in unpredictable ways. But I don’t see any likelihood of the High Street being revived to its former glory.

Patti Dunne
Patti Dunne
1 year ago

I think the large problem of drug use, and subsequently, deaths play in many rural areas, is an important part of predicting how this will all play out. I’m not sure this has been examined enough in public discussions.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
1 year ago
Reply to  Patti Dunne

This is horribly true. I’ve seen the hard-won culture of education and self-betterment that was characteristic of the Welsh valleys completely smashed since Thatcher closed the mines. Virtually overnight, the people who had fuelled the industrial revolution were just dumped. No re-training, no alternatives. Within a decade drugs were filling the vacuum and now they’re really hard to escape. It’s an absolute tragedy.

Coralie Palmer
Coralie Palmer
1 year ago
Reply to  Patti Dunne

This is horribly true. I’ve seen the hard-won culture of education and self-betterment that was characteristic of the Welsh valleys completely smashed since Thatcher closed the mines. Virtually overnight, the people who had fuelled the industrial revolution were just dumped. No re-training, no alternatives. Within a decade drugs were filling the vacuum and now they’re really hard to escape. It’s an absolute tragedy.

Patti Dunne
Patti Dunne
1 year ago

I think the large problem of drug use, and subsequently, deaths play in many rural areas, is an important part of predicting how this will all play out. I’m not sure this has been examined enough in public discussions.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

In the case of America at least, the urban elites lack the ability to subdue the rurals. The former is too dependent on the latter; a guerilla force of less than 100 men could effectively besiege many American cities. Rural voters lack the numbers to overturn urban policy preferences though.
The urbanites won’t alter their rules but can’t enforce them outside their blue territories. Given this reality, some devolution to localism is inevitable. I find the sanctuary city movement (whether for immigrants, abortions or guns) to be rather encouraging in this regard. It’s already happening.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Caesar and Pompey can’t be worse that Trump and Biden?
So who will be Augustus? Mr Kennedy?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

That and the fact that the US army is effectively made up of rurals (90% of infantry vote Republican and 68% of their officers do as well) – many of them combat veterans – gives me hope. The US deep state and three letter agencies really can’t impose their will on red states and rural areas. So hopefully some kind of political compromise will need to be reached. I think the next US election will be critical. Obviously Joe Biden can’t win it fairly and if he does ‘win’ with the same level of corruption as last time I think things will come to a head. I suspect some red states would simply refuse to recognize the results. If that happened what options would the Democrats have? They won’t be able to send in the army.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Caesar and Pompey can’t be worse that Trump and Biden?
So who will be Augustus? Mr Kennedy?

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago

That and the fact that the US army is effectively made up of rurals (90% of infantry vote Republican and 68% of their officers do as well) – many of them combat veterans – gives me hope. The US deep state and three letter agencies really can’t impose their will on red states and rural areas. So hopefully some kind of political compromise will need to be reached. I think the next US election will be critical. Obviously Joe Biden can’t win it fairly and if he does ‘win’ with the same level of corruption as last time I think things will come to a head. I suspect some red states would simply refuse to recognize the results. If that happened what options would the Democrats have? They won’t be able to send in the army.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

In the case of America at least, the urban elites lack the ability to subdue the rurals. The former is too dependent on the latter; a guerilla force of less than 100 men could effectively besiege many American cities. Rural voters lack the numbers to overturn urban policy preferences though.
The urbanites won’t alter their rules but can’t enforce them outside their blue territories. Given this reality, some devolution to localism is inevitable. I find the sanctuary city movement (whether for immigrants, abortions or guns) to be rather encouraging in this regard. It’s already happening.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago

“People living in the (rural) areas have responded as one might expect: between 2015 and 2022, community rejections of (wind and solar energy) projects in the US grew from 50 to over 500. A similar narrative is playing out throughout the EU and among farmers Australia, who fear transmission lines and windmills will not only make their farms less productive, but destroy the surrounding landscape.”
I wrote about this for the Wall Street Journal. Should be a free link. https://www.wsj.com/articles/indianas-cornfields-could-be-gone-with-the-wind-farm-power-plant-energy-renewables-coal-nipsco-11674841400?st=fi05l6925hgqmpw&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
1 year ago

“People living in the (rural) areas have responded as one might expect: between 2015 and 2022, community rejections of (wind and solar energy) projects in the US grew from 50 to over 500. A similar narrative is playing out throughout the EU and among farmers Australia, who fear transmission lines and windmills will not only make their farms less productive, but destroy the surrounding landscape.”
I wrote about this for the Wall Street Journal. Should be a free link. https://www.wsj.com/articles/indianas-cornfields-could-be-gone-with-the-wind-farm-power-plant-energy-renewables-coal-nipsco-11674841400?st=fi05l6925hgqmpw&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

American women have the greatest cleave thanks to silicone valley…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

American women have the greatest cleave thanks to silicone valley…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Stormy Daniels cleavage is great.. no problem there?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Stormy Daniels cleavage is great.. no problem there?

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago

Thanks for your report. This certainly rings true. Your information here may be instructive in a statistical analysis, but there is a wild–and I do mean WILD–card in the deck of American gamesmanship.
How will a statistical analysis truly inform us in a situation where those rural, flyover-country, used-to-be-called-conservative citizens in flyover country . . . when they are still clinging to former president who has broken all the rules of civilized life and will be languishing in a prison cell during the ’24 election campaign?
We are, here in the US, truly surviving in a brave new world. I hope that someday we will get back (get back to where you once belonged, as Paul sang) to circumstances where statistical analysis will truly be instructive for planning the future of this nation in a world that is crying out for Reason and for conservation instead of pseudo-conservatism that mimics the 19th-early 20th century conservatism that prospered here before the joker took hold of the game.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

haha, and they think Americans don’t do irony.

Ronda Ross
Ronda Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

Fly over residents are not from Mars, nor are they a monolith. They feed, power and defend the US. The fact they might have a different view point from their coastal betters, does not mean that they “cling” to anyone. Surprisingly many flyover residents view pseudo liberalism as a far bigger threat to the country, then the pseudo conservatives that surround them. After all, hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans do not permanently dwell outside, like livestock, in their neighborhoods. Nor are they forced to endure pervasive crime, wealth inequality worse than Latin America, open air drug markets and horrendous public education systems. Pseudo liberals also insist on purposefully importing millions of unvetted, impoverished migrants to create a permanent servant caste, meant to cater to the coastal upper class, who pretend to be truly wealthy. The aforementioned are far more frightening to most people, than any former 78 year old politician.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ronda Ross
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

“still clinging to former president” – not at all true. Most cling to the notion of MAGA formally known as the Tea Party. That notion wishes a responsible government of limited scope along with consideration of US citizens first. While Trump capitalized on the notion, we can hope other leaders pick up that mantle.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

haha, and they think Americans don’t do irony.

Ronda Ross
Ronda Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

Fly over residents are not from Mars, nor are they a monolith. They feed, power and defend the US. The fact they might have a different view point from their coastal betters, does not mean that they “cling” to anyone. Surprisingly many flyover residents view pseudo liberalism as a far bigger threat to the country, then the pseudo conservatives that surround them. After all, hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans do not permanently dwell outside, like livestock, in their neighborhoods. Nor are they forced to endure pervasive crime, wealth inequality worse than Latin America, open air drug markets and horrendous public education systems. Pseudo liberals also insist on purposefully importing millions of unvetted, impoverished migrants to create a permanent servant caste, meant to cater to the coastal upper class, who pretend to be truly wealthy. The aforementioned are far more frightening to most people, than any former 78 year old politician.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ronda Ross
Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago
Reply to  LCarey Rowland

“still clinging to former president” – not at all true. Most cling to the notion of MAGA formally known as the Tea Party. That notion wishes a responsible government of limited scope along with consideration of US citizens first. While Trump capitalized on the notion, we can hope other leaders pick up that mantle.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
1 year ago

Thanks for your report. This certainly rings true. Your information here may be instructive in a statistical analysis, but there is a wild–and I do mean WILD–card in the deck of American gamesmanship.
How will a statistical analysis truly inform us in a situation where those rural, flyover-country, used-to-be-called-conservative citizens in flyover country . . . when they are still clinging to former president who has broken all the rules of civilized life and will be languishing in a prison cell during the ’24 election campaign?
We are, here in the US, truly surviving in a brave new world. I hope that someday we will get back (get back to where you once belonged, as Paul sang) to circumstances where statistical analysis will truly be instructive for planning the future of this nation in a world that is crying out for Reason and for conservation instead of pseudo-conservatism that mimics the 19th-early 20th century conservatism that prospered here before the joker took hold of the game.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Two things. First, I thought even mentioning of progressives and their “Demographics is Destiny” obsession was supposed to be a right wing racist conspiracy theory. Second, why is the author lazy enough to have two articles at the same publication with the exact same damn title?

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It’s my understanding article titles are created by an Unherd editor rather than the author.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Still begs the question why we have two articles by the same author with the same title.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

We’re all just glad you are focused on the important stuff.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

We’re all just glad you are focused on the important stuff.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Still begs the question why we have two articles by the same author with the same title.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It’s my understanding article titles are created by an Unherd editor rather than the author.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

Two things. First, I thought even mentioning of progressives and their “Demographics is Destiny” obsession was supposed to be a right wing racist conspiracy theory. Second, why is the author lazy enough to have two articles at the same publication with the exact same damn title?