The Hated Middle

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks during a press conference following an international donors meeting for rebuilding the Gaza Strip, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on March 2, 2009. Clinton called for all sides in the Gaza conflict to work towards a durable ceasefire and condemned continued rocket attacks on Israel. AFP PHOTO/CRIS BOURONCLE (Photo credit should read CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Hey Hillary,
We’ve heard a lot of hate lately for the Midwest and South. Perhaps that’s because we made a jaunt through the Pacific Northwest, along the coast — it’s beautiful. The folks up there, though, don’t seem too fond of the rural, even, sometimes, within their own states. And we wondered why.

We started with a little research, as we are wont to do. Thanks to Outside the Beltway, we found a couple of nice maps describing the voting patterns in the past two elections.

We thought to ourselves, that’s about as objective of a map as we’ve seen.

California stood out. The beach areas, which we love, voted Democratic. The central valley voted Republican.

We found that interesting.

Across the country, the rural areas tended to vote Republican and the high density areas tended to vote Democrat.

2012-Election-County-By-County-570x346

Was it due to rain? Heat? Religion? Number of trees?

Hollywood?

Or is something much more human?

After some meditation, some reflection on our lives and travels, and some surprisingly unhelpful input from our precogs, we began to bicker.

It wasn’t fun.

But then we made a connection.

The rural areas are the sources of food and fuel and lumber and minerals. Natural resources.

The high density areas consume those resources.

AHAH! The hierarchy of needs!

The bickering stopped.

A theory formed.

MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds.svg

You’re not going to like it.

It’s about dependence.

Big city folks depend on rural areas for their lowest level of needs, the physiological ones — food and shelter and warmth.

Why does this matter? How does it affect the direction of vitriol?

Because, Hillary, we humans don’t like to depend. We attempt to control those resources we need and to control the people who produce those resources. It’s survival instinct.

Even we yogis, who try hard to let things just be, we notice it in ourselves. We want a secure source of organic quinoa and we don’t want anyone getting in our way.

Sure, a few oms and we forget for a while. And there are stories of breatharians, who live on air. We aren’t breatharian. But we have tried to om some papaya salad into existence.

We failed.

We need farms. We need lumber. We need fuel.

We need the rural areas to keep supplying us with natural resources.

Or we die.

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