Saturday, December 29, 2012
We Live in Two Different Worlds
I leave Nebraska tomorrow to head back to New Jersey, and during my travels here I have been struck hard by the differences between the two places. I don't mean things like the lower quality of pizza, less sophisticated style of dress, or less stressful way of life in these parts. I am talking instead about wholly different mental frameworks and approaches to politics. These frameworks seem to transcend individual experiences and circumstances
For example, I have heard two people who are active in their own unions slag the labor movement, which is considered an evil, job destroying monster by so many here. I have heard angels and demons discussed as if they were real entities who played a role in our day to day affairs. I have heard a general reaction against any kind of gun control legislation, even in the wake of our most recent mass shooting. I know it's become trite to say so, but people living in different parts of this country are living within wholly different realities.
I have increasingly come to believe that the current impasse on capitol hill and the larger dysfunction it represents can be chalked up to the fact that large swaths of this country simply refuse to acknowledge and accept the reality that Barack Obama is truly president. He and everything he stands for is anathema to a large number of folks out here on the prairie. They prefer to think that the last two presidential elections can be ignored, which they will continue to do. As long as this bone-deep, culturally-reinforced antipathy remains, I fear that this nation will continue to be ungovernable. That is the larger force behind the surface-level manifestation of the "fiscal cliff" fiasco, and one that I feared will not soon be resolved.