Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Cold Water on a National Myth

Let's start off by dismissing that myth that our nation is one happy family.

The fact is, we're a heterogenous group of people, living in different regions, with different economies, different customs, and having somewhat differences in aspirations.

And, very importantly, there are possibly economic conflicts that regularly occur between regions. Look at when Alabama picked up Airbus. Sour grapes for that came from --guess where?  Washington state. Likewise, the fact that cars are now being manufactured in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky did not sit well with some Midwesterners. Oh well, things happen. And Ford and G.M. just ain't what they used to be. And some Southerners are going home with some pretty good biweekly checks. And Fresh Market is now a shopping possibility. And, wow! We can do opera, if we want to. And don't have to slave all day in a hominy mine.*

Anyway, guess what happened when various large cities competed to win the second headquarters for Amazon: In that case, NYC and Washington won out. And the big $$$$ went there. Amazon staffs lower-paying jobs at regional fulfillment centers like the one in Chattanooga.

And there is always the specter of California dominance. Thank God for the fact that each state has two senators. Otherwise we would be buried.  Yes, even Wyoming has two. California is fine, if you want to buy into the California package. Some don't. A half-hour in L.A. traffic convinces me of that. [Not that I-565 is a picnic during rush hour.]

Why are Americans so diverse in attitudes in different regions or states? Well, there's different history, as a starter. And all regions have their skeletons in their closets. There's climate. There's population density. There's core beliefs. And there is the relative unfamiliarity that most people have with some other parts of the country. 

God knows, I'm not making a screed for secession. But I am saying that we should give each other allowances. Think of the United States as kind of like a couple sharing a double bed. We should be careful not to pull the covers off your bedmate.** And not to screw her or him unless that's mutually agreeable for both of you.

*That, folks, is a joke.

**Queen- or king-sized beds are a great thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment