Progressives and Regressives

The passage cited in the previous post reminded me of a Facebook post from Robert Reich, several weeks ago, which I managed to track down via Google and capture here for my reference.

Why is it that most progressives live in cities and on the coasts where there are major ports, while most regressives live in rural areas far removed from the nation’s major ports and cities? The same pattern holds in other nations and regions of the world. Historically, fascist movements have begun inland; liberal movements, around major seaports and cities. It’s probably because major ports and cities are far more exposed to the rest of the world, and to a diverse range of people and a broad range of ideas, while rural inland areas are more homogeneous and insular. America’s regressives — trying to stop abortions, prevent gay marriages, keep their guns, hold back immigration, militarize the border, limit voting rights, prevent the teaching of evolution, deny climate change, tear down the wall between church and state, and cut safety nets — reflect the values and views of those who are cut off from the realities of the 21st century. Our problem is they have disproportionate political power, and are determined to hold onto it as long as they can.

This verges on caricature; yet. The reason folks who live in rural areas tend to be ‘homogenous and insular’ is because the kids who grow up there — I’m especially thinking of the kids who realize at some some point they are gay — [this is not something they can control, something that is ageless throughout human culture, though this is a topic for another post] — tend to *move away* from those small town places, to the big cities. This is a long-recognized pattern. Thus the big cities become more diverse, and the small towns they left remain homogeneous, and insular.

A similar effect explains why journalists and university professors and show biz folks are more progressive. Partly first, because they are exposed to more diverse types of people and necessarily shed their prejudices about anyone who is different from themselves. And second, frankly, it’s because journalists and university professors are more informed about the world around them, not just within their specialties. The reason most journalists are liberal is because they know more about the world than most of their readers. The reason most university professors are liberal is because they know more about the world than the conservatives who, thinking they already have the answers to everything through their religion, don’t go to those universities in the first place. 😉 Or only go to ‘universities’ that exist to confirm their religious convictions — Christian universities — without challenging anything they might already think or believe… which deny, I would think, what universities should really be about.

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