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Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:00 AM

It's bothered me for years. Where did the ridiculous notion

that "rural and small town Americans are the real Americans" come from?
It's been pushed by the talking meatheads at Fake Fox News for years.

61 replies, 5646 views

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Arrow 61 replies Author Time Post
Reply It's bothered me for years. Where did the ridiculous notion (Original post)
Progressive Jones Nov 2018 OP
Moostache Nov 2018 #1
Progressive Jones Nov 2018 #4
Hekate Nov 2018 #13
Drahthaardogs Nov 2018 #24
kcr Nov 2018 #46
enid602 Nov 2018 #45
maxsolomon Nov 2018 #50
Bettie Nov 2018 #32
Bradshaw3 Nov 2018 #51
TheBlackAdder Nov 2018 #16
Blue_true Nov 2018 #34
TheBlackAdder Nov 2018 #44
JHB Nov 2018 #21
pnwmom Nov 2018 #22
lpbk2713 Nov 2018 #2
NJCher Nov 2018 #3
GReedDiamond Nov 2018 #7
Elwood P Dowd Nov 2018 #47
Rizen Nov 2018 #5
Progressive Jones Nov 2018 #10
Celerity Nov 2018 #23
SoCalDem Nov 2018 #6
Progressive Jones Nov 2018 #12
underpants Nov 2018 #26
Progressive Jones Nov 2018 #57
underpants Nov 2018 #58
brush Nov 2018 #8
Blue_true Nov 2018 #37
Garrett78 Nov 2018 #9
JI7 Nov 2018 #11
regnaD kciN Nov 2018 #14
jcmaine72 Nov 2018 #15
Mr. Quackers Nov 2018 #20
Eric J in MN Nov 2018 #17
lunatica Nov 2018 #18
Mr. Quackers Nov 2018 #19
Hortensis Nov 2018 #25
oberliner Nov 2018 #29
Hortensis Nov 2018 #30
dalton99a Nov 2018 #42
Pope George Ringo II Nov 2018 #27
rurallib Nov 2018 #28
Jim Lane Nov 2018 #43
Wounded Bear Nov 2018 #60
MineralMan Nov 2018 #31
GulfCoast66 Nov 2018 #33
edhopper Nov 2018 #35
unc70 Nov 2018 #36
Blue_true Nov 2018 #39
crazycatlady Nov 2018 #38
Blue_true Nov 2018 #40
Adrahil Nov 2018 #41
Tommy_Carcetti Nov 2018 #48
uponit7771 Nov 2018 #49
johnp3907 Nov 2018 #52
mopinko Nov 2018 #53
Act_of_Reparation Nov 2018 #54
Gothmog Nov 2018 #55
TexasBushwhacker Nov 2018 #61
Demovictory9 Nov 2018 #56
KWR65 Nov 2018 #59

Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:08 AM

1. It is a response to being called "fly over country"...

If it gets a rise out of you, its working as intended...

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Response to Moostache (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:13 AM

4. Why would there be a negative reaction to a piece of land being called

"flyover country"?

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Response to Progressive Jones (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:06 AM

13. Because "coastal elites" jet from one coast to the other and never get to know the vast middle...

First time I heard the term I got it instantly, because I live in California and my sis lives in New York state (and formerly Massachussetts) and that's my only reason to travel. I'm not related to anyone in the middle, so why would I go there?

But as soon as you say "coastal elites" the implication is that a) we are elite, and b) we think we're better than everybody else, so c) the people who live in flyover country must be real Americans because snobby elitists obviously are not.

But this prejudice predates airplanes by at least a century and doubtless a lot longer. According to this mythology, Real values come from small towns and farms, where people are close to nature and naturally good and neighborly. Not coincidentally, they all go to the same 3 Christian churches in town and are descended from the same 3 European ethnic groups who originally settled the town.

Big cities are a disturbance in the Force, full of strange people and strange beliefs. As Garrison Keillor pointed out numerous times, cities are where the misfit kids from Lake Woebegone go when they grow up, to escape the sameness and conformity: the artist, the poet, the gay kid, the intellectual, the nerd. In ither words, all the people you and I think make life interesting.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 06:43 AM

24. I think some of it has to do with the social interactions of people.

Go to rural Colorado and walk into a coffee shop. You will probably have someone strike up a conversation.

Go ride the subway in New York and no one will dare to even make eye contact in case you are a "crazy".

As someone who grew up in the mountain west, but spends a lot of time on both coasts, yes, I see a difference in people's behavior.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 12:59 PM

46. It would be ridiculous to say there is no difference, of course

But that doesn't mean people in the city are callous and unfriendly. It's true that when you're in a large city like New York, people interact much differently. It's partly due to defense mechanisms, but also due to efficiency. With millions of people, if everyone took the time to slow down and interact the way they do in smaller towns, it would gum up the works. It does take some getting used to. But you also notice the humanity that's still there. For example, I suddenly felt ill once standing up on a crowded, hot subway that had broken down, and people offered me their seat when they saw how distressed I was.

But I had to adjust. I had moved to the area from Tennessee after having lived there over 15 years, so for a couple weeks or so I'd get odd looks because I'd forget and do things like smile and say hi to strangers walking in and out of the grocery store out of habit.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 12:34 PM

45. Coastal cities

When I think of ‘coastal cities’ (at least the West Coast), I think of people living in ‘50’s cracker boxes that are on fire.

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Response to enid602 (Reply #45)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:42 PM

50. then you don't get out here much.

you might want to visit and learn about more of "Actual America".

Paradise, CA, which is on fire, is in the foothills of the Sierras, 3-4 hours from the ocean. it's Trump Country, filled with the same ignorance, resentments and judgments of "Marin County Hot Tubbers" as anywhere in Missouri or Kentucky.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:23 AM

32. "Flyover Country" means

"these people don't matter" and "these people are stupid/backward/insert other pejorative".

The "real 'murikans" thing came from that.

Both are wrong.

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Response to Bettie (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:46 PM

51. Well said

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Response to Moostache (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:43 AM

16. Dang. It's "fly-over" to me because every time I price tickets to those states, they're expensive.

.

It seems cheaper to either book to a major city or tourist area, most others are abusively priced.

This not only prevents people from vacationing there, but prevents those living there from venturing out.

.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:34 AM

34. It is expensive because the airports in those places are small. Major carriers don't fly to them.

So you get transfers to and from smaller regional and local carriers and that runs the price up.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:48 AM

44. I used to work for a regional back in my early twenties. Twin Otters, Nords & comparable are cheap.

.

When I checked out the price to fly from Philly to Iowa, the tickets were around $1,200 each, because American had exclusive rights on the final leg. So, it wasn't as much the cost of maintaining the route, the airport landing fees, etc. It was because they could apply usurious rates to those flights.

Remember, those aircraft and the personnel are used on multiple routes, so they aren't sitting idle. The airport ground crews at the remote sites are either part-time airline employees or they are employed by the regional airport to provide those services.

So, those prices are such, because the carriers can get away with it.

.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 04:23 AM

21. No, it'san attitude that predates the airplane

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Response to Moostache (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 04:32 AM

22. No, the concept that rural Americans were more real has been around far longer.

Airplanes are a modern invention.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:11 AM

2. Johnny Carson promoted that image.



And many bought into it.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:14 AM

3. it's a prejudice

just like ageism, sexism, and racism. It is no doubt reinforced by tv shows of the 50s and 60s, like Green Acres and Andy Griffin.

Somehow they think "small town" people are more honest. Wholesome.

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest and moved to NYC area as soon as I could after getting my degree. I applied for high level jobs in the very competitive world of advertising and marketing communications, and I got those jobs, working for major corporations, the names of which anyone on this board would recognize. I used this small town stereotype to the max in my job interviews. The employers lapped it up. I can't explain it, but when that topic would come up in an interview, they acted like I had been bathed in Holy Water. I could do no wrong.

Weird. Just very, very weird.

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Response to NJCher (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:43 AM

7. Andy Griffith was a Democrat until his death...

...Long Live Mayberry!

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Response to GReedDiamond (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:28 PM

47. He sure was and a big Obama supporter.

If he were still alive, Andy would sick Earnest T. Bass on Trump.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:18 AM

5. Where'd it come from?

Rural and small towns of course. Fox is a right wing propaganda outlet and they're mostly in rural areas, hence the catering to that crowd.

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Response to Rizen (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:55 AM

10. The chicken or the egg?

Did Fox News con the small towners, or are the small towners just that arrogant?

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Response to Progressive Jones (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 06:02 AM

23. Both

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:32 AM

6. TV & movies

Americans love schmaltz..and there's nothing like small town schmaltz.. It's what tv was when Boomers were young...

Nostalgia is always popular..it's always better in our memories than it ever really was, but as we age, our minds love to retreat to simpler/safer times when we were young..

and that blip in time (the 20 years after WWII) was unique..

Look at what was on TV back then

Marcus Welby, MD
Petticoat Junction
The Andy Griffith Show
Mayberry RFD
Gunsmoke
The Waltons
Father Knows Best
Leave it to Beaver
etc etc..

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:58 AM

12. I'm a "Boomer" who grew up with all those shows.

Nothing about them told me that some people were "more American" than others.
I think it's a jealousy issue with some rurals. They hate what they can't have.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 07:53 AM

26. Norman Rockwell paintings too

BTW The Walton's House was used (different angle) as the Dragonfly Inn on Gilmore girls. I'm sure it's filled in onother shows too.

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Response to underpants (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 06:52 PM

57. I actually like Rockwell's art, but...

My Grandparents, all but one of whom had come from small, Midwestern towns, all told me that those paintings weren't supposed to be real depictions of "American Life". They were a "whimsical" look at America. It was a time when people needed cheering up.

Some people are trying to create a "Norman Rockwell" fantasy world to live in. It ain't gonna happen.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 08:44 PM

58. I agree on all counts.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:52 AM

8. The unspoken about elephant in the room on that is the paucity of POCs...

in rural and small town America, thus the "real Americans" tag in right wing minds.

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Response to brush (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:47 AM

37. That is the major part of the claim.

Cities have people from all over the world, different customs. Rural villages and towns have White people with maybe an African American or two around somewhere, but invisible. So you get the nonsensical claim of those small places being the real Americans. The fact is that if city and Surburban folks didn't pay the communal bills, those places would not have electricity, safe drinking water, Internet, roads, police protection, ect.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:55 AM

9. It's a dog whistle. "Real Americans" means white Americans. Simple as that.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:55 AM

11. it was dog whistle, coffee etc to mean straight white xtians

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:23 AM

14. Pretty sure it originated during the Nixon administration...

...as part of his "Silent Majority" narrative (cooked up, it should be recalled, by Pat Buchanan, Karl Rove, and Lee Atwater).

It was about that time that everything from small towns to football to country music became explicitly connected to Republican policies, as part of a national identity of "us" versus the "them" of minorities, hippies, and radical college students that were said to control the Northeast and West Coast, as well as scattered urban areas like Chicago and Detroit.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:32 AM

15. They might've been back when cross burnings were considered a socially acceptable activity.

But in the increasingly multiracial, multigendered, non-Christian nation that we live in, they're NOT the real Americans by a long shot. It makes them furious that they're once lily white, overwhelmingly Christian and Cis nation no longer exists outside of a barn raising in rural Idaho.

Stupid racist hicks.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 04:06 AM

20. Most of this country,

 

once you get outside of the major urban centers, is a backwater of racist christians, churches, and Wal Mart.

And it's overwhelmingly white.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:43 AM

17. After President Nixon was re-elected in a landslide

...there was an idea that journalists didn't know that would happen because they were out of touch with real Americans who like Nixon.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:49 AM

18. Sarah Palin said as much in her word salads

I recall her actually calling out the “Real Americans”. They came out of the woodwork so I quess that’s where they live. Or was it that they came out of a closet? But most likely they came out from under a rock somewhere.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 04:04 AM

19. Probably because the US was an agricultural nation

 

probably up until WW1.

It goes back to references in music, literature, and films about the iniquities of the city.

The main being someone from the country goes to the city: male versions involve the country boy being taken in by hustlers, getting caught up in liquor and gambling; or the young maiden leaves her family home for the city and she gets swept away into prostitution.

It always been this way: the root is racism and xenophobia.

Rural/small town America tries to see itself as more "authentically" American, whereas urban America is seen as a polyglot sewer of sin.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 07:14 AM

25. This "rural/small town" meme is WHITE and CHRISTIAN,

which cities are not. (Rural POC don't fit this picture of course. Has there been a minority TV show set in a rural area, where so many do live?)

So one guess where the idea of its moral and cultural superiority came from and who cling to it today: white Christian conservatives, rural and urban, who distrust and are uncomfortable with nontribal influences and find comfort in it. Insularity's a human condition, after all. Everyone feels their own peoples and villages are somehow better than others.

TV and radio arrived and sought profits by playing to white Christian consumers, who were overwhelmingly the largest and most affluent market.

The same for increasingly sophisticated conservative political manipulators, who've proved again and again willing to destroy to win power and, totally predictably in hindsight, ramped natural tribal protectiveness up to toxic levels in order to divide and conquer.

Btw, note that they're failing. Like ISIS, they had a long run with lots of victories between 1980 and today, and there are pockets where they're still entrenched, but Obama and the midterms show a continuing trend of failure for lack of support from most Americans. After all, even in rural areas people get Modern Family and Blackish, and most have no desire to escape their pernicious influences or longing into Ozzie and Harriet reruns.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #25)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:12 AM

29. Rural America has gotten increasingly diverse in recent decades

 

Especially in the West.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #29)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:19 AM

30. Yes. Another reason or sign this old meme is failing.

However, conversely, there's been increased migration to less diverse areas by people seeking whatever culture gives them warm fuzzies. For instance, that significant "return" of middle class POC, from states their parents migrated to for good jobs, to black belt communities in the south.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #25)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:08 AM

42. +1

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 08:56 AM

27. It's older than most seem to think

The original thirteen British colonies were basically small agrarian communities which existed to provide raw materials like food, timber, cotton, and tobacco to the mother country. The frank fact is that most of the population still lived a lot like that when the United States was born, and right into the Industrial Revolution. Then the economic opportunity of the industrial revolution gave us the migration to the cities, which we should admit actually was pretty nightmarish between the awful working conditions, slums, and poor sanitation. The fact that American farmers looking for work in the city were competing for jobs with foreign immigrants discovered there for the first time in their lives only added to the sense that things were alien in the big city but the comfortable old farm was truly American. Add to those facts that technology always came to the city first, and it gives the same thing: Cars were a big bit of new strangeness, as was electricity. And some people just like knowing the faces of everybody they're going to see all week, and find a city terrifyingly impersonal.

If something is new to either America or the world, it happens in a city first. Technology, an immigrant wave, acceptance of another demographic, whatever. People from the farm show up in the city only because money meant they had to, and see a bunch of stuff they've never seen before, and they don't know anybody there. The newness frightens half of them back to the farm, and they'll tell their kids about what weird things go on in the city. The kids grow up and do the same thing all over again. Rural life is generally the old way, and it doesn't stretch them out of their comfort zone.

I don't disagree with any of the comments talking about more recent stuff, but this pattern is pretty darn old. Of course it happens with minority city dwellers today. But it happened with Italians and Jews in the 19th Century. And the Irish looked normal enough, but like the Italians had the incredible poor taste to be catholic.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:06 AM

28. you are right on the money, Pope

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:47 AM

43. Thank you, that's how I was going to respond.

 

The Founding Fathers had a mental model of the ideal republic, and it was agrarian-centered, because that was the country they knew.

They were white males, and many were slaveowners, but in seeing rural America as the "real" America they were simply reflecting the reality of their time.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 09:38 PM

60. de Toqueville....

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:22 AM

31. It came from people who live in such places.

simple. It's what they have to sell.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:29 AM

33. For the last 30 years real Americans is just another way to say White Americans.

Maybe not every time it’s used, but a majority.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:45 AM

35. The east coast urban

is mainly thought of as New York, which means People of Color and Jews.
They aren't considered real Americans.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:45 AM

36. It goes back to the Colonies earliest days

From Cotton Mather to Daniel Webster and beyond, this is tied closely with the dominant myth of America, of Columbia. Manifest Destiny, and all the rest. Its model is rural and small town, but not any small town -- the New England version. And that ideal is white, very white. As the nation expanded west, the new lands from the Northwest Territories to Oregon were not just non-slave, they were white only, established in their constitutions.

Note that "flyover" is rarely used in reference to the South or Southwest.

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Response to unc70 (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:01 AM

39. I think the inner south, except for Tenn, is flyover.

Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas may have one larger regional airport in the whole state. Other southern states that are coastal all have a couple large airports or one or more international airports. Interior southerners look down on Florida as being "other", except in the northern part of Florida.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:55 AM

38. wasn't it a Sarah Palin talking point?

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #38)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:03 AM

40. Yeah, a big one.

To her, being uneducated about how the world works is virtue.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:07 AM

41. Silly PJ. "Real" Americans are WHITE! NT

 

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:34 PM

48. Damn you John Mellancamp!

Seriously though, I grew up in a rural community and there are advantages and disadvantages to living there, just like there are advantages and disadvantages to living in the suburbs and advantages and disadvantages to living in the cities.

There's no zero sum game on what (or where) America is and isn't.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:35 PM

49. The USDA (link)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-farmers-pigford-idUSTRE61H5XD20100218

Years of discrimination against Non whites has made rural America more white

For decades, black farmers said they were unjustly being denied farm loans or subjected to longer waits for loan approval because of racism, and accused the USDA of not responding to their complaints.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:47 PM

52. From racists.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:53 PM

53. sir arthur conan doyle

has sherlock holmes comment that what went on in the countryside was as bad as what happened in cities, just better hidden out in the countryside.

so, as old as big cities, i guess.
there is more of the bad stuff in the cities, just like there is more of anything else. just easier to see and harder to hide.

maybe that is what they dont like- harder to hide their dirty deeds than back on the farm.

i do agree w others here that it was weaponized here. i blame jerry falwell.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 01:58 PM

54. I'm guessing it came from rural and small town Americans.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 02:41 PM

55. Texas will turn blue but it will be due to the big cities and suburbs

We made a significant amount of progress this cycle.










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Response to Gothmog (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 09:39 PM

61. And the right Democratic candidate

Governor Gregg Abbott got 400K more votes than Ted Cruz because of Republicans and Independents voting for Beto O'Rourke instead.

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 03:48 PM

56. I never understood that either... that rural Americans are "REAL" Americans & city people are not

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Response to Progressive Jones (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 08:52 PM

59. That is there fan base.

Living out in small towns and rural areas give the false impression that you can do it all by yourself. Living in cities people have to live together and cooperate to get things done.

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