Division of the 2 Americas

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By Joel Snell


Are you “Fed Up”? Former presidential candidate Rick Perry in 2010 penned the book by the same name. I am one of the few citizens to buy his book.

Simply, he states that we can no longer be Americans together. Perry lists a good 25 problems that are only made worse by Washington. He does not mention the Feds coming to help states in extreme natural disasters. However, he lists just enough to suggest not secession, but rather 50 connected, not united states.

Although this is a vast but helpful generalization, as noted by Andrew Sullivan in the Daily Beast (Oct. 28), the redder and more conservative the state, the more likely that area emerged many years ago or more as the Old Confederacy. You then add the Plains and portions of the mountains and you have the First America. Michael Barone in a Nov. 7 National Review article suggests First America as white, male, pro-organized religion, and corporations, and anti-Washington. When you say “country club,” you are talking about conservatives. It is hard for them to accept defeat. They look to the 1950s, glossed over by Hollywood.

The stigmatized Other America is the one that is described as full of welfare queens. In many ways, they are the minorities of all kinds. These folks live in New England, Middle Atlantic, Great Lakes, Mountains and West Coast. They don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, but NPR. They like the non-country concerts and really enjoy reading books. They are spiritual, but not necessarily religious.

To them, America is on the road to a destination not quite easily defined. They are the folks who live in suburbs and old markets and have college degrees. When they watch the news, they wonder if the CIA had something to do with a problem. They have turned 180 degrees on the American soldier. Those who dodge bullets in an ongoing asymmetrical war deserve our utmost respect and support for health needs. Everybody should work.

I am in the process of losing a friend. We go back to 1962. He has continually sent emails belittling my America. I asked that we talk a couple of months after the election. He would not do it, so I am calling it to a close. At least, I have Iowa. We are good folks here.

The two Americas are deeply divided, but fences with lakes and rolling hills improve things in my part of the United States. Secession is just another word for saying you have never heard of Abraham Lincoln. It would be a political and economic disaster. What if Texas went to war with China? Are the other 49 states going to help? I don’t think so.

Joel Snell of Cedar Rapids is professor emeritus of social science at Kirkwood Community College. Comments: snelljennifer47@hotmail.com


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