There’s no mention of the political implications in this account (the link is below) from the hit-or-miss variety of curiosities on Atlas Obscura, this necessarily superficial account of an important facet of determining the cultural nuances of what otherwise seem to be aspects of differentiation and group behavior (including hard to quantify qualities of it, including belief, ideology, and the nature of acting on self-interest). Yet, clearly this is a much more nuanced foundation on which to study more closely what divides us and what unites us as a people. Or even whether we should speak of ourselves with such a unitarian sense of identity. It’s certainly far more complicated and nuanced than the mere reductive, if not dunderheaded, notion that we are a nation of rural red zones and urban blue ones, permanently pitted against one another and with no seeming strategy for reconciliation conceivable.
I’m tempted to say, on the basis of both intuition and this fascinating algorithm-based methodology informed by actual behavioral data, in fact, one way or another, we all live in a metropolitan area of some kind, of some size, and inescapably.
Is it possible that the atavistic retrenchment into “old-fashioned” values and life-ways of people who look back to a past that is gone, and refuse to look forward, is constituted strongly of a powerful denial of the encroachments of a progressively metropolitan culture? It’s not how we gonna’ keep ‘em down on the farm… it’s how we gonna’ make them realize, ain’t no more farm to keep ’em down on.