Obama needs to get away from the trendy 'urbanites uber alles'

This is an interesting article about how cities have basically become political ‘monocultures’ where one party dominates overwhelmingly. The trend has accelerated in the last 20 years (much to the demise of the city overall, many would say). Places like San Francisco are now so closed-minded politically they have very few new ideas despite a constantly changing population, and utter contempt for people ‘not living in urban environments’ is starting to creep into more and more political discourse. The term and mentality ‘fly over states’ to describe that area between the East and West coast is what cost Kerry the 2004 election.

Obama is strong in these places, but can run into problems if he follows city-dweller’s advices and biases (a la the ‘bitter remark’ that most city folks just accept as a fact, despite the fact that it played like crap in other areas of the country). The article points out that Obama, if he wants to win, should really ignore his base (basically) and concentrate on puling enough votes out of red areas to make things competitive.

In recent months, the city-centered media such as CNN, The New York Times and National Public Radio have jumped on the urbanist bandwagon. They have promoted urban chauvinists’ contention that high gas prices and legislation to limit global warming would end the era of dispersion. This return to a more urbanized demography, some Democratic bloggers suggest, would assure a new liberal ascendancy.

Whatever Obama may believe personally, he would be well-advised to distance himself from such sentiments. For one thing, identifying with people who celebrate the demise of other geographies may offend the majority of Americans who prefer to live in “retro,” lower-density environments. Suburb- and countryside-bashing may turn on editors and readers of The New York Times, but it hardly constitutes good politics.

It’s a good article, and I’m not an Obama supporter by a long stretch, but this does talk about some interesting demographics worth noting.


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