Once in a while, we all need a little Rurality Check.
Rurality Check outlines a rural perspective of life in general, but especially of politics. Many well-meaning folks–and policy proposals, for that matter–often fail to recognize some basic facts of rural life, including lower costs of living, limited access to goods and services, and a specific view of community. As more people move into cities, more of these rural facts of life are simply omitted from our national conversations. We’re here to help remedy that.
Given that there is a distinctly rural perspective at all, it is unsurprising that Americans’ political views correlate strongly with their geography. We’ve all seen the county-level political maps, with little islands of blue (the cities) in a sea of red counties (the rest of America). This trend is obvious even in blue states. From a rural perspective, then, virtually all states are red states, and blue states just happen to have a big city or two. Considered this way, Illinois is like Indiana plus Chicago; take away Seattle, and Washington resembles Idaho.
This view of the world can seem downright foreign to people from urban areas. The urban caricature of rural people often depicts social traditionalists who hate government, fear change, and refuse to vote against their religion. Or, rural folks are imagined as gun-toting rednecks from the hinterlands who buy into a mass delusion of economic self-sufficiency. Like most stereotypes, these are not entirely false. As you’d guess, though, there’s more to this story. It doesn’t need to be this way.
We aim to be non-partisan, but unsurprisingly, facts of rural life are most often ignored by policymakers from urban areas, who are often left-leaning. If we feature predominantly left-of-center policies on this site, it is merely a consequence of geography. Just sayin’.
As a rule, we try to be fair, kind, and engaging. Even if you don’t agree with us, at least right away, thanks for visiting. We hope you tell your friends, no matter where they live–they might want a little Rurality Check, too.