Here’s a map to ponder. It’s the state-wide county-by-county results map from last Tuesday’s election:
For me, one of the big takeaways from the election is how stark the rural-urban divide has become. For many reasons, there is more division and disagreement between people who live in cities and people who do not than any time in the last century. The election saw increasing support for the Democratic candidate in places like the second-ring suburbs, and increasing support for the Republican candidate in rural areas.
This pattern held true at a national level and at the state level. In Minnesota, the “blue” counties were entirely urban areas (plus the sparsely populated arrowhead). There are many reasons for this split, but it’s obvious to me that it has become a huge problem undermining any illusions of political consensus or geographic compromise.
(It’s worth pointing out that this map also reflects the coverage here on streets.mn. Ostensibly, this is a state-wide website, but there is precious little content here that speaks to or about any of the areas in red.)
Here are a few questions: What are the chances that this urban-rural rift gets healed? Are there strategies that we can employ — socially, personally, politically — to overcome the political divides that revolve around geography and “the city”?