NC's increasing urban-rural divide

Voting against their best interests:

Carter won more than two-thirds of the 428 Appalachian counties in 1976, and Clinton won close to half (see chart below). In this election, the region was unkind to Obama; he won only 7% of Appalachian counties in his successful reelection bid last week.

It's probably not surprising to many reading this, but as a region, Appalachia has the highest rate of food stamp enrollment, at a whopping 21.9%. And that's in spite of a widespread refusal by eligible people to take part. And this is what the GOP is trying to do:

Highlights of House GOP legislation cutting spending by more than $300 billion over the coming decade.

Food Stamps – Cuts $35.8 billion by eliminating benefit increases in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus and tightening eligibility requirements. Cuts spending by 4 percent over coming decade.

It's safe to say that rural and blighted urban areas have many things in common, from food insecurity to economic despair. But this ever-widening ideological divide could spell doom for them both.

Task #1 for the NCDP should be to reach out to rural voters and explain how they're making a huge mistake.


best interests

Rural folks, I've found, think their votes against their "best" interests are not a mistake at all, because their votes are motivated, in their mind, by principle, not ignorance or malice. Once we understand that, even as we disagree with them, we may break through to change their minds through our discussions. Why? Mutal respect is established. Then, the contempt factor might be lowered enough for each party to begin to listen to each other. Right now, and I know this from my recent campaign experience for Congress (13th Dist.) in rural counties, we progressives are seen with the same suspicion or worse, as we see them as alien to our so called enlightened world.

Charles Malone

As a Rural Folk...

...I'd like to thank Mr. Malone for a very "enlightening" comment.Unfortunately the principle of mutual respect, which used to be particularly strong in the rural communities, has been carefully and successfully destroyed by a campaign of division by those who are motivated only by greed.

Rural vote

What can we do, concretely, to earn back the respect of rural communities? What do rural communities need?

I think that if the Demcratic Party took a stronger stand on health care, even a NC single payer system, and showed communities what it would mean to their families, it would make a huge difference. Unfortunately a business-class oriented NC Democratic Party is not going to do that.

There's already a fairly high

level of Medicaid enrollment in rural regions, so (for the most part) the money is available. The problem is, in the absence of a relatively large population, private-sector medical facilities can't generate enough revenue to be located in rural areas.

The only way to ensure these folks have easy, short-distance access to health care is via government subsidization. The private sector can't and won't step up in this area. In the past, the Democratic Party hasn't made this a priority, and (as we know) the Republicans sure as hell won't.