How is it that the cultural and political vibe here in a red state like Tennessee diverges so dramatically from so much of the rest of the country? Fortunately we have Nashville’s daily paper The Tennessean to help us sort through it: we live in a place where the editors of the daily paper think their editorial page is just the spot for the paranoid delusions of a right-winger like Andy Miller.
In Miller’s world, channeled in a Tennessean op-ed this morning, Barack Obama is a man with a “socialist mission” who has “turned his back on our allies and encouraged the growth of radical Islam all over the world.” One could just dismiss this as boilerplate far right prattle, but it’s the kind you expect to find on Michelle Malkin’s comment board; even in flyover America there are very few editors who would so debase themselves professionally as to put this kind of thing on the editorial page of a metropolitan daily. That fact that it ran may say more about The Tennessean than it does about Mr. Miller.
The thing truly runs off the rails when Miller launches his diatribe about the evils of cities and the scum who fill them:
In looking at the electoral map, it is clear that the states themselves are not the key element. The blue areas are counties with big cities filled with elitist intellectuals and government-dependent millions tightly packed into ever-declining neighborhoods ….These cities are the repositories of big government, poverty, massive dependency and cobbled-together constituencies who often have little in common except that they are part of the Democratic Party. They vote lock-step with the people who promise continued goodies and continued protection from the “evil rich.”
Miller’s urban animus is rooted in fully formed ignorance: he describes the counties within which cities are situated as places that “will always be blue in the new America and will always have their hand out to the red sections looking for more and more.” The opposite, as just about everyone except Miller and the editors of The Tennessean knows, is the case. As you can see in this chart and the map within this article (original data here), red states are more likely to get bigger cuts in federal spending, while blue states, containing most of the cities that Miller so abhors, are much more likely to be doing the giving, not the taking.
So Mr. Miller, a suggestion: The next time you find yourself face to face with an elitist intellectual while you’re cowering in fear in a declining urban neighborhood, perhaps you’ll take a moment to say thanks for helping to finance your deep red paradise of imbecility.
A version of this post appears on the Nashville Scene‘s Pith in the Wind blog.