Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In election’s aftermath, urban-rural divide has never seemed wider

In Central Oregon, cattle rancher and timberland owner John Breese figures Donald J. Trump’s election may finally bring some common-sense management to the state’s choked forests. In Seattle, Conservation Northwest Executive Director Mitch Friedman warns supporters, “A lying, bigoted brute has seized power, and you’re well familiar with his intentions.” In the Willamette Valley, the heart of an Oregon wine industry that has risen to international acclaim, pioneering winemaker David Adelsheim considers the fact that his Yamhill County voted Republican, “But I don’t know a single person who voted for Trump.” In the wake of a bitter presidential campaign and tight election, the gap has never seemed so wide. “An urban-rural divide?” a commenter on the OregonLive.com website wrote this past week. “The rural folks support racism, the urban folks do not. Make no mistake rural Oregon, if you voted for Trump, you said racism is OK.” A commenter on the other side said Portland “progressives” think people outside Multnomah County are “a bunch of uneducated hicks.” Rural residents, the commenter said, are “just about fed up with Portlandia pie in the sky BS.” “Enjoy the Trump administration, Portland, your residents are the reason Republicans are running the show.” It’s no revelation the West Coast election map looks like small islands of Democrat blue surrounded by seas of Republican red, with the votes cast in heavily populated blue cities dominating those from rural areas. The Atlantic magazine described it after President Obama’s re-election in 2012: “The new political divide is a stark division between cities and what remains of the countryside.”...more

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