Today the New York Times ran an editorial piece titled, “Why Rural America Voted for Trump”. Most articles and editorials that have anything to do with the election fallout (either way, mind you) have been splashed across Facebook or retweeted ad nauseum and like most folks I know, I have HAD ENOUGH. However, this piece popped up on my phone and I took the bait.
The author, Robert Leonard, is a native Iowan and self-professed somewhat liberal man who wants to understand just what makes up the difference between the masses that voted for Donald Trump vs. Hilary Clinton. He makes a lot of valid references to rural and city disparities, and further develops insight into the red/blue dichotomy within the geographic areas. Relevant points. I may be losing you here, since like I said before, most of us have HAD ENOUGH. Then I read this, which hit me square in the noggin:
For me, it took a 2015 pre-caucus stop in Pella by J. C. Watts, a Baptist minister raised in the small town of Eufaula, Okla., who was a Republican congressman from 1995 to 2003, to begin to understand my neighbors — and most likely other rural Americans as well.
“The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul. “We are born bad,” he said and added that children did not need to be taught to behave badly — they are born knowing how to do that.
“We teach them how to be good,” he said. “We become good by being reborn — born again.”
He continued: “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong — not us.”
Now, put all of the election b.s. aside. Read that again, ignoring the party labels. Strip away the religion. Remove race, gender, age, ability, religion, education, wealth, etc. – you get the point – and we are just humans. Are we good humans, doing bad things and blaming others, or are we bad humans, trying to rise above our evil selves? We have all pondered the glass-half-full optimist and his pessimistic twin, professing polarizing views of the world around them. This goes even deeper, a core foundational philosophy that shapes how we see people and how we relate to them and the world that we share. Perhaps that is why I can’t stop thinking about it. Good People gone bad. Bad People gone good.
Do you believe that people are fundamentally bad, or fundamentally good?
Here’s the link: Why Rural America Voted for Trump – The New York Times .