Once again, the Daily Show punctures the pointless vapidities uttered by politicians — in this case, the phrase “small town values” that was flung about with fervent abandon at the Republican convention, by lots of people who seem to have never been anywhere near a small town.
I live in a small town, I like living here, and there are definite advantages to it — it’s easy to get to know other members of the community, the life style is a bit more laid back, and a lot of the hassles of just moving around are absent. But small town values? The ones the Republicans are worshipping seem to be the narrow insularity verging on xenophobia, the judgmental meddling in other people’s affairs, the backward-looking reverence for the good old days (which actually weren’t that good), the worship of ignorance, the easy way authority can personally intrude on people’s lives without oversight, except by a coterie of good old boys. They seem to overlook the schools in neglect, the churches sprouting everywhere like poisonous mushrooms, the alcoholism, the spousal abuse, the kids who just want to get through high school and flee to a city where something is happening, the elderly piling up and outnumbering the young and being shuffled off to cheap complexes, the despair of people caught in dead-end menial jobs with few prospects for going beyond. That’s also small town America, and when I hear a Republican singing the praises of small towns, I have visions of a walmartized wasteland where everyone goes to church. It’s not good.
But I still like it here — I’m just not blind to the flaws, and I’m not some beltway lobbyist who thinks the country is a place from a Currier & Ives postcard.
I’ve also been to New York, and I like big city values, too. Everytime I’ve been there, I’ve felt the people were just as friendly and open as the ones in Morris, if not more so, and that they were also more diverse and far less afflicted with small town myopia. New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are also part of America…except to the Republican party, apparently.
I hope the Daily Show also did something on the empty buzzwords of the Democratic convention. If I ever hear “god bless” or “godspeed” again, I’m going to ralph on someone’s shoes.