The Wall Street Journal reviewed a book called Welcome to the Heartland, an exploration of those who live in America's vast interior, doing those necessary things those with access to a shoreline do not. Specifically, he sees the divide as being between the more rural and urban counties within such states, calling those in the urban-tilting counties, "metros".
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep
the populace alarmed -- and thus clamorous to be led to safety
-- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins
Metros probably do metrosexual kind of things, like glossing their hair, driving hybrids and buying Petite Syrah, while their country mouse cousins are out servicing their John Deeres, driving Chevys and drinking Bud Light (someone's got to).
The crux of the piece is that the homies hold onto "traditional modes of thinking (and) living" -- presumably things like, "I'm for America, right or wrong", and "Might makes right"-- whereas the townies are willy-nilly on the absolutism scale. Reviewer Paul Beston fears the metros may not be able to carry the mantle of what being American means into the 21st century.
Says Beston, "One wonders about their fitness for a struggle that seems destined to last a very long time: America's fight against radical Islam. Can the metros summon the self-assurance and conviction to defeat such a fanatical and determined foe or will the effort to do so conflict with "tolerance" their most cherished value?"
Those pansies...wasting time at the Paul Mitchell counter buying their next jar of pommade. Can't they see? Nix the tolerance thing--go whole hog; eye for an eye. Because they wanna die, buddy, so you best summon up the equal zeal. I presume that is the "self-assurance" and "conviction" Beston refers to.
Beston declares, "When the barricades are up and metros are forced to take battle positions, some might prefer to see a homelander standing nearby, locked and loaded."
Sadly, Mr. Beston devolves into the worst manichean thinking. Don't you know, it's the townies who are over there right now in actual battle positions?
His romantic image is hopelessly antiquated. The Green Mountain Boys don't live here anymore. Larry, Darryl and Darryl are may be ready to emerge from the woods, chomping at the bit to release a passel of patriotism, or maybe anti-revenuer sentiment, provided they can find the right end of the blunderbuss. And provided they can heft themselves from their couch positions.
I've been to the heartland, and I've witnessed the absence of anything approximating a healthy diet out there. The only thing locked and loaded out there is the back of an SUV laden with chips and soda after a trip to Costco.
Far as the heartlanders standing by to assemble into a rough and ready band of home-grown protectors prepared to man the ramparts, may I remind you that this is a particularly bad time for militias, witness the Weaver incident of recent past in Idaho and the Freeman incident in Montana.
"Locked and loaded"...I abhor the cliche. And it's kind of ass-backwards, anyway. Sounds mighty tough tough, like something that might save you. Problem is, if push comes to shove, the other side is locked and loaded, too.
The author is seeking succor in a Remington tableaux that has long-since been replaced by a Walmart. The Marlboro Man has died of lung cancer, and buffalo and Indians were an entirely different sort of prey.