I wonder who’s fooling us now?

TrueMajority recently sent a message entitled:  “Don’t Let Bush Fool America About Iran.”

There may be a real disconnect on “fooling America.”

The way small towns and rural communities celebrate participation in the war, you’d think you were at a football rally.  Bush doesn’t have to fool these people.  They’re ra-rahing right along with him.  They HAND him their precious relatives to turn into soldiers and throw away on a war of resource conquest.  You’re not going to see any detemined mom breaking her kid’s foot  to keep him from getting his legs blown off in a humvee roll-over.

I’m out here in the middle of beautiful nowhere where it’s safe, but I’m not gloating over it.  Then again, I’m not whipping up the Support-The-Troops war fervor, either.

People from small towns come back and brag about how much the Iraqis like them.  Here’s a poser:  occupation troops vs. your own angry neighbors who see you as collaborators. 

First of all, no one’s going to mouth off to a member of an occupation army who’s got a gun in his or her hand.  It’s like dealing with the uniforms in this country:  status can change from Innocent Iraqi to Enemy Combatant as fast as Broken Headlight can change to Tasered Takedown, especially if you don’t look like the uniform.

Rural people actually suffer from the delusion that they can communicate better than people in cities.  They don’t realize that, having spoken to nobody but the same people in the mini-towns for their whole lives, they might not understand that not everybody has the same viewpoint.  They’ll assume everybody’s on the same page — and can be very hostile to anybody who grew up in a different way, or even just have different experiences.  These are the people who can’t understand why the kid with the scholarship got out of town and never came back; one of the most exhausting activities anyone can be part of is Dumbing Down.  It’s one thing to smile and agree politely at the local library or restaurant, but it’s hell to have to live with it 24-7, years on end.

Rural people don’t want to know.  They won’t even face or stand up to businesses that are ruining their health.  Everybody may have cancer, but nobody’s going to question a watershed full of toxins, because it might run a few fading jobs out of town.  I know how these people think — I grew up in a mill town, where the sulfur fumes peeled the paint off the house walls and the layers out of people’s lungs. 

Rural folks are not going to be hit with the real repercussions — only large coastal cities will face any real damage if any such thing as an attack happens again.  It’s the large coastal populations who know that War Doesn’t Work. 

The disconnect is the unthreatened community vs. the threatened community.  Nobody is going to bomb anybody’s soybeans in Iowa or struggling fishing fleets; they’re going to take out New York or Washington.  But it’s the unthreatened communities who think they’re the target and are endangering the communities who may actually BE a target.

The only thing the unthreatened communities are going to lose are their grandkids — when the kids they sent to Iraq don’t come home to breed.

But then, there’s something else a lot of small-town people refuse to accept:

Evolution works.


2 thoughts on “I wonder who’s fooling us now?

  1. Haha, I don’t think Darwinian evolution will have much of an effect, since ideology is transmitted between brains, not through DNA.

    I grew up in a small town, and I know fairly well what you’re talking about. One of my history teachers confidently asserted that homosexuality is unnatural, and initiated discussions on TV shows like “Will & Grace.” Thankfully, he limited himself to moderating the discussions, which were fairly heated as the class was divided evenly on the issue.

    Pretty much everything you’ve written above applied to my town, but there were many wonderful exceptions. I’m probably going to begin work as a high school science teacher in a similar town in Washington in the fall, so I’m hoping it won’t be quite so stifling as what you’ve described above.

  2. A reader commented that ideas are passed between brains, not through DNA. Correct. However, if the brains are rotting in a coffin someplace, they’re not going to be passing on anything except dissolving chemicals.

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