Help me talk to Mamma Grizzly and Joe the Plumber.
November 15, 2010 6:18 AM Subscribe
What, if anything, is suddenly missing from the daily lives of rural, conservative Americans? How can I better understand the Tea Partier's point of view?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot to human relations (49 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I live in the insulated world inside the Washington, DC Beltway, but grew up in the rural South. While I did manage to accumulate a certain amount of good manners, folksy charm, and ease of communication with rural Americans that keeps me out of trouble, recently I still seem to be at a loss and I need the hive's help.
Through work I'm often out in middle America, "fly-over country," and I encounter a great deal of rural conservatives. While, as I said, I grew up in the rural South and I have a plenty of understanding of what daily life is like in a small, conservative, agricultural, working-class town, and I've heard every conspiracy theory there is, I still seem to be missing something. Previous posts about the conservative and/or Tea Party movements in America have not given me the gist of what it is these people feel is suddenly missing from their lives.
Though I generally try to steer away from political conversations while out working (or playing for that matter), it comes up often in regular interactions, particularly once people know where I live or work. Throughout America, when talking to conservatives, everywhere I go there seems to be a profound sense that something has suddenly been taken away and that we desperately need to get it back. I can't for the life of me figure out what IT is though? What has suddenly changed (perceived or real) for these people in the last couple of years?
My insulated life in DC has changed very little that I can perceive as a result of Federal government intervention. So what is it I’m missing in these conversations that everyone else seems to understand without being able to provide examples? I’ve asked friends and relatives on all sides of the political spectrum from all around the country and their answers seem to always fall into one of two camps: a) "'Tea Baggers' are nuts/bigots/idiots and nothing is actually missing" (dismissing the question); or b) "If you don’t already see the problem, you’ll never understand" (no concrete example provided).
Please, before you answer, I really do NOT intend this to be in any way construed as a “LOLTEABAGGERS” post, rather, quite the opposite. I have a real need to communicate better with the folks I meet and I need to be able to understand their perspective. Please be kind and helpful. I am NOT looking to try and change these people's minds, I simply need to be able to better navigate conversations with them and be respectful of their point of view. Thanks!