Our Fractured Nation. Co-hosts Hava Derby and Steve Williamson welcome Ross Benes, author of Rural Rebellion, to discuss the urban-rural divide. Benes explains it’s a relatively recent phenomenon and partially the result of political parties targeting voters over geography, noting that Republicans have also made a real effort to involve churches.
According to Benes, the divide has gotten much worse in recent years as the GOP has rallied rural voters against the government and against immigration. “Just 20 years ago,” he says, “Republican stances on issues weren’t what they are today. In rural Nebraska, it would be very difficult to evangelize liberal causes. The divide has become even starker since I moved to New York the last 6 years.”
Benes notes that the divide has been made even worse by Facebook where “The most ridiculous things shared get the most eyeballs. People with mild feelings or those who don’t post get lost in there. We become caricatures of each other.”