“What’s particularly disappointing is that the authors are clearly trying to understand people with a perspective different from theirs and are simply unable to pull it off. “

That’s Glen Reynolds (better known, of course, as the Instapundit), reviewing Naomi Cahn and June Carbone’s book Red Families v. Blue FamiliesThis seems right on point with my frustration with many liberals recently.  I often feel like I can’t tell if they are being willfully dense or are really living in such a closed world that they simply cannot understand anything else. 

Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast reviewed this book a few weeks ago, and their understanding of “red states” (aka The South) seemed to be based on nothing further than the movie Deliverance.  They literally had no concept and no idea what life in the south is like (it’s pretty close to life in the north, but with different accents and buildings are further apart); their descriptions involved rampant shotgun weddings and teen brides.  Not that those things don’t exist (well, I’m skeptical about the shotgun weddings), but they don’t exist any differently from the way they do in other states.  There are cultural differences, but they are no where near as simplistic and downright cartoonish as the Slate gabbers seemed to think they were.  The differences between individual families are far broader.  (I’ve lived in New Jersey, Georgia, and Tennessee.)
 
It’s not even that they are not trying to understand; it’s that they are and they simply don’t understand that life is not a stereotyped cartoon outside of the world that they know.  
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2 Responses

  1. It’s like Hollywood’s depiction of the South, where there are still no air conditionters and all the men wear white suits.

    • I honestly think some people believe that. And I’ll bet that they think that they are worldly and knowledgable.

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