I have a lot to say about the McArdle post Neddy just posted on, because the culture wars make me want to pull out my hair. But I’ll limit myself to a couple of quick hits and thoughts:

  • What’s the matter with Connecticut? This is interesting, because it breaks the red-state, blue-state narrative down by income within the states and finds that rich people in red states tend to vote Republican. Rich people in blue states? Not so much.
  • I wish I could go to this. Provocative list of bullet points, that I’d summarize as the culture wars aren’t between rich and poor, but between rich people with different tastes, and income still matters.
  • There’s no such thing as Eastern Iowa State, McArdle.
  • Also, NASCAR isn’t really a redneck sport these days. Either that or ‘redneck’ just means ‘doesn’t live in NY or DC.’

It’s not that there isn’t sneering; I’ve been sneered at, by both bluish and reddish snobs. But it’s barely a glimpse of a section of the whole picture. One of the weird things about the culture wars is that the idea that everyone who goes to an Ivy or works in New York or gets a PhD is an elitist arugula eating snob contrasts with the idea that a local kid who gets into an Ivy is something to celebrate, something that shows the parents did right in rearing their child. The narrative is a lot more complicated than ‘out on the coasts, everyone goes to private schools and then the Ivies, where we are taught to sneer’ and ‘in the heartland, we all go to public schools and State then go into working class jobs and love Jesus and hate the coasts.’

It’s very lazy and inaccurate, the red states are like this and blue states are like that story. Time to let it go.