The lionization of Small Town USA that the right wing and the media seem to embrace has been bugging me. Nothing against them, but how many people live in small towns anyway? If the Heartland is so great, why are the populations of many of these states not booming? Then I came across a recent article addressing this very point.
Written by Jennifer Bradley and Bruce Katz of Brookings, and apparently to be published in the next issue of The New Republic, it’s worth a read. The gist of the article is that most of us live in one of a few hundred metropolitan areas, not Small Town USA. In other words, the idea that Small Town USA is Real America is a myth. It’s not clear whether Sarah Palin lives in a small town at this point:
In fact, even the "small town" of Wasilla, Alaska is fast becoming a satellite of the state’s largest city. Wasilla is nestled in the Matanuska-Susitna, or Mat-Su, borough (boroughs are Alaska’s equivalent of counties), and the borough is part of the Anchorage metropolitan area.
Not that she’s likely to change her stump speech. Myths don’t die easily. However, it would be nice if some of the people in the media would wake up.