Friday, October 07, 2016

Election minutiae: a long way from "home"

This is interesting. Voting for Trump correlates strongly with continuing to live close to the place where you were born and/or raised.
How people plan to vote appears to correspond, albeit broadly, with whether they decided to move away from where they grew up. According to the just-released PRRI/The Atlantic poll, 40 percent of Donald Trump’s likely voters live in the community where they spent their youth, compared with just 29 percent of Hillary Clinton voters. And of the 71 percent of Clinton voters who have left their hometowns, most—almost 60 percent of that group—now live more than two hours away.
When I reflect on this, it makes sense in ways that are a little deeper than "they are 'sticks in the mud' -- we're cosmopolitans."

I belong to a significant cohort who left "home" because home was not a place where we could grow into our complete selves. In my case that was because I was queer in another time, but I've known many others who took the "3000 mile solution" (it's such a big country) for other cultural and social reasons. Our horizons broadened.

Then there are an enormous number of people who left exhausted northern industrial areas for better opportunities (and sometimes better weather) by moving south. For years I sadly described the place of my birth, Buffalo, NY, as somewhere which anyone with any drive fled, leaving those without much gumption to run the place. That's harsh, but there is some truth in it. It's been hard for Buffalo but good for where folks landed. And so the collapse of the Rust Belt economy plays out: if, as seems likely, national and state level Democrats can break through in North Carolina and Florida through the combined votes of African Americans, newcomers from all over the world, and white migrants, this too will be a consequence of people leaving "home," often in the hope of "more."

So, naturally the worldwide Move-On equivalent, Avaaz, is working diligently to help register U.S. citizens abroad. Every little bit helps ...
Avaaz parading with mariachis in Mexico City


Hattie said...

All my forebears were travelers, looking for the main chance. Our reaction to adversity has always been to go somewhere else. Whenever we got in a bind, we moved to where we felt we could do better. This took us from the Bay Area to Wisconsin, to New Jersey, to Germany, to Switzerland, to Portland and now to Hawaii, where we have lived longer than anywhere, more than 20 years.
We have a cosmopolitan attitude. This does not mean we are rootless, however. Our attachments are to science, art, literature, political systems, and so on, not to one special place or one set of people. We don't feel the need to make some particular place our "home." I think that is a corny and regressive way to look at life. It also leads to complaints about how things are not the way they used to be. Of course they are not the way they used to be! We have cars and the Internet!
I wish we could travel more and live in some more different places, but time is running out!

Brandon said...

A lot of people were born and raised in Hawaii, including myself, yet the electorate will go overwhelmingly for Hillary. I'd like to travel too. But Hawaii is my home.

janinsanfran said...

As my friend Tina points out, Avaaz has a record of cheer leading for US and European interventions in Middle Eastern countries. Here's what Avaaz has to say about calling for a "no fly zone" in Syria. Not my idea of a good thing, to put it mildly. We've caused enough carnage.

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