Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Why are rural Georgians so much more likely to be conservative?

A lot of politics is about values.

In general, people who work for themselves or work for small family businesses tend to put more trust in themselves and those around them to direct resources.

Reliance on those close to you and not the government is line with the conservative political philosophy.

Further, if you live in a small town such as Hahira, Arlington, Reidsville, or Baxley, you are more likely to know the people around you. You are more likely to have trust and faith in your local community. This enhances the feeling of self-reliance, and lessens the perceived need to put faith in government.

If you live in a large city like Macon, Albany, Augusta, Atlanta everything is much more interconnected. Government becomes much more important. You see yourself as one of a large mass of people. You are more likely to be working for a large corporation. Because you see yourself as more interconnected, you're more likely to align with the political philosophy that is more about putting trust in a large institution to help mediate all these different ways in which this large group of people is interconnected. You're thus more likely to be inclined to vote with Democratic Party because it sees government as a mediator in this respect.

There is a perception by those in rural areas like for instance, say Ellaville that welfare and government spending that favors the poor happens in big cities and so does not benefit them. There is a perception in the rural community that Democrats do not value hard work and favor handouts. Democrats would counter that social safety nets are necessary. Regardless, in rural communities like Fitzgerald, Taliaferro, Lexington, issues like homelessness and the daily interaction with the effects of social safety nets are less visible.


In terms of smaller issues, rural Georgia (and America) is where coal, oil and gas can be found, and people near those resources depend on those industries for employment and so tend to have a different take on environmentalism and natural resources.

Beyond that people are more likely to hunt in rural areas and favor gun rights. They are also more likely to be religious and thus more likely to be pro-life.

Another point is that if you're LGBT, you probably won't find too many others who are LGBT in your small rural town, so you're more likely to move a big city. If you're LGBT, you're likely to care a lot about LGBT rights, and that may lead you to vote Democrat, all else being equal. This movement leaves those remaining in rural areas more conservative as they have lost members of their community that would otherwise be more liberal.

Some cities have a greater percentage of African American residents than the rest of the state does, an ethnic group that tends to vote Democrat. In rural areas, the percentages are often reversed, which increases the likelihood that a given rural area is more conservative.

Beyond a sense of interconnectedness, cities also have more people living in extreme poverty who are dependent on government services, a group that tends to vote Democrat. Because people in this predicament are less likely to be found in rural areas, they are comparably more conservative.

Further, young people often move to big cities after growing up in a small town or rural area. It can be a natural progression — especially if they go to college. Younger people tend to vote Democrat. The result is that rural areas can have fewer younger people who would otherwise vote Democrat and can be more conservative as a result of that. In turn, rural areas are much older, conservative and less diverse than a major metropolitan area.



This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat