I just came across this New York Times story written two days after the 2004 election. One John Kerry voter, a retired psychiatrist, says, "I’m saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country - the heartland. This kind of redneck, shoot-from-the-hip mentality and a very concrete interpretation of religion is prevalent in Bush country - in the heartland. New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realize we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what’s going to injure masses of people is not good for us." He acknowledged that these are the kind of sentiments that cause the heartland to resent New York, but . . . so be it. "People who are more competitive and proficient at what they do tend to gravitate toward cities."
Another New Yorker, an art dealer, explained that Bush got a majority of the votes in the rest of America while getting one-sixth of Manhattan’s by saying, "New Yorkers are savvy. We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say. [Midwesterners are] very 1950’s. When I go back there, I feel I’m in a time warp."
A third New Yorker, a film producer, spent election night at Harvey Weinstein’s party at The Palm. As Barack Obama would do four years later in his assessment of the small-town Americans who bitterly cling to guns and religion, "she explained the habits and beliefs of those dwelling in the heartland like an anthropologist." "What’s different about New York City is it tends to bring people together and so we can’t ignore each others’ dreams and values and it creates a much more inclusive consciousness," she said. "When you’re in a more isolated environment, you’re more susceptible to some ideology that’s imposed on you." There’s hope, however. Those who have been saved can do missionary work among the heathen. "If the heartland feels so alienated from us, then it behooves us to wrap our arms around the heartland. We need to bring our way of life, which is honoring diversity and having compassion for people with different lifestyles, on a trip around the country."