Eric Morse Profile picture
18 Oct, 7 tweets, 2 min read
I grew up in the Midwest. I was taught that we heartlanders were kinder, gentler, more straightforward than the brusque East Coast urbanites. I’ve been in the NYC area for 16 yrs now, & I recently spent a week back in MO. I can say that perception is the opposite of reality.
Here in NYC & northern NJ, I’m surrounded by “COEXIST” bumper stickers & “hate has no home here” lawn signs. In MO you’re accosted by messages of anger & militance. Even generally patriotic, ostensibly non-partisan symbols are smothered in war imagery xenophobia.
In fact, most of these signs, stickers, and t-shirts are non-partisan, in that they don’t mention political parties. But the overarching message of hatred toward “the Other” is unmistakable.
It’s a banal statement by now, but it’s easy to see how economic anxiety has been exploited to radicalize ppl, & how at the same time anger at outsiders was masked as “economic anxiety” or distaste for “entitlements.” Ironically, these very msgs are expressions of entitlement.
Thankfully, @realDonaldTrump is so cartoonishly inept that @JoeBiden is winning these suburbs. But it makes me uneasy that in order to win here, Dems have to focus on Trump’s COVID and healthcare failures and deflect from a message of inclusiveness and basic human decency.
...Not to mention the fact that my hometown has become such a hotbed of antipathy.
Anyway, you can read more on this topic in my forthcoming book: You Should Really Be Reading @sarahkendzior Instead.


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