Monday, April 13, 2009

Another world

A poll on Americans' perceptions of various parts of the country and the world, recently conducted by the Daily Kos, is really pretty stunning in its conclusions. The poll asked participants to rate how they felt about the cities of San Francisco and New York, the country of France and the continent of Europe. The results for Southern Americans are a sad testament to that regions' collective paranoia, its provincialism and its own insecurities. It's not just that Southerners viewed these regions more negatively than all the other demographics who were polled, but that they did so consistently by at least a 10% margin (and sometime much more) over all other groups. To put that in perspective: Southerners had a worse opinion of San Francisco than did Republicans as a whole, and they did so by ten percentage points: 48% to 58%.

Sometimes you get the sense that the American South is another world: poorer, less well educated, less just, and seething with resentments. No doubt the regions' theocratic impulses contribute greatly to this sad state of affairs.

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