Youngstown has certainly got a lot of attention in the media during the past year of political candidates running around the country, trying to make their case for why they should be president. I’ve seen articles from the New York Times to Japan’s version of the Wall Street Journal, and television reports from French and German and Australian channels. But I came across this video from Time Magazine today which features the little farm town I grew up in, Kinsman.
I resonate with much of what is presented in the video, although I’m not sure some of the spokespeople selected have much experience in urban settings to be able to recognize the same sort of kinship and aspects of community kindness that he feels is inherent to rural living. However, Sherry Linkon, co-director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Working Class Studies, speaks in this article as well, with some insightful commentary.
In any case, for those of you who might have thought I grew up in Youngstown, nope, I just went to college there and have made it my home more or less (between stints in California, Michigan, and Japan) ever since. Here is where I grew up. Old fashioned Ray Bradbury country.
There are so many possible levels of discussion. I like this video. It destereotypes the small town values voter that the Republican party has raised up as a cultural icon. These are the real people who are being caricatured.
I like that it shows people with a variety of opinions. What I was a little flinchy about was how the narrator of the piece painted it as previously being Republican country, which actually it was not. Certainly the people out that way do resonate with “family values” but it’s also arguably Democrat country, too, because of the labor issues that permeate NE Ohio in general. So I wondered if perhaps that wasn’t a convenient backdrop that no one would question to be slipped behind them.
I think mainly the media wants to portray people having a difficult time deciding about this matter, too. I drove out last week to visit my folks and for every McCain/Palin sign, I saw three Obama/Biden. It seems to be a more decided region than it’s presented. But I think the media is having to do this more and more anyway, find as many representatives for a different side of the issue as possible, because the GOP keeps complaining about one-sided journalism, which may simply turn out to be, you know, the majority of people supporting their opposition.
And as if Fox News hasn’t been doing one-sided reporting for well over a decade now. It’s like little kids who bully but then start losing the fight, they’re always the first to cry “foul”.
I thought Sherry’s commentary was more insightful than inciteful, but that’s just me 😉
Nope, inciteful. There’s a revolution brewing out in Kinsman. 😉