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The Rural Factor

December 23, 2007 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed

I’ve been looking at quite a few websites over the last few days about where presidential candidates stand for rural citizens.

Many times, I will comment in my usual whimsical ways about (snark) about the different aspects of what a candidate is doing or that George Bush picked up a book and the world was genuinely surprised until he had to give it to Laura to read because he didn’t know what the word “pony” meant or whatever. You know the drill here at Casa Coma.

But, the thing that is really hurting our area is that we need industry. We need better broadband access (Thanks Maddox and Herron on that one), We need jobs terribly. I think because we live in a college environment, we do have some opportunities that some other rural communities don’t have and for that I’m grateful.

But which candidates are going to be actively advocating for the rural vote. Right now, it’s aggressively been sought in Iowa by John Edwards, who did make a visit after an internet contest back a few months ago to Clinton, Ky. There were thousands who attended and he did show up but, quite frankly, it was a Public Relations spin and we all knew that even at the time.

I’m eager as a rural citizen to see what is going to happen on a couple of levels. I read some where, and I can’t find it so I offer my apologies ahead of time, that the Democrats need someone who is like Mike Huckabee.

I’m not talking about his issues, I’m talking about how he has made a connection with some of his party and effectively pissed off the other side, but he sticks to it although I disagree with that philosophy completely. I think Edwards might be able to make that sort of connection that Huckabee has on the right but he is going to have to have a philosophy and stick to it. Huckabee is interesting to me as a progressive. He has a mission statement, he sticks to it and I love that he at least has a sense of humor but he isn’t who I want in Washington in 2009.

Edwards does make personal connections as well when he visited the area, but he hasn’t seemed to found his voice and this is his second chance. Everyone who has ever met him talks about his charm and that when you hear him, he sorta speaks to you not around you, but this whole mandating health insurance thing isn’t going to work for me. Hell, I have health insurance that sucks big-time, but I have it. If I didn’t need it, I would be freelancing full-time (and probably making more moolah than I do now), but the insurance keeps me where I’m at until I can find another place with, you guessed it, health insurance. Homer tells of a friend of hers who is working (she’d rather be home with her kids) specifically to have health insurance for her family. She brings home $40 bucks a month (Not a week, a month) after she paid. The money is going for insurance.

This isn’t uncommon. I can’t fly with that.  That’s, of course not a rural thing, but a people thing.

The rural thing, for me at least, is about industry. It’s about opportunities. It’s about that manufacturing jobs are leaving and have been for years. Off the top of my head, I can think of seven plants in my area that have closed recently. I can also tell you that the population of my county as of earlier this year has been reduced by about 3500 residents. And with that, the smaller businesses suffer.

So, there are no real answers I guess. Which presidential candidate is going to take care of the areas that don’t have voters in the hundreds of thousands? Something like 22 percent of roughly 19,000 people voted in this county in the last couple of elections.

Why?

Because they didn’t feel their vote mattered.

And, quite honestly, with the way 2000 and 2004 went, does it?

I’ll vote until my fingers bleed, believe me. I just wish I could fall in line with a candidate that I liked, that spoke for me. And, yes, I would have actively campaigned for Al Gore again.

This time, I’m thinking of electability and I think that’s the first time I have done that. I just don’t know who that person is yet.

Categories: Tennessee - Tag: , , , ,

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