The idea that liberals hate the middle of the country and harbor a deep antipathy for the occupants of rural states has become so ingrained a part of the conventional wisdom that almost no one questions it anymore. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana, a rising candidate in the bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has spent a good deal of his campaign bemoaning this trait in his party — and pitching himself as the solution.
I have sometimes pushed back against the narrative, arguing that there’s at least as much hostility from rural regions to urban regions than there is in the reverse. And in a new column for the New York Times, Paul Krugman argued that the narrative is entirely upside down.
It’s conservatives who have disdain for middle America, even as the GOP depends on its votes.
He started the argument by pointing to a dismissive quote from President Donald Trump’s Federal Reserve pick Stephen Moore, who once said:
“If you live in the Midwest, where else do you want to live besides Chicago? You don’t want to live in Cincinnati or Cleveland or, you know, these armpits of America.”