In an editorial published in the Indianapolis Star, California writer Leah Singer claimed that she never imagined she would end up in a liberal-coined “red state” (a.k.a. Trump Country). However, when she moved to Indiana not long ago, her entire perception of the so-called “red states” changed.
“I used to say I’d never move to a red state. And then I did. And it’s changed my life for the better,” Singer admitted.
At first, Singer was somewhat apprehensive about settling in a conservative region.
“Over and over, I was questioned about why I would ever leave the Golden State for a ‘flyover’ red state. This phrase alone troubled me, and the implied perception that one flies over the Midwest just to get to their East or West coast home,” she stated.
“As I settled into life in the Midwest, I heard the same assumptive questions: ‘Did everyone you know vote for Donald Trump?’ ‘Are there African-American, Jewish, Asian, LGBTQ people in Indiana?’ ‘Do people make fun of you for listening to National Public Radio?’” Singer recalled.
“As I got to know my new Midwest home, I realize how living in a bubble and subscribing to the Middle America stereotypes is truly damaging to this country,” she explained.
“Never does one ask how the Indiana public schools provide many opportunities that have been cut from California’s public schools because of one budget crisis after another,” Singer continued. “Never does one ask about the low cost of living that is allowing us to pay off the mountain of debt we accrued in California. And never does one ask about my fellow community members, who are running successful businesses, enriching the city’s arts and making a difference for the local environment.”
Needless to say, Singer realized just a short time after the mover that her preconceived stereotypes of conservative America were far from the reality.
Furthermore, she discovered something most west coast liberals often ignore: Places such as California aren’t nearly as diverse as they pretend to be.
“Southern California is diverse racially and religiously; it really is not with respect to class or working poor,” Singer claimed. “This is especially the case in San Diego County, where it’s becoming more difficult for middle-class families to own a home or afford rent, with 41% of homeowners and 57% of renters spending 30% or more of income on housing, all while incomes stay stagnant, according to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
“(H)ow many of these people travel within their own country to get to know the ‘other?’ Why travel the globe, but not make an effort to get to know your Midwest neighbor?” she asked.
“Living in Indiana, I now have an understanding of America that I did not before. I wish more people living outside the middle took the time to get to know the others living a few states away. I did, and I am a better person because of it,” she concluded.
Isn’t it refreshing to know there are people out there like Singer, who are willing to escape their bubbles, and get their heads out of the sand long enough to realize the true beauty of Small town America, the “flyover states,” the “red states,”…or whatever it is the hearts of liberal west coasters want to call them?