Open Spaces, Small Minds

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Welcome to the majestic openness of the plains! Miles upon miles of precious soils producing bountiful agriculture which feeds the world. It’s truly an American mecca. Impressively grand and yet serene upon observation.

I fell in love with it when I landed here long ago. No one can help being pulled in by it, except maybe diehard city-streets-in-their-bones kinda people. But it didn’t take long for the bright and shiny newness of feeling like home to lose its luster. That distinct Midwest state of mind presented itself harshly and managed to detract from all the good about it. You’ll quickly pick up on the Midwest mindset, it’s predominantly of a conservative bent.

Basically, sweet as pie to your face as long as you vote red and go to church, righteous indignation otherwise.

What our family encountered here in the good ‘ole Bible Belt felt like a bait and switch scheme. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” enjoy the scenery, we’re all family, we have traditional values, and it’s like heaven on earth! How can anyone not appreciate all it has to offer? I guess it was the persistent condemnation of my unlike-mind soon after the move here.

Liberals don’t fare well in this area who are open to challenging and/or discarding traditional values when appropriate. You know, those values of bigotry, racism, homophobia that most unlike-minds understand have no place in a civilized society.

Being liberal is being concerned with broadening knowledge and experience, and realizing that progressive ideas have a place in a modern world.

That is frowned upon here.

The narrow viewpoints of the conservatives are spewed (and applauded) in everyday conversations, public forums, and informal conversations without generally any regard for the insensitivity they project. They slap each other on the back for their original – cough, cough – regurgitated thoughts. So proud of their wit and understanding of things. Shame they don’t even realize how ignorant they sound.  Their alleged values resemble nothing remotely moral. People who aren’t like these middle Americans are critiqued, criticized and humiliated. We’d call that bullying; they’d consider it their natural charm.

I realize this may all sound harsh and critical, it’s intended to be.  But I will not paint the entirety of the Midwest with this blanket as the standard of behavior. There are some really decent people I have encountered. I’ve been very fortunate to find those loving, caring, and open-minded ones.

But they are rare in this belt of red and holier-than-thou.

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Open Spaces, Small Minds

  1. I found this by going through your ‘homophobia’ link. I thought you did a very good job of describing this. Growing up in Europe I came across a lot of homophobia and thought I knew what it was like. But moving to TX I was so ill-prepared for the bigotry, hate, fear, and true cruelty of some homophobes and haters. I recall moving when those signs ‘marriage = a man and a woman’ were on everyone’s bumper-sticker. I wanted to RUN for my life. But we couldn’t move, we’d committed to a place and had to make it work. I think it must be incredibly hard for people who are liberal or just open-minded to live in places full of biblical insanity and hate. I know it has isolated me and I do not ‘like’ people as much as i used to! But the trick is not to let it change you I guess. I appreciate beauty as you do but I think your point about it being marred by hate is so well taken especially these days. xo Thank you for always being the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though I want to do more poetry, I find my opinion of things still eeks through. 😉 I can totally identify with you about what you’ve run up against here in the States. Doing my best not to be jaded, having friends like you helps. ❤

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  2. No offense, but I prefer mountains…I think I’d go nuts in the Midwest.

    But I think there is plenty of hatred on both sides of the political aisle. In my opinion, our greatest nemesis is an inability to appreciate each other’s difference of opinion and an inability to search for common ground.

    But what do I know? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries! You live where you feel most comfortable. 🙂 Yes, there is hatred, and arrogance, smugness, and a bent for humiliation. That’s obviously the extreme. I agree it would be better if we could appreciate each other’s difference and search for common ground or at the very least, have intentions which are honorable, respectful and guided by common sense and reason. But sadly, I think, the biggest problem, too many think only their voice matters.

      Liked by 1 person

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