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.