11/28/13, "America’s Coastal Royalty,"
"The real national divide isn’t between red and blue states."
Victor Davis Hanson,m NRO
People rise each morning in San Francisco and
New York and count on plentiful food, fuel, and power. They expect
service in elevators and limos that are mostly made elsewhere by people
of the sort they seldom see and don’t really know — other than to
influence through a cable-news show, a new rap song, the next federal
health-care mandate, or more phone apps.
In California, whether
farms receive contracted irrigation water, whether a billion board feet
of burned timber will be salvaged from the recent Sierra Nevada forest
fires, whether a high-speed-rail project obliterates thousands of acres
of ancestral farms, whether gas will be fracked, or whether granite
should be mined to make tony kitchen counters is all determined largely
by coastal elites who take these plentiful resources for granted.
Rarely, however, do they see how their own necessities are procured.
Instead, they feel deeply ambivalent about the grubbier people and
culture that made them.
In Kansas or Utah, people do not pay
$1,000 per square foot for their homes as they do on the Upper West Side
of Manhattan. They do not gossip with the people who write their tax
laws, as is common in the Georgetown area of Washington. Those in the
empty northern third of California do not see Facebook or Oracle
founders at the local Starbucks any more than they bump into the
Kardashians at a hip bistro.
The problem is not just that the
coasts determine how everyone else is to lead their lives, but that
those living in our elite corridors have no idea about how life is lived
just a short distance away in the interior — much less about the
sometimes tragic consequences of their own therapeutic ideology on the
distant, less influential majority.
In a fantasy world, I would
move Washington, D.C., to Kansas City, Mo. That transfer would not only
make the capital more accessible to the American people and equalize
travel requirements for our legislators, but also expose an out-of-touch
government to a reality outside its Beltway.
I would transfer the United Nations to Salt Lake City, where foreign diplomats would live in a different sort of cocoon.
would ask billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and the Koch
Brothers to endow with their riches a few Midwestern or Southern
universities. Perhaps we could create a new Ivy League in the nation’s
I would suggest to Facebook and Apple that they relocate
operations to North Dakota to expose their geeky entrepreneurs to those
who drive trucks and plow snow. Who knows — they might be able to afford
a house, get married before 35, and have three rather than zero kids.
is said to be divided by red and blue states, rich and poor, white and
non-white, Christian and non-Christian, old and new.
I think the
real divide is between those who make our decisions on the coasts and
the anonymous others who live with the consequences somewhere else."