Many readers responded to my post on coastal contempt by saying, in essence, "They do it too!"  There are two answers to that.  The first is that if you understand there is a difference between black and white racial resentments, then you should understand that there is a difference between comments by a powerful elite, and comments by a less powerful group, even a majority.  (See, say, the Malay/Chinese disputes).

The second is that here's an area where controlling the media hurts us.  When they make cracks, they make them in private, where we can't hear them.  When we do it, we often do it in public, right there on the television or in national print media.  So they are more aware of, and resentful of, coastal condescension than vice versa.  I mean, I know there are people out there who think I'm a pitiful childless, soulless atheist latte-sipping liberal spinster.  Occasionally they wander into my comments.  But mostly, their contempt is a cottage industry.  We're exporting on an industrial scale.

This asymmetry gives us a lot of power to set agendas--but it's also why urban liberals are, in my experience, more politically parochial than their rural counterparts.  At least the rural regionalist bigots are aware that there is another point of view--it's on the news every night.  A good Manhattan liberal, unless they hail from the hinterlands, never needs listen to anyone he disagrees with.

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