Monday, November 18, 2013

On the Midlands, from the Omaha World-Herald

I've been greatly appreciative of all the attention paid over the past ten days to American Nations, but especially so this thoughtful meditation on life in a Midlands city on the front of  Sunday's Omaha World-Herald.

Many journalists and commentators have thoughtfully captured and described the book's framework, but columnist Erin Grace's column went further. It contributed and furthered the discourse on what that great swing region, the Midlands, is all about, with the voice of someone who -- unlike me -- actually lives there. She writes:
"If you want to test this theory, look at how we do things in Omaha. We are a Republican mayor and a Democratic-majority City Council. We are concealed-carry permits and legal protections for gays and transgender people. We are a 2nd Congressional District that went blue for Obama in 2008 but still elects Republican Lee Terry cycle after cycle.
We are also the reason [area Republican Congressman] Lee Terry has to eke out his wins with, I'm guessing, an ulcer or two. This makes us share more in common with places as far-flung as the City of Brotherly Love than our reliably Republican neighbors to the west, such as North Platte. [...]
When it comes to our individual views, you can drive down any street in America and find people on opposite poles.
 The difference in Omaha, it seems, is that we accept that, work with that and come out somewhere in the Great American Middle."

And, to top it off, her World-Herald colleagues even made a fresh color version of the map. Thanks, Omaha.

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