Liberal Coastal Elitism Advances the Right’s Agenda
Travel and Musings in Upstate New York
There are a lot of different reasons to travel. For me, travel has almost always been inspired by the desire to escape the clutches of mainstream society. It’s not just that I don’t feel like I fit in, it’s also that I don’t want to.
I’m reminded of this while traveling with my partner for weddings in upstate New York. I’m reminded that liberal states like New York love to look down on conservative states like my home state of Kansas. I am always disappointed by the holier than thou attitude Northerners and Coastal Elites have- especially when they are much more conservative than my friends and me from Kansas. As Malcolm X said:
“Stop talking about the South. As long as you are South of the Canadian border, you are South.” — Malcolm X
If you use that quote in mainstream circles of liberal Northern states like New York, most will argue you. They need to believe they are “better” than the South. However, the US was “created” in the Northeast. Why would it be exempt from the original sins of our country, and our current sins now? It’s the basis of them.
New York politics center around New York City, while the rest of New York state is a lot more conservative. Jogging around neighborhoods in upstate New York state this past week, I have seen more American flags than I ever care to see, many of them in liberal yards. Also a lot of pro-”cop”aganda in yards, pasted to the back of trucks, and even on T-shirts. The vibe is not much different than it was during our float trip in Missouri a few weeks ago. It’s easy to make fun of conservative states, and it’s hard to look at ourselves and realize that as long as we identify with the United States of American, we are the problem. Regardless of where we reside in it.
I’ve never gotten the appeal of weddings. I mean, I guess seeing people in love is a beautiful thing, but I don’t understand why we have to pretend like we are in the 16th century to celebrate it. The formality and rituals seem silly, but people like it so I try my best to go along with it. What I’m not fine with is feeling like I’m losing myself to that societal pressure. I don’t want to fit into it, and there is a societal shaming that happens when you stray.
It’s trad-het (traditional heterosexual) culture that’s bringing me down out here in New York, honestly. Trad-het culture loves to make jokes about the weakness of women, and how hard men work. Usually I would just walk away from this kind of discourse, or say something, but it makes it hard when it’s not your place, not your family.
So let’s just burn everything down. Are you being honest with yourself? If not, let’s get with it! Let’s get socially unacceptable. Why are you afraid?
I feel like I’m muting myself these past few weeks. Being a little bit ashamed of my brazen armpit and leg hair, feeling like I’m a joke for trying to have a good time the way I know how. I feel small and bored. This experience is motivating me to keep moving, keep traveling so that I don’t get stuck in traditional pits like this. I know that I won’t escape traditionalism, but it makes it easier to exist within if you don’t stay long, and are the outsider by choice, not by accident.
Racism in “Thin Lines”
Blue, green or red, they have them all over trucks up here in New York state. Blue lives matter is the cop slogan, but the firefighters and frontline workers have their thin line colors as well, in alignment with the cops. These thin lines explicit state they value the honor of their job/ a job more than the honor of human life or #BlackLivesMatter. It is unsurprising but still disappointing to be within the culture of, and I feel like the longer I seep myself in it the more I lose myself around it. I feel like I’m being pulled backward into a life and mindset I’ve been intentionally trying to avoid.
This traditionalism, racism and sexism are not just up here in New York, but if you were to ask liberal New Yorkers where this culture resides they would point to flyover country in the Midwest and South. Most of the “good white liberals” up here like to believe the problems are elsewhere, and never in their own communities.
Misogyny at Play
Women hate women almost as much as men many times, just in a different way. The idea that men are the only ones with toxic masculinity is a misconception that I am guilty of perpetuating at times. Patriarchal culture makes women think they are competing for attention from the men of the world, who run the world, so we as women tear one another down by calling each other “bitches” and “psychotic” while patriarchal culture encourages men to call women they love “unnecessarily scared” and “weak”.
Sitting in this culture so much makes me worry my partner doesn’t take me seriously, it’s gotten in my head. It’s a subtle misogyny that many would just say is “a joke” or “locker room talk”. I’m over it.
Acknowledge that you’re dealing with the same shit as the rest of us, US Coastal Elites. Until you do, you are only strengthening the Right’s conservative talking points with your traditional and waffling values while you hypocritically look down on the rest of the country.