Apparently there’s controversy abrewin’ in quintessential purple Ohio. Someone on the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s staff  mocked the Democratic Governor’s rural roots.

The actual quote is from Rep John Kasich’s spokesman saying that current Democratic Governor Strickland is a poor manager of Ohio’s cities because he was raised “in a chicken shack on Duck Run.” Shakespeare it’s not. But it is reflecting a truth that no one seems willing to talk to (aloud).

Elite cosmopolitan metropolitan book readers don’t understand the needs of “real” Americans. It’s a political cliche turned pundit-approved gospel. However, rural red state folk—who, by horrible design, have a far stronger voice in the Federal government than their population would dictate—are no better at understanding the needs of urban metropolitan America.

American cities are the engines that run our economy, nurture the young thinkers that propel our society, and act as cultural ambassadors to the world. Not to mention, they are the only parts of the country that are prepared for the new global economy. If you took away all the cities, America would be Romania. However it is considered elite and out of touch to reflect this truth. If you want to succeed in national politics, the path of least resistance is to sing the praises of small town America and assuage their fearful responses to maintaining an increasingly outdated way of life.

John Kasich will surely be forced to apologize for his spokesman’s remarks tomorrow. Which is a shame. He was speaking to a very real cultural battleground, and he dared wander a mere toe-length across clearly delineated lines of political correctness. Rural America and its steady diet of fear, corn subsidies, and romanticized nostalgia is not capable of (or even interested in) sustaining our cities or aiding their strides into a sustainable, connected future.

I wish our political discourse was allowed to reflect that.