Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Klein Goes Easy on the Secretary

Ezra Klein said something nice about city folk; agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack took offense.   Ezra gave him a dialogue in rebuttal, which is interesting but I think Ezra let him off way too easy.   Shorter Vilsack: farmers are "good and decent people"--thanks, we needed that. And, a new one on me: we need rural America because it is the generator of our military.   I think it is a spurious argument at best, but I strongly suspect he doesn't even have the right correlation.  Specifically, I suspect that the defining feature of whites in the military is that they're lineally Scots-Irish--a culture that has never met a weapon it didn't like.

The fact that many of them still live in a culture that can be described, however crudely, as "military" is more incident than cause [while I think of it, I wonder how much meth use correlates with "rural.'  My instinct is "quite a bit, but I'm not sure].

Meanwhile the Ag Department seems to continue about the business of delivering, protecting  and preserving farm "subsidies" for city folks who probably wouldn't recognize a farm except as seen from a low flying plane.

1 comment:

they call me trouble said...

New one on me, too. I always thought it was the south that mattered, in terms of recruitment.

As for the fighting ability of the Scots-Irish, the book review suggests we are really talking about the Protestant Lowland Scots and Northern English who migrated north after Culloden, then settled in Northern Ireland and then in North America. If that's the case, these are not really the Highland fighters or proper Irish pugilists as one might imagine, but might rather be called the "peripheral English."