Blue Heartland

· Among the Barbarians

“We officially no longer give a shit when family farms fail. Fewer family farms equal fewer rural voters.” (The Urban Archipelago, It’s the Cities, Stupid., by The Editors of The Stranger (11/11/04))
Whoa Nellie! The heartland isn’t as red as it might appear. Take Fresno. Please. The former Raisin Capital of the World is now a city of 457, 652. And they voted blue (54.4%). This heartland of American agriculture where family farms churn out steak and eggs, milk, cotton, rice, almonds, and a hundred other edibles for domestic and foreign markets, is no more a conservative stronghold than is Oakland (pop. 399, 484) in the blue heart of the Bay Area. I don’t know how to parse this information except to say that what’s happening in the crimson center of the Golden State may be the future of farmland America.