I have no problem paying taxes to expand broadband access from sea to shining sea, but I do have a problem when the rationale for that subsidy shifts from helping people live good and productive lives or viewing broadband as a public good to supporting rural Americans because rural Americans deserve a subsidy by dint of their decency and work ethic. That doesn’t scan as affirmative to rural America to me, though I know Vilsack means it as such. It scans as divisive for those of us who don’t live in rural America.Readers will hardly be surprised to learn that I've spent very little of my life in rural environments. I make no apologies for that. Indeed, I'm willing to put my neighborhood's values up against those of any rural neighborhood. But that's a silly contest to have, and it's a terrible way to determine where public resources should be spent.
(h/t Hans Noel)
Update: I wonder how much of Vilsack's perspective has to do with the fact that he's a rural Democrat. So when he gets together with other national Democrats, who are predominantly from urban areas, he mostly hears people dissing Republicans in a way that might sound pretty snobbish and anti-rural. Whereas if he frequented Republican conventions, he'd be hearing suburbanites extolling the virtues of farmers while dissing the urban elites.