Rethinking Hoosier ‘deplorables’
Coming from the Bronx, I was acquainted with riding the subway or bus or navigating the busy and often treacherous streets of New York.
There I learned to survive in the city, but I knew nothing of hunting, fishing or surviving in nature. Coastal elites have disdain for those schooled in such things.
They assume that food, water and other necessities and amenities just appear. They lack awareness of the complex grids, structures and platforms that maintain their comforts. Or the sources of the electricity that powers their computers and air-conditioning, or of the gasoline that fuels their cars.
They do not appreciate those who make these daily, secular miracles possible, the commonplace wonders of modern, electronic civilization.
But my neighbors in Indiana hunt. They can survive in the forest, hills, lakes and rivers here. They understand the world of nature, its vicissitudes and even barbarism.
Appreciating its transcendent beauty and cadences, they also accept its fierce cruelties. They do not worship nature; they seek reconciliation with it that they may endure and protect their loved ones. They admire the natural world, its towering majesty and microscopic complexity, but they do not hold it on a pedestal, pristine, viewed from a distance.
Theirs is a realistic appraisal of nature and what is required to survive.
Many Hoosiers preserve food. Some steam or pressure can. Or dehydrate, pickle, freeze-dry, smoke, or salt items. Knowing how to farm, they cope with caterpillars, aphids, and cutworms; and guard against hedgehogs, fungi and lack of rain.
Some have gas tanks and generators. They have water filters, propane stoves, purifying tablets, first-aid kits, pick-up trucks, drills, hammers and wrenches. They can repair a car, a machine, or a leaking pipe. And yes, they also know how to install Wi-Fi, use computers, navigate the internet, and operate smartphones.
They have guns and ammunition. Well-trained, many are veterans, serving in the national guard or law enforcement, and are defenders of the Second Amendment. They have shotguns, bolt-action rifles, AR-10s, and other semi-automatics. They own handguns and an array of shells, including expanding, home-defense rounds.
Many have night vision, tree stands, bows, arrows, camouflage, trail cameras, scents, GPS devices and two-way radios. They hunt duck, quail and deer. Floating down a river or walking the fields, they recognize the rhythms of the animals they track and fish, their migration and trail patterns, all driven by the weather, mating seasons and food sources.
In a pandemic, a time of plague, with the economy crumbling, hospitals closing, streets emptied of life, perhaps the rootless cosmopolitans may want to reconsider their contempt.
What is certain is that our elites, in the media, academia, and elsewhere, cloistered in liberal ghettos, among fellow members of the chattering class, would not survive without the welders, assembly line workers and equipment operators, those whom they refer to as hicks, rubes and deplorables who cling to their guns and Bibles.
Maybe they should thank them.
Dr. Richard Moss is a surgeon practicing in Jasper. Contact him at richardmossmd.com or Richard Moss, M.D. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.