- What it means to be “country” has changed in the few decades of my lifetime, I think, from an experience to a brand cultivated by conservative forces.
Once, when I was about 30, I saw a boy from a small town wearing a T-shirt that read pro-God, pro-guns, pro-life. I was shocked. In my experience, there was no evangelism about my family’s Catholic faith in the 1980s and little overt cross-pollination between our church and our politics. There was, that I can recall, no resentment toward people in cities with more formal education and money. I’m suspicious when I see these tropes trotted out proudly to represent the rural, working-class experience, often by people who have things my family never could have afforded.