Election Connection

Desperately Seeking Real America

In the conversation about what or who defines America - the small towns or the big cities - it clearly depends on who you ask.

After Gov. Sarah Palin's controversial remarks in North Carolina last week about the "real America," Patchwork Nation took a deeper look at what defines America.

"We did something really interesting Monday looking at 'patriotism," Patchwork Nation's Dante Chinni reports.  "We had survey results on a question asking about 'love for country.' It turns out Sarah Palin is right, there are some places that are 'more patriotic' than others -- at least by some measures."

"But looking at the results, the fact is the places where 'patriotism' is the most important are the places that are generally the most solidly Republican. The voters McCain needs, the middle-of-the-roaders, aren't as interested in the topic."


"Also interesting, when you phrase the questions differently and make it about 'how important is it for you to be an American' the numbers change, quite a bit. We think it may be because the first question is about standing by one's country and the second is about the respondent ad the opportunities being an American affords."

Each party has a different view of what the "real America" looks like. Stats blog FiveThirtyEight looked at the racial breakdown of big cities and small towns to find some common ground.

But beyond the statistics, the opportunities of being an American often resonate strongest in immigrant communities across the U.S, where the definition of who is an American has shifted often in our country's history. NewsHour looked at the way ethnic media is changing how people are getting information on the 2008 election and how foreign-language media sources like La Opinion in L.A. and San Francisco's Sing Tao daily are influencing election choices among their respective audiences.

These growing communities are also getting out the vote in new ways. The National Minority Consortia reported on how a walk out inspired Latino youth to organize a campaign in Southern California. And the new film Latinos 08 looks at trends in that community and how voter turnout rates are climbing steadily.


Diana said:

PBS is part of the liberal biased media. Anything you have to say about decent people is always tainted and changed to suit your agenda. If you have anything to say positive about Sarah Palin it is because you will distort it in some way. I like Mystery and other British shows but for the most part PBS is useless as is CBS, NBC and ABC. I watch the History channels, Science Channels, and Discovery when I watch TV. I avoid all the lies and distortions.

I will doubt that even this e-mail is even allowed on this blog. There is such Censorship in the left wing media I feel that I don't have a voice. I know that I am not alone. It is sad when the free TV is controlled. It is almost as if I were living in a Communist country. That is probably what the media wants anyway socialism then communism.

God Bless American and saying this makes me some kind of a reactionary something bad. Sad how you treat people like me.


michella Rivera-Gravage said:

Thanks for sharing a different perspective on the "real America." It's great to hear about how different communities are reporting and organizing around the election.

the FiveThirtyEight posting you shared here was also fascinating, that is such a great site too!

Bill Roddy said:

I work in an office where 25% of the people were born in a foreign country. I live in a neighborhood where about 10% of the people were born in a foreign country (BTW the houses range from $400K to $700K). Virtually all of them admire America and especially our government. They know what corruption in government is. They are not pleased by Sarah Palin's references to the "Real America".

Devona Fryer said:

Hillary was robbed! She had the votes; what about Florida and Michigan? Should we as voters and fellow Americans put up with this? I am a Democrat, and my vote goes to McCain, not only because he is an American Hero, but the fact that he chose a strong woman to run with him shows great insight. All you Hillary supporters, give your vote to McCain, and let's send the big guys a message. Let's give Hillary a chance in 2012!

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