The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Liberal college towns

Some memes obscure deeper truths. "Liberal" and "college town," for example, often go together, as in the lede from a story in Tuesday's New York Times:

BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 14 — Voters in this liberal college town have approved what environmentalists say may be the nation's first "carbon tax," intended to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.

This lede bothered me for several reasons. First, I don't believe that wanting to reduce catastrophic climate change is so much a "liberal" idea as it is a "sensible" idea. Second, if Boulder is "liberal," that makes my home town (Evanston, Ill.) "socialist" and puts Cambridge, Mass., on the loony fringe. And I'm not sure Greenville, S.C. really wants the label "liberal" any more than Evanston wants the label "reactionary right-wing religious nuts."

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