NoVa and RoVa, Again
Thursday, November 16, 2006 :::
The Washington Post continues to explore the great divide between Northern Virginia and the rest of the Commonwealth (if that term still applies). There is little new ground plowed here -- folks quoted in the story find RoVa's politics "embarrassing," and believe the South is all "debutantes and gun racks."
And I thought Richmond was provincial.
The divide or chasm or fault line is probably real to some extent -- real in that some people on both sides believe it's real and live their lives accordingly. But mainly, it's just a lot of bunk. Northern Virginia may believe itself to be cosmopolitan, forward thinking and progressive, but there are plenty of folks throughout the state who share the same outlook. Charlottesville makes NoVa look positively reactionary. Hampton Roads gives NoVa a run for its money not just in population (native and transplant) but in its problems and amenities, too.
Of course Richmond is still caught between the past and future. But as the region grows, it becomes less and less "Southern" and more homogenized. The strip malls and chock-a-block houses of Chesterfield and Henrico could just as easily be mistaken for those in Prince William and Fairfax (but not as pricey, at least for now).
And really -- if all a person knows of an area is its politics, then their knowledge is shallow, indeed. But it helps explain a lot...mainly about the Washington Post, which still hasn't quite figured out that, yes, there is a great big world south of Route 50.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 11/16/2006