Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Yesterday, when he was in Iowa, President Bush said "I tell you, the crowds we're seeing out here are really big. I believe something is going on here in the hinterlands, in the heartland, that is going to mean a victory come November." Some of the Democratic bigwigs in Iowa are asking for an apology from the president for his comment.

This is the definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary Web site:
Main Entry: hin·ter·land Pronunciation: 'hin-t&r-"land, -l&nd
Function: noun
Etymology: German, from hinter hinder + Land
1 : a region lying inland from a coast
2 a : a region remote from urban areas b : a region lying beyond major metropolitan or cultural centers

If you look at the first definition, "hinterland" is appropriate for Iowa. We are in the middle of the country, a thousand miles from any ocean. Definition 2a isn't accurate for the whole state but it is for parts of the state. Definition 2b can be viewed from two different perspectives. The first is that since we do have some large cities it is not accurate. The second view is that the whole state is in the hinterlands because we are not a major cultural center. Chicago is 340 miles away from Des Moines and it is the closest "cultural center" and we are over a thousand miles from either coast. While we do have cultural events here we are not a trend setter like LA or New York.

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