In an attempt to taunt his rival and sow seeds of evangelical doubt, Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz informed Donald Trump that the rest of the country was concerned about his alarming "New York values." Meanwhile, Cruz totally ignored the greater danger of the real-estate developer's aerodynamic coif toppling over and knocking innocent supporters unconscious with its hard-candy shell.
The jibe was designed as a sly, wink-wink, nudge-nudge attack resurrecting deeply buried stereotypes about urban areas that also managed to carry a faint whiff of racism and anti-Semitism. A dog-whistle the size of the Louisiana Purchase on steroids.
This geographic schism is nothing new. It has been celebrated in literature for centuries and elevated to a hoary trope by politicians in order to highlight their imagined connection to real people. But if Cruz is the country mouse and Trump the city mouse, a lot of people are rooting for large herds of feral cats to make a speedy entrance.
The Lone Star State's junior Senator's slick slander was obviously meant for the ears of voters in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, along with fans of the old TV shows McCloud, Murder, She Wrote, and Matlock.
It's the age-old rivalry between paths and sidewalks. Simplicity and glamor. Open spaces and twenty-four-hour supermarkets. Porches versus high-rises. Red and blue. Mosquitoes and muggers. Meadows and low-fat caramel macchiatos.
But is it fair to make sweeping generalizations solely based on longitude and latitude? Well, yes, for the purposes of this particular journalistic sortie, it is our considered opinion that it is. So, besides New York, what other cliches and prejudices do our little minds instantly make when presented with specific locales? Glad you asked.
New Yorkie Values involve a lot of yipping and the sound of toenails scratching on the linoleum.
New Jersey Values are almost exactly like New Yorkie Values but with bigger hair.
New Mexico Values boil every question down to whether it goes better with red or green chibes.
New Orleans Values mean partying like there's no tomorrow and encourage yesterday to bleed into tomorrow and the next day.
New Hampshire Values believe in not just the electric chair, but electric bleachers.
New England Patriots Values mean doing anything and everything to win, including the blurring of boundaries that lesser competitors might consider "the rules."