In a town hall meeting in Wiley Ford, Mineral County recently, Representative David McKinley (R) (WV-1) talked about a conversation that he had with an urban congressman.
McKinley talked with the congressman about the difference between urban and rural areas, bringing up countryside institutions such as volunteer fire departments.
His congressional conversational partner reacted with surprise. People will risk their lives fighting fires for free?
One could see how this could save Detroit, for instance. Cut costs by bringing some country common sense to struggling big cities. People will volunteer to fight fires because they care about their communities. With more engagement comes more pride.
It also shows that cities could learn some ideas from long established rural practices.
In his first year of office, President George W. Bush worked to try and build volunteer efforts in the inner cities based on supporting the efforts of churches. It may be time to try and put those kinds of ideas to work again.
(This is a corrected version of earlier blog that made mistaken attributions to Congressman McKinley. Apologies!)