February 9, 2017 - Juan Montas
The Geography of Politics
In part one of City of Rhetoric the author, David Fleming uses many examples to demonstrate how political events can alter or even change the life of individuals. In order to be able to support his argument he starts by disagreeing with the civic and government standards made in 1994. This states that, “citizens of the United States are better defined by their political views, rather than national origin, race, gender, class, religion, or ethnicity” (Fleming, 20). Fleming discusses the effects that political theory have on locations, and later this gets connected by the creation of a map from our time. One of the main big ideas he argues is how people make a place and not the other way around. “The identity of an American citizen is defined by shared political values and principles…” (Fleming, 20). This is a problem because a specific place isn’t build up by the place itself but by the people that live there. If the civilians of a specific territory all think alike then they are depriving themselves of knowledge. By having civilians that share the same political views, then it would be more difficult to have a civic identity. Diversity within a community is crucial in defining a place.
“It does not matter where you are a citizen; just be one” (Fleming, 37). It does not matter from where in the world because globalization is important. Globalization is what allows different ideas and people to move and interact with others. As the quote says, just be a citizen. Race, gender, origin and all those other qualities people have matter entirely but in a good way. In my opinion, all those things such as ethnicity, race, religion, class, etc. are what make places different from each other, these people are who make a place so diverse from another and so distinctively unique. Also the persistence of space, which means that space matters to the people and this help me recognize that a citizen has to live their life to the fullest and leave their mark where they live, furthermore, people prefer to move across the world and avoid dilemmas instead of fixing problems like these. If everyone lives their life wherever they want to without any racial tension then the map that can be created will be different in each community. Each map from our time will be unique depending on which civilians live in which place, but overall people make places better and not the other way around. I believe that this is what Fleming is trying to argue in part one of his book City of Rhetoric.
Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. SUNY Press, 2008.