Ms. Kolhatkar only mentioned it in the last paragraph, but I would like to see more discussion regarding what seems to be an increasing degree of stark differences in opinion between US urban spaces, suburban spaces and rural spaces regarding:
Racial and cultural diversity
The need for social institutions that provide for the sharing of wealth
And the need for collective measures to protect the earths environment.
Urban and inner-suburban people generally support all these three things, outer suburban and rural USAns to a very large degree, reject them. Why? Is this pattern of ideological differences seen in other countries? It seems to be true in Canada (southern Ontario anyway) but that isn't surprising considering the cultural similarities.
From my perspective as civil engineer it always seemed that the physical infrastructure explains these differences to a considerable degree. The urban environment by necessity contains far more shared public spaces - sidewalks, plazas and parks, public market spaces and public transportation - so the concept of sharing gets embedded in people's behavior and assumptions about the world. In suburban and rural areas there is a perception that they rely on no public shared resources - they work in their atomized self-interest with other individuals working in their self-interest - and everyone looks and talks the same so they come to associate this racial and cultural uniformity with these rugged-individualistic values. Of course, this is mostly a wrong perception - rural residents get a larger share of public infrastructure resources and expenditure - miles of rural road maintenance and rural electric distribution per resident which they pay no extra taxes or rates for than city dwellers. Distant big-box corporations have replaced the locally owned shops and farm supply stores.
But it definitely is not true in Latin America, where most leftist movements arise in the countryside - which, then again, isn't surprising considering the poverty of rural Latin America and the fact that the rural poor are almost all tenants on a rich person's land. I suspect Russia is similar where the rural poor long for the Soviet days. This is compared to the general prosperity of rural USAns or Canadians where the farmers and residents own their land. What about Europe? And what about the rural US south - which was and is racially diverse and most poor farmers didn't own the land - but racism was cleverly used to divide people of the same class interests.
There is lots of stuff here worthy of discussion...