I don't want to give too much credence to Cruz's "New York values" dig on Trump. First, it's silly -- New York is not at all monolithic. Second, it doesn't really even apply to Trump, who often thumbs his nose at New York elite.
But I think that if you asked a lot of people in flyover country, the statement would still have resonance. I think the reason is that while New York is not at all monolithic in its culture and values, its media exports do tend to be much more homogeneous and tend to reflect a Left-liberal coastal condescension.
I was thinking about this watching the Broadway show If/Then which was in Phoenix this weekend. I thought this was a pretty forgettable musical, essentially a sort of remake of the movie "Sliding Doors", that was elevated by Idina Menzel in the lead. We in flyover country seldom get stars of this caliber (at least after they are famous) in our roadshows and she (along with one other female lead who was quite good) made the show worth the ticket.
Anyway, a couple of observations about the show in the context of Cruz's statement:
- No character in the show (with 2 exceptions) had a productive job in the private sector. Everyone worked in the city planning department or was a housing activist or a public school teacher. I kid you not, there was actually a song about the joys of urban planning. The two exceptions were: 1) a private architect who thanked the city planning department for overruling his designs and 2) an investment banker who acted like a complete tool and was included for 10 seconds only to illustrate the worst possible imaginable male date.
- Accusing a character of being a Republican was used as a laugh-line twice. Since the character was one the authors wanted to the audience to have sympathy for, the character quickly avowed he was an Independent.
- Living any place in flyover country (e.g. Nebraska, Arizona**) was used as a laugh line in the show and choosing to live in those places was offered up as an example of bad decision-making. The only place deemed acceptable to live outside of New York was Oregon.
I got over getting too worked up about this sort of stuff years ago (or else I would spend all my time holed up in a cave listening to a few old Rush albums). Cruz was wrong to criticize New York values but I think there is a .... call it an attitude that emanates from New York media that the rest of the country sometimes finds irritating.
** in the show we saw, the lead character had just escaped from a bad marriage in Phoenix. My guess is that this was not the original location, but was switched for the show here (though I could be wrong, since such a switch would have meant adjusting a couple of songs too). Anyone see it on Broadway and know what location was used there?