Until, you know, there's a natural disaster or other calamity. Then they come running for a government handout, leaving the kids home alone to keep the varmints out of the double-wide, unless their blood is so full of Curs Lite they can't see to drive.
But usually the prospect of pork rinds will get them to focus just long enough to make it to the Wal-Mart, where they wander around the aisles in their NASCAR shirts, looking for 8-track tapes while their children run around the entire place screaming. The kids can't find what they are looking for either because school funding got slashed again and they seem to have a wee bit of trouble um, reading.
The road to Amboy is maintained by magical forest sprites, who patrol it and keep the pure and noble woodsman safe from highwaymen, trolls, ogres and bandits. No need for pesky road crews and deputies there! Like Daniel Boone, all the resident of Amboy needs is a Kentucky long rifle and some pemmican.
Now, that is a rant.
I too, like Jon, get tired sometimes of the rural self definition of them some how being rugged individualists while us city-folk cower at the site of (oh, I don't know) anything rurualish.
That said, there really is less government in the hinterland, because of the simple fact there are fewer people. This doesn't mean that rural people somehow have more control over their own lives (which I assume is implied), but that where there are fewer people, there are fewer government services.
The police roll by my house more often than in rural areas simply because I have more neighbors in one block than a rural resident does in ten miles.
I live closer to a library (a much larger library) and I can walk to the store (most of the way) without feeling like a truck is going to come over the next rise and send me jumping into a ditch.
Depending more on your family doesn't make it any more safer to go walking down a rural road at dusk. Having sidewalks does.
The kind of government that I have more of in Olympia is not the kind of government that people from the corner of two country roads are afraid of. Rather, its the kind that makes me want to live in an urban area. But, we each have our tastes, so there is no accounting for that.
But, if I lived out in the sticks, I'd like a bit more government, thank you.