Red, Blue, Whatever

October 31, 2005 at 8:56 pm 1 comment

After finding out about the latest Supreme Court Justice debacle I went around to the usual sights at which point I found a fairly typical comment on a blog about how President Bush is the president of the red states etc. I posted a comment on how ridicilous I found this idea and even followed it up with the even dumber comment, “that doesn’t mean we’re stupid.” or someother redneckian attribute. Anyway, then I actually read the article which of course turned out to actually be kinda sceptical about the whole idea ending with the we’re really all moderate voters etc. So yes, I did manage to spew Southern ignorant stereotypes in droves, but here’s the problem: when did I become southern? at what point did my having lived in the south eastern united states become part of my identity? at what point did the American paranoia of becoming “responsible” for “red state” activity drive me to actually adopt an identity I didn’t have before? The answer comes mostly from a little insecurity about myself and a lot of driving force on the internet towards regionalism. While the sensible answer to any attempt to summarize “red states” is to note that they consist in large and fairly healthy portions of 40% or more of democrats and usually contain a healthier size portion of registered democrats than many blue states can even muster. And people are for the most part reasonable, but here’s the real problem: people want to wash their hands of the whole thing. It wasn’t me they say, and then blog to their heart’s content about Alabama voting patterns, Georgia’s apparently exploding teen pregancy rate (in light of the fact that teen pregancy as a whole has been on a decline since 1960), intelligent design cases in “red states” etc. Obviously in the case of intelligent design and probably in most of the other cases too, most of the occupants of these areas feel fairly alienated from their city governments. “Who are these weirdos running this shit?” is how I felt in my 8 months in Alabama pouring through various articles informing me that gay marriage apparently would undermine the institution of marriage itself. Groups like the Alabama Science Council are trying to fight I.D. there, but I gather a lot of measures have already passed to keep children from getting evolution in their text books. So we have activists, but media spurning the issue both ways and a body of politicians elected by lawsuits (Rove lost his rural Alabama campaigns, but won after sueing for a recount). So, here we have people fighting for sensible division of church and state (I.D.), a series of politicians elected by lawsuits (although granted the recount did show that democracts were dumping republican votes in amounts to tip the balance in their favor), and let’s not even get into the feel of “the south.” When I lived in Florida I felt marginally free, i.e. that things were moving. This was an illusion. Very little seperates Florida from Alabama except Florida is trying to get “the creative economy” while Alabama’s vested bio-tech and nanomaterials groups already supply them with enough high-tech junk while their base as one of the pharm giant’s test beds for new drugs pumps money into the state in droves (while creating scandals such a back patients being a placebo in place of needed pain killers). Of course that’s a bit of a generlization to the say the least, Florida for instance lets me keep track of my represenatives through websites and makes my city and state reps as easily available as… well a web form. Alabama on the other hand lags behind prefering phones and outdated websites. Florida of course also tolerates more as it’s history as a resort community has brought in people from all over the world and gay community that’s pretty active. But still I feel haunted somehow, by that ghost of blame. I didn’t vote for Bush, but somehow just being there, in the middle of that mass of people who apparently did vote for limiting gay rights, who did vote for war, for murder, for a variety of others things unsancitmonous and cruel, my point being I”m used to having some level of pride in where I live. When I lived in Florida, I was quite proud to be part of a series of promoters and musicians working through out Orlando, FL. It felt like something was happening, but despite it’s charms, I can’t say I feel proud of Alabama, but I still want to be. It’s Birmingham is not a bad town, and it’s rather beautiful, and my family continues to move back there from time to time for raising kids and other things to live there. But here’s where we get back to the problem of divisionism in America, it’s bullshit and it’s going to kill the democrats. Being stuck with the image of we’re so superior to you red state etc. is just wrong, but wha’s worse it’s driving people away from the polls. What’s the use in voting your beleifs if the asshole down the block on typepad is decrying your every move? It’s not that these things are a major blockage in voting patterns, it’s that these are people that need encourangment, these are people who show every sign of the fatalities of depression and cynicism that mark the lower-economic classes. I think this over states something, most people are rather hopefull, although some studies suggest that a feeling of hopelessness prevades the “south” people in Louissana don’t things are getting better for instance. These are people who are beaten. But what’s worse is that this regionalism doesn’t just shut out would be democrats from the process of expressing their views, it shows a major cop out on the part of the accusser. The fact of the matter is, we Americans are patrially responsible for Iraq, for not signing the Kyoto Protocol, for not joining the international criminals court, for not providing the world with a better solution to our current woes. We sit in front of an appartus that’s entire point is to allow a system of checks and balances that can be operated by the public our represenatives. We live in age where communication is so common that we find it hard to not know someone in another land. Basically, we live in a world where instead of holding fake tri-binnuals for a president who’s obviously done something wrong, we could instead wake up each day and say how do I impeach this guy? How do I help the situation in Iraq? How do I convince lawmakers to take back bands on liberities and justice? Anyone in the world can submit a draft to congress at anytime on any day. Recently after Katrina hit Nixon’s former welfare advisor learned that Bush planned to house Katrina victims in trailers. His solution to this problem? Fax everyone at Fema telling them it was a dumb idea. It’s not so much that these people listen (they don’t), it’s that we need to go ahead and start getting these people out of there… faster than indictments and local prosecutors can.

Technorati Tags: politics


a few hours after posting this I think it’s a bit reactionary, but I also think the media focus on problems in red states is driving a divinisionism while ignoring California and other states problems (massive differences in income mark a steep racial divide in most of the west coast while income differences between whites and blacks are more in step in the south etc.) 

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Why we need downloadable movies right now Iceland’s Electronica

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