The red state/blue state post that won’t die
This Craigslist post from 2005 is cropping up again. I could have sworn it actually originated months prior as a chain email before it was posted to Craigslist because I remember it (or something like it) being thrust at me soon after the 2004 election. It’s making the rounds as a chain email again, and wound up in my mailbox, sent to me by a loved one. My response after the jump.
This was written up before the 2004 election. A classmate of mine was waving it around like a revealed text in the days following the election. I found the argument to be so simplistic and divisive that I wanted to sock said classmate in the gut. These sorts of polemics do nothing but allow urban, educated, stereotyped liberals like us to bathe ourselves in our own self-righteousness. This classmate, in everything he did in life, reflected the smugness contained in this email. It is a smugness I find suffocating and distasteful. Not only do I have respect for many “conservative” views that I do not espouse, but I actively work to understand and analyze the bases on which they rest.
We claim the right to ridicule based on numbers, unsourced numbers at that, and bask in our superiority. I guess it’s easier for people who don’t have family in “red states.” And that’s an interesting term, “red state.” States are always in flux. Jimmy Carter won Texas but lost California. In this election, the “reddest” state saw a third of all voters vote for the Democratic candidate. Was this state a southern state? No. It was Wyoming. (Only one former Confederate state had fewer than 40% of its population vote for Barack Obama). Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan both came from “blue” California. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton came from “red” Georgia and Arkansas.
The whole red state/blue state divide is a farce. If people want to make intellectually honest, nuanced arguments about differences in culture that play into our politics and how that culture gap can be bridged, count me in. But don’t throw dishonest, reactionary vitriol at me and call it argument. It’s beneath the effete corps of impudent snobs of which I count myself a part.
Seriously, guys. Put this kind of petty crap to bed. I certainly don’t want it cluttering up my inbox.