Tuesday, January 25, 2005

State of Red

Being in a red state is harder than I thought. I'm deep in red territory. This state is even bordered by other red states. It's kinda depressing. Things are cheap, which people in red states are always talking about as a good thing, but here the cheapness is in keeping with how things really are: cheap. Roads look cheap, buildings look dusty and chipped at, and the people appear fat and poor. Shoes and watches tell the story better than anything else. The working men wear boots that look as old as the wearer. Women wear sneakers. When they wear watches, it's not Swiss made. Nor American.

These are Bush people. Economically, as a doctor, I should be one too. I'm in the tax bracket that sees benefit in Bush, not these people. I'm the one afraid of med mal lawyers. I'm trying to get a passive income.

But these people here, on the other hand, appear hardworking. They appear honest. They work for their wages. There is no passive income for most people here. It's hard to imagine they vote for Bush, to reward passive incomes, to cut government spending on social services, education with unfunded mandates, and it's their kids he sends off on his war of choice.

I, who have every reason to vote for Bush, do not. To me, Bush is a failed president. He owns the Iraqi war, the worst historical foreign policy decision since Britain allowed Hitler the Rhineland. Bush cannot count on me because he failed in every yardstick a president could be judged, foreign and domestic.

I've listened to these people talk - on TV mostly. When they do I'm taken aback afresh with their concerns. Or at least the order of their concerns. Shocking. Invariably when engaged, Mr. Joe Schmoe Red State Jr. will give support to Bush based on gay marriage. As if it is marriage between two men threatens the very fabric of space time. Other reasons are more bizarre: "God wants Bush to be president." Otherwise stated, "Humans cannot govern themselves except through God." I didn't know Iranian propaganda could strike Americans. More bizarre, "he's fighting the war against terrorism." He is? I'm sure he's deeply engaged at the moment, cornering Bin Laudin like a rat, his M-16 trained on Bin Laudin's face. Sure. Wouldn't want to interrupt that, would we?

Sigh. I'm going to have to keep a low profile.


Blogger erinberry said...

Yup. I'm in Tennessee, and it's really hard sometimes. I have the same thoughts: I'm an analyst at a Fortune 100 company and make a good living, but you couldn't pay me enough money to vote for Bush. I guess it's because I believe we're supposed to vote based on what's best for the country, not what's best for our own wallets.

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