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November 11, 2004

Comments

Jim

Slavery is spreading. Yes! Michigan has gone from being enlightened to being endarkened. I never knew the Nebraska Territory was once that big or that Iowa was still undecided.

Maryann

Wow -- that is really interesting. A few possible conclusions -- like-minded people have always been drawn to the same parts of America and/or this talk of two Americas is eerily prescient. Or both.


Chrish

Great, what's next a comparison of the red vs blue states and the Roman Empire or maybe a comparison of the red vs blue states and Nazi Germany?

Please do continue as this is getting to
be rather humorous..

miriamg

The current map used to be a whole lot different.

The South was traditionally Democratic, until the Republicans' Southern Strategy in the '60s, when they used the issue of "state's rights" (that is, in relation to federal anti-segregation legislation) to win over the southern states.

A pretty good summation of the GOP's Southern Strategy here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Bob

Go to the link below to get some great Christmas presents, Oh that is right I forgot, Liberals do not belive in God, no need to Christmas Shop.


http://www.authenticgop.com/

Bob

Sorry "Believe", bet you thought I went to the George Bush spelling school.

Maryann

Thanks for that link Miriam, very good primer for those of us who haven't studied party strategy much in the past. I must admit I'm taking a keener interest in political strategy as I think we're going to need to "know thine enemy" to beat them at their own game.

I recently heard that the Bible belt states had a much higher divorce rate than the Northeast, which I couldn't believe (I'm a victim of "liberal-smearing" techniques, I guess) but have dug around the Census Bureau data (among other sources) and it appears to be true. Also interesting that divorce is higher among born-again Christians (and Christians in general) than it is among Atheists or Agnostics. AND divorce rates went down in the 90's for the first time in decades, under that wildly immoral Clinton's leadership, and have since started going up again.

There are some factors that need to be taken into account when analysing these numbers -- mainly that residents of the Northeast are more likely to be University-educated and they marry later. But I still found that very compelling and a good piece of factual evidence for blue-staters to trumpet when faced with charges of immorality.

I find the whole "blue state immoral" argument bizarre anyway. We're the ones more likely to be vegetarian for ethical reasons, drive more fuel efficient cars (or hybrids -- or use public transportation for that matter) and favour environmental concerns -- and I believe statistics for alcoholism and suicide are lower in blue states.

I think we need to focus on emphasizing our morals and ethics and shine a light on the high divorce & suicide & alcoholism rates in the places all those people voted Republican based on "moral grounds".

miriamg

Maryann, I agree - I think the whole "morality" issue has been hijacked by the right.

To me, it shows up the distinction between true Christians, who try to follow Jesus' teachings of love, tolerance, judge-ye-not, and those who like to ignore that stuff in favour of the bits about apocalypses and Old Testament fire and brimstone. In short, preaching love vs preaching fear.

A lot of issues could be framed differently - abortion, for instance. While I'm pro-choice myself, I can sympathise with the anti-abortion viewpoint PROVIDED it includes support for measures to increase access to contraception. But it very rarely does. It'd be good to show up much of the pro-life lobby as people whose goal is really to impose their religious beliefs (no sex unless it's for procreation) rather than people who are truly concerned about killing unborn life.

It could be pointed out more that the number of abortions decreased under Clinton, and has increased under Bush. You could push the idea that by making abortion illegal, you don't stop abortion, you just make it riskier for the woman. So you could say a botched abortion can lead to the death of two people - not just an unborn child.

You might not win over much of the anti-abortion bunch, but at least it'd lead to a more grown-up discussion among moderates, rather than each side hardening their position on this complex and emotive issue.

I've seen those figures re divorce, too! I think maybe being born-again and divorced aren't so incompatible. Let's face it, a lot of people turn to religion when their lives go off the rails a bit (GWB included!). It's that early midlife crisis syndrome - drinking or drugging, or relationship breakdown, or hating your job, wondering what it's all about, looking for spiritual sustenance. Urban liberal types check out a melange of Buddhism, meditation, yoga, New Age stuff, along with the religion of one's upbringing. But if you're rural or down south, it's the church, Baptist or similar, that's your first and probably only port of call, and the one you feel most comfortable with.

Just some thoughts. The UK's just about the most secular country in the world - people here have a huge mistrust of mixing religion with politics - they got it out of their system a few centuries ago back in the English civil war. I'd hate to see it get to that point back home!

Maryann

He really does go on a bit but worth looking at (if this link works for the unsubscribed,not sure it does)

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041122amp;amp;s=wieseltier112204

Maryann

Oh wait --this is the link I meant...

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041122amp;amp;s=cherny112204

rodi

Maryann and Miriamg:

Here, here
very elequently put

I find it curious that the Jesus loving states are the ones that are the least tolerant. While it's OK to laugh at the slave state/red state comparison, I think there's a point behind it. A perfect example would be this comment from Bob:

>Oh that is right I forgot, Liberals do not belive in God, no need to Christmas Shop.<

I'm not even a Christian and I'm offended by a dumbass comment like that. Just because I went to school with blacks, whites, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Asians, Episcapalians, Lutherans and Middle-Eastern folks does not mean that I am "liberal". It means that those who grow up with all nationalities and ethnicities learn to appreciate other cultures, tolerate all religions and promote forward thinking ideals such as freedom of choice.

Others on this site have lambasted me for saying that in my America, there is separation of church and state. They say that I'm not tolerant beacuse I am pro-choice, not anti-Gay, agaisnt religion is scchools etc. I do respect the beliefs of all but only if they respect me.

Perhaps if my church pastor screamed at me that I was born in sin, sex is evil except to procreate, black people are not equal and gay people are all going to hell, I'd be intolerant also.

Of course there are so many people that left the south and midwest. Why stay in a place that breeds hatred? Why worship a religion that is unaccepting of other religions? People forget that a large part of the red states supported Clinton in 1994 when the country was in a state of economic prosperity. That is generally what most Americans want. So I don't even understand how morality became a hot topic of conversation again.

And to trying to use 9/11 as an excuse is a cop-out. Even if you buy any of the Bush follies about why we had to invade Iraq and enact the Take-Away-our-Civil-Liberties Act in the name of national secuirty, God had NOTHING to do with that, God is NOT AMERICAN.

But the GOP has somehow turned "morality" into the primary value that America stands for. They talk about "freedom" but then gay-bash, tell young girls that they are immoral for even thinking about having an abortion, tell us that sex education promotes promiscuity and try to push creationism on my kids in public school.
How is this "freedom"?

Jim

If anything was learned form these electoral maps it's that the country is purple. Most states were within 55-45 Bush/Kerry. So to say people from certain states are a certain way might be generalizing a bit too much.
Regarding abortion - of course it would go on anyway, sad as it is, if it were illegal. It still seems way too acceptable to me. Nobody wants to see women going back to butchers - that would be aweful, but what's up with women having multiple abortions, because they and their partner aren't responsible enough to use contraception? Also, I respect someone's choice to be a vegetarian for ethical reasons. That's great. But how can these same people who say it's wrong to kill a cow, be ok with killing a baby? That I don't get.

By the way, what's wrong with loving Jesus (or Buddha or Mohammed or God for that matter)? Sure there are some people who will hijack Christianity and try to impose their views and judge others. There are Jews and plenty of Muslims and even atheists who do the same thing. But most (not all) religious people I know are tolerant and loving. Don't paint with such a broad brush.

Moral high ground? I think it gets claimed when one party is more pro-abortion (oh, I'm sorry, "pro-choice") and the other is more pro-life. "Pro-choice" is such a sanitary cop-out of symantics. Why not say what it is? Pro-choice of what? Say it!! Somebody would come here from another country, learn the language and be all for it, becuase they think it means people should have the right to choose what clothes to wear, what religion to practice or what candidate to vote for.

Say what you want about Bush, but Clinton was impeached for lying under oath about having an affair with his barely of age intern. I'm not saying it's the worst sin in the world, but many a president of corporations have lost their jobs and been sued for such things. And it was hardly his first or worst affair. But it's ok, because he's just so smoothe. Would you forgive your husband, your friends husband or your friends father for doing what Clinton did? You'd probably say he was dirty old skirt chasing man and stay as far away from him as possible. Why? I'm really curious. Why is Clinton forgiven for doing something that if one of your friends or aqcuaintences did, he would probably be cast out? Please don't answer with "well Bush's immoral war is worse blah blah blah..." That's fine, you have every right to think so, but it's irrelevant. Why is Clinton forgiven for something that most people wouldn't forgive their friends or family for? Very curious.

Bob

Very Bad Argument Maryann about the blue States being educated, they my have educated people in them, but if you take a real close look, the blue states are very heavily populated states, I would suggest that they also have the biggest ghettos, homelessness and people that really want the government to take care of them. So why not vote Democrat. Nice try,now go cry in your milk.

Chrish

How interesting this all is, if you can't convince other's that people who voted against Kerry are backwoods, uneducated, uninformed, moralistic hypocrites you then try an alternative methods with which to attack.

You all talk about Democracy, how great this
country is, how The People will decide, let the People's vote be counted AND when it still doesn't go your way you, oh so typically, continue with the childish responses. Well THEY did this, and THEY did that, and THEY say this while doing something else, and THEY this, and THEY that.

Those on the left have been "IMPOSING" their brand of moralism, their brand of values, and their brand of Holier Than Thou
attitudes for a number of decades. No one
dared say anything in contradiction as that would lead to the usual shouting down, name calling {racist, bigots, anti this or that,
something-phobic) nonsense. Now that people
have found their back bone and are no longer afraid or unwilling to be silent those on the left are scrambling trying to use the same tired old outdated models with which to attack a particular group with.

I find it extremely interesting that those
on the Left are coming back with their atypical responses while the very leaders of the Democratic Party you bow and worship
are trying to quote scripture in an effort
to show everyone they have values. Talk about politicizing things. Pelosi quoting
Matthews, Kennedy talking about Christian values, Clinton advising the leadership to
be more moral and value oriented. Who are
the hypocrits now?

I'm sorry to say this is really becoming not only comical but incredibly paththetic.

Maps, Blues vs Reds, "educated" vs "uneducated", my rights vs their rights,
this religion vs that religion, religion vs
atheists, don't impose your religion or moral values on me but, it's ok if I impose my beliefs or values on you becsue I'm a Blue and I'm educated and I'm "Enlightened".

How incredibly silly can this be? Please,
do continue this is becoming very comical.

rodi

Chrish:

Usually your comments are well founded but I'm not sure what your point is on the previous post??

You're saying we all bicker about morality, education, enlightement. I think the reason for this is the incredible lack of unity in America, even though we all agree that red states had blue voters and vice versa.

I think the fact that so many people continue on with ridiculous post election websites shows just how far apart the country is. While you and delal and others may find this entertaining, I think it's really sad. How do you think other countries look at us?

(typical answer to that:)
Red: Oh yeah, it doesn't matter because we won and the libs are all crying
Blue: Oh yeah, bush supporters don't care what the rest of the world says cause they're either with us or agianst us.

I voted against Bush but I really want to move on and focus on what the Dems can do to improve their party's message. Unfortunately, I get an email today from
Democrats Abroad with the following:

"Ohio law allows five citizens to request a
recount (they must be from the losing side), but in the absence of an
automatic recount, a fee of $10.00 per precinct to be recounted is imposed.
There are approx. 12,000 precincts in Ohio, which would then entail a cost
of $120,000. The following website is taking contributions for such an
eventuality: www.helpamericarecount.org. Ohio state law requres a request
for recount to be made to the Secretary of State within five days of the
official announcement of results."

And then they want money of course. If the Bush people stopped bragging for 5 minutes and those of us who are anti-bush would deal with reality that it's over until 2008, perhaps the country might be better off.

I saw another blurb on CNN about the guy with the website that apologizes to the whole world about electing bush. Yes, it's kind of funny, but there's a fine line between satire and ridiculous. The website has received like 500,00 hits all over the world.

Now that Bush won, all the evangilists, Wall street firms, gun lobbyists and everyone else will be expecting rewards in the form of Supreme Court appoitments that steer right, social security reform that encourages investing in the markets, a push for Constitutional amendments to change abortion, gay unions and other moral issues, environmental issues that encourage drilling in Alaksa, and on and on.

Does anyone really think Bush will be able to push thru all of this in the 18 months he has until the next Senate elections? All this on top of continuing an occupation that half the country opposes? Of course not. There is only so much any administration can accomplish and once the deficit goes past the trillion mark..well.. (what's next, quadrillions?) Even a Republican senate and house is not going to be able to accomplish such an ambitious agenda. More tax cuts? Not gonna happen. (trust me, I work on wall Street) Social security reform? It'll be debated by lawyers until 2010. So it may not be as bad as us blue people make it out to be.

My point is: I've heard others comment that the beauty of the US system is the fact that we can all encourage our elected officials to enact change for all the people. How can we teach our kids that the system works if we spend the next 4 years bickering about how the Blue states are educated and enlightened and the red states are
Jesus loving gay bashers?

Hey Bush people: He promised to unify the 49% of America that voted for change. Show me the money, man. How are you gonna do this

And to those who voted kerry like myself:
It's over. For now. Stop preaching superiority and put your money where your mouth is. Work to change things next time around.

Chrish

Rodi,

Thank you but, that is exactly my point!!! Think about it, just like you said the red vs blue, the left vs right, the "religious" vs "non-religious", extremists (both sides) vs extremists (both sides), the "educated and enlightened", or so they would like everyone to believe, vs the "non-educated and unenlightened", or so they would like everyone to believe. It's a continuation of the same bloody arguments that have been going on for how many years? Only now it's the hatred of the religious right vs the hatred of the left. I see no difference between either extreme.

Both sides preach tolerance, acceptance, and
respect but, both sides practice intolerance, non-acceptance, disrespect, and
their own forms of prejudice and bigotry.

And we get nowhere....

One question I do have for you Rodi is why
wait for next time. I still say just because Bush won does not mean the right wing extremists will have their way nor should they. I don't believe that is what The People really want; I surely do not and I don't really believe The People will allow something like that to happen at least I would really hope they wouldn't.

Jim

?How do you think other countries look at us?"
-rodi
I don't care. I really did used to care. A lot. But I haven't cared for a few years. It's not because I think, I'm American so I am right. It's because there are a bunch of countries out there who say the opposed the war on morality reasons (that's what they told their constituents), but in fact we later found out it was out of greed.

What I find distressing is that the liberal media and liberal expats make the rest of the world think that we conservatives want to kill or lock away all gay people, blacks, asians, jews, muslims and all other minorities. Don't forget we also want to flatten Alaska, melt the ice and drill holes in every square inch of it - not just the 1/ 100,000th of it that contains oil. We shouldn't be dependent on foreign oil, or nuclear energy, but don't drill in the most desolate region of the entire country.

Why are people who love Jesus evil? Remember, every single person who lives in Ohio is a Jesus freak. And they are all out killing gays with their unregistered automatic weapons.

Can you answer my previous questions about why people love Clinton, but if he was your relative you would probably disown him.

rodi

Chrish:

Amen to this line of thinking. When I whent to grade school (25 years ago), even then I had whites, blacks, asians, muslims, puerto-ricans, jews, catholics and probably others i don't even know. And this is all in a public school that was in a 95% white Catholic neighborhood of Irish and Italians.

Like Delal, I;m a NY boy. Somehow we all managed to go to school, work and play amongst each other. Of course there were problems; there always are in a democracy.
But the political tide used to swing absed upon common goals for all the people. When inflatiion was a big problem, we voted out Ford with hi stupid "WIN" buttons. When Carter proved to be relativly inept at almost everything (save perhaps diplomacy), the counttry voted in Reaganism.

This is the first time ever that the entire country is so split among party lines. Even during Vietnam, it was mostly the 18-30 vote that opposed the war. And that's only because white collar work was uncool then. Today they didn't bother to get off their asses any more than in 2000. Instead they make websites that beg me for recount donations.

Actions used to speak louder than words. Today sarcasm, hatred and insults dominate.
Both parties are guilty of this.

I'd like to think you are correct so I have to wonder why Bush had to go on record 5 days after the election with this hedaline in The national Post (Canada's right wing pro-US, national paper) "Bush says gay marriage ban is key"

How can he possibly expect to unify the other 49% by starting like that?

rodi

jim:

I think you don't care what other countries think because you have simply adopted the entire Bush mentality. Ya know, I really do believe that he belives he is doing the right thing. But every empire in the history of human civilization (so far) has eventually been defeated. Do you really think adopting a "with us or agianst us" policy is fair to the entire rest of the earth?

Cut the crap with the liberal lableing. I lived 12 years in the SF Bay Area. Do you really think the millionaires in Marin County and Silicon Valley venture capitalists are all gay loving, anti-republican ? Common sense dictates that those from the middle class up (like myself) should vote for Bush. He's good for Wall Street, my portfolio and my property value.

All of us that are anti-Bush don't preach gay rights, pro-choice, save the environment, etc. LOTS of us are in the center, which is what I wish BOTH parties would move towards.

You bushies love to claim the media is liberal. If you ever lived outside the US and could see how other nations carry BOTH sides of the story, you'd really realize why Americans are so close minded. On CBC, I see pro-Bush stories but I also see stories of thousands of inncocent Iraquis dragged from their houses during "insurgent" sweeps. The US media shows nothing but patriotic stories, even when they show something going wrong in iraq. You have no idea how much flag waving there is in America compared to Canada.

The US media always words stories as "So is there any doubt in your mind that (fill in the Bush agenda du jour)is the right move?" Why do you think it was ILLEGAL for pictures of returning dead americans to be shown and when that picture in the Seattle Times went front page (of dead americans returning) the Pentagon freaked out?Americans only want to see things go their way. Saying the media supports the liberal cause is a load of crap.

The reason people love Clinton is because he is a Rhodes Scholar with an an incredible amount of charisma. Even if you disagree, you listen. Bush leads by preaching and readily admits it. He tells the world that God is on America' side. I'm sure the Muslims love to hear that one. The Dems should be so lucky to find another Clinton.

The world's superpower is supposed to lead by example. Voting down Kyoto when the entire world approved it does not show leadership, it shows defiance. Afghanistan was a good start. Iraq is a disaster.

maybe you should stary caring what the world thinks again because you just might learn a few things if you listen to what others have to say instead of ruling with an iron fist. Try diplomacy instead of guns.

Or do you work for
Lockheed
Raytheon
Haliburton
Exxon-Mobil
Boeing??

Jeff

Jim, it's fine for you not to care about what other countries think... but for the President, who's main job is to represent us to a world that amazingly enough is still bigger than America, it's sort of important to care or AT LEAST pretend to care.

As for your feelings, they're very narrow minded. Are there are a bunch of countries out there who opposed the war out of greed? Perhaps. But there are far more countries that were basically not involved at all, who may be a part of the coalition, and who have a very poor and very negative opinion of Bush and of us.

Did you ever see the footage of Bush rejecting the Kyoto accords? This is pre 9/11 as well and it's astonishing for its hubris. He basically came out and said he would not do anything to hurt the U.S. economy period. Did he offer any alternatives? No. Did he show that he cared a whit about what everyone else was gathered for? No.

This despite most scientists agreeing on what catastrophic environmental possibilities lie ahead and despite the U.S. being the world's #1 polluter of greenhouse gases (despite having so much less population than some countries). Of course, Russia became the last big country to sign on... leaving the U.S. and Australia out. Sounds like the League of Nations all over again...

miriamg

Jim - who said loving Jesus was evil?!

We're talking about power-seeking groups like the Christian Coalition, not the majority of religous people who are tolerant, etc. I very clearly pointed out a difference between those who actually try to follow Jesus' teachings, and those who preach fear.

Chrish, I very much hope you're right, and that extremists like Falwell & Robertson don't gain more power. These people learned their lesson from when Reagan managed to push them aside, and are expecting payback this time. I'm not as optimistic as you are that the moderates in the GOP will be able to restrain them - it's one of the major reasons that I wanted Kerry to win - but we shall see.

Re Clinton - Jim, I don't live a society where, when someone's cheated on their spouse, it's the business of anyone beyond the families involved. Obviously you do. Let's agree to disagree on this.

If Clinton had preached marital morals and condemned adulterers, then he'd be a flaming hypocrite and I'd be mad. But he didn't. He turned out to be a pretty good president., which is the most important thing.

JFK was absolutely rampant - Clinton by comparison was Little Lord Fauntleroy. Do you think it would've been good for country (and his family) if JFK had been forced to publicly reveal the details of his sex life? I'm not being rhetorical, I honestly want to know.

Seriously, I had no idea presidents of corporations had to resign because they'd had affairs. Who? Was it consensual (that is, someone wouldn't lose their job if they said no)?

miriamg

Jim, also re not caring what other countries think - very nice that you can afford not to care. However, this is an expats website - it's a major priority here!

Rodi, totally agree re the "liberal" media at home vs abroad. Until you actually watch news in other countries regularly, you don't realize how limited the perspective is in the States. It's not necessarily about left/right bias. News in the UK tends to contextualise and give more background so that I feel I understand a story from different angles. I particularly love the way interviewers give politicians from all sides a tough but fair grilling on live TV - persistent, intelligent, not necessarily combative or aggressive.

When I watch the news in the States I often think "Huh? What's really going on?" and then that "terror alert: high!" strap at the bottom. Oy.

Jim

I really don't ever remember Bush say "God is on America's side" What he says consistently is "Freedom is NOT America's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to all mankind."

Clinton's biggest crime was NOT cheating on his wife. I never said it was. It was nailing a 20 year old INTERN in the Oval office and by his own admittance he let it affect his judgement. Yes many, if not most men in power have dalliances. This girl was barely an adult, shw was very vulnerable, a distraction and she affected his judgement. He said so.

I love that you guys think that the US press is so biased and only shows good stories. Riiiiight. The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, NPR radio, they are just constantly dripping with good news about the administration and the war. Riight. Ok, Fox News the Washington Times and talk radio lean to the right. That's hardly a majority. Many other countries have 1 or 2 sources of news, while here there are dozens, and you all think they lean pro=administration? Please. You like the news where you are because it tells you what you already think - Bush is evil.

By the way, in a democracy the moderates do rule. That's what's great about it. In an elected government with term limits, nobody can run wild and just do their own thing, right or left. Which is why I find it funny that so many more people claim they want to leave now. Please go. There are plenty of others who are coming in.
I commend the Democratic party for registering so many new citizens (immigrants) to vote. Here's what they don't get. People don't move to America to get government handouts. (Democratic programs). They move here because they can become whatever the want. They can start with nothing and become something.

What part of having lots of people die do you not get? That it's more important than Internet access? Or that it's actually bad news.

rodi

Miriamag and Jeff:

Excellent responses to Jim. Seems that at least the 3 of us understand the importance of world relations with the US.

Let me add 1 thing regarding Kyoto. I live in Alberta, the rebel province of Canada that has all the wealth and money. It's also the most conservative pro-US province with a majority of elected officials of the opposite party from the Federal government.
Naturally, they opposed the Feds when they ratified Kyoto. But even the Republican loving, oil rich right wing conservative government came out against the US opposition to Kyoto. While they wanted a modified version that would be less invasive of the oil profits, they still campaigned with a platform explaining how EVERY country in the world agees that something has to be done.

Bush's protectionism policy that disregards the environment for the entire world shows those of us who don't live in the US how Bush feels about every other nation. Spread democracy, but only in countries that can keep supplying us with more oil. Deny what the scientific community says and keep encouraging US automakers to push gas guzzling 8 cylander hemi-engine SUV's

Jim:
You are half right that we like the news where we are. The half that is wrong is that we don;t like it because it's anti-Bush. If you give me your address, I'll tape a CBC eqivilant of Dateline NBC and send it to you. They show you BOTH sides WITHOUT already slanting the entire angle towrads patriotism and American war heroes and examples of Iraquis kissing the liberators. That is only 1 side of the story, the side that Americans want to see. If the networks showed unbiased coverage, Bush could not possibly continue to garner support. And THEN, maybe your claim of a liberal media might be warranted.

But it simply does not exist. And the main outlet is TV. The people who read the newspapers you cite are already in blue states; Let's see the mainstream papers in Topeka, Chatanooga and Dayton report stories the way the Washington Post does. Most Americans get their information from TV and you will never ever see any news coverage that ever even lets you think hard about what you see.

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