Welcome to Red State/Blue State, a feature presented by The Anniston Star of Anniston, Ala., and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In the December 2001 edition of the Atlantic, David Brooks wrote an essay titled "One Nation, Slightly Divisible," in which he suggested that America is divided largely into two political cultures, one "red" and one "blue." His idea is based on those electoral maps in 2000 that colored majority-Republican states in red and majority-Democratic states in blue. Brooks' witty essay pictures the red-state voter as trending rural, a salt-of-the-earth type, concerned with individual liberty and family values, whereas the "blue" voter trends urban, more of a book-reader, a Beltway-savvy intellectual, the environmentally conscious soccer mom or dad.
Cliches? Maybe. But Brooks does have his finger on two very strong currents in the American votership. It's not that Pennsylvania is a "blue state" or Alabama is a "red state." It's that our two political cultures don't talk to each other much, or even know much about each other. To bridge that gap, we've brought together two "red" voters - John Franklin and Cynthia Sneed - and two "blue" voters, Terri Falbo and Timothy Horner. Each week, they'll ponder and debate the issues arising in the election campaign. The hope is that they'll model an intelligent discussion, a great big conference room where red and blue sit down together.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Last Question: What are your feelings, hopes and fears after this election?
I am going to defy conventional wisdom here because I do not think that America has experienced a "huge shift to the right" (sorry, Limbaugh and Hannity).
I believe the "shift" occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
The Democratic Party leadership and political pundits want to believe this election was all about homosexuality and gay/lesbian marriage. Typical liberals, they confuse morals and values.
I do not know if it is ignorance or naiveté that leads the Democratic Party today. They still believe that they lost this election because of right-wing, Bible-believing, flag-waving, gun-toting, brain-dead, homophobic Christian morons.
No: The Americans who held hands, cried in church, wept with neighbors, flew their flags, and gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the victims of 9/11, wear their little American flag pins proudly and still get misty-eyed when the National Anthem is played. Those are the people who voted Tuesday.
Today's Democrat fails to see that 9/11, the day that did not "change" John Kerry's life very much, was the defining moment of our generation, and that this moment is as important to us as their halcyon counterculture days 40 years ago. Typical baby boomers, their self-absorption obscures their view of reality.
We are disrespected, loathed and ridiculed by vainglorious, aging baby boomers, washed-up rock stars, and Hollywood celebrities languishing in the glory of their "revolution" movement - now in complete control of the party of FDR and JFK.
Democrats politicized a war that my generation is committed to winning. Humiliated by Iran in 1979, frustrated by the numerous attacks during the 1990s, and infuriated by 9/11, we see that the war on terror must be prosecuted into regions and against enemies far beyond the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and Osama bin Laden.
The attack that apparently had little effect on the Democrats' golden child is our Pearl Harbor. This is our opportunity to combat evil, saving future generations from the horror, grief and humiliation we suffered on that fateful day - just as we saved countless Jews, homosexuals, Catholics, and mentally challenged people from Naziism.
Everything we had done for the last three years to rebuild from the 9/11 attacks -every sacrifice, every tear, every offered prayer - was the wrong thing to do and we were the wrong people to do it.
* I hope that never again will we have an election in which working mom is pitted against homemaker, teacher against student, grandparents against grandchildren, parents against childless couples, married couples against gay and lesbian partners, gays and lesbians against the rest of us, black against white, white against Hispanic, legal Hispanic against illegal Hispanic, old against young, poor against all, lower-income class against middle class, middle class against rich and the rich against traditional everyday Americans.
* I hope we never have another election in which spoiled-brat Hollywood movie stars who wash their hair with Evian, bathe their pets with Perrier, and take expensive spa coffee colonics (that's an enema for you guys down South) insert themselves into an election to tell us all how/why/when/where to vote.
* I hope we never have another election in which a billionaire candidate with a French middle name and six estates, a yacht, powerboat, Lear Jet, fleet of SUVs and sundry other toys takes it upon him/herself to tell the rest of us mere "working people" how we are getting along. We don't need this power bourgeoisie leading the proletariat unwashed masses down the road of new-age enlightenment.
* I hope we never have another election in which a bunch of old, white-guy journalists try to sway the election with made-up stories, working past their bedtimes on election night into the wee hours of the morning sticking pushpins on state maps, hoping against hope that provisional ballots are in Kerry country and not dispersed (as indeed they were) across the state (why, I'm as nervous about Bush winning Ohio as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs).
* I hope we never have another election in which our favorite TV shows become soapboxes for the Democratic National Committee, so that Noah Wyle on ER will not be anguished over the greedy capitalist imperialist Americans who never give enough money to Africa and Europe. Law and Order can go back to story lines about rape, robbery and murder, Tony Soprano can create mayhem without waxing poetic about unsafe shipping containers, and entire TV sitcoms with what used to be our favorite stars can stop being centered on the DNC agenda.
* I hope that 527s are banned forever and that George Soros goes back under whatever rock he crawled out from and takes Michael Moore and his camera with him.
* I hope Katie Couric does not wrinkle any more than she is already from her lovely furrowed brow and sad eyes, and I hope NBC footed the bill for that funeral Wednesday morning on the Today. Actually, I hope Katie goes the way of all washed-up old celebrity-journalists and takes Barbara Walters' place. And I hope this does not throw Star Jones off her diet.
* Finally, I hope that we have learned a lesson about the "two Americas." There are not two Americas. There is only one America, and we are damn proud of our country. America is not some dark, sinister place where the average American is oppressed only to be lifted into the light of a higher being by liberal Democrats on a mission. America is that shining city on the hill where others want to come and will die trying, where even our poor people are overweight, and where whenever some other country gets in deep poo they come running to us for salvation.
As for fear? I ain't afraid of nothing: W stands for WINNER!!
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