Towards A Good Samaritan World

Monday, November 08, 2004

Wendy Smith, an anguished liberal at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, gets it half right:

There are two Americas, and they don't intersect. They don't even appear to understand each other.

When I woke up on Nov. 3 and switched on the radio, that realization hit me like a ton of bricks.

Contrary to my predictions, we had had a relatively fair election and the American people (or something over half of them) had democratically voted for an extremist Christian regime.

It's true that blue-state America doesn't seem to understand red-state America very well. But red-state America does understand blue-state America pretty well. Evangelicals have to send their children to secular humanist schools. If they've gone to college they've probably heard a lot of lefty professors. They watch lots of movies and TV shows about New York, Washington DC and Hollywood. They know the music from the sixties.

That red-staters understand blue-staters, but not vice versa, makes red-staters a bit smarter. They are exposed to views different from their own and therefore develop critical faculties which blue-state Dems tend to lack. As a Republican who's lived for the past three and a half years in deep-blue Boston and deep-blue DC, I have found few blue-state Dems who like reasoning and arguing. They're above that. They prefer sneers and snide remarks, and consider themselves urbane; the sign of good company is to be able to take contempt for Bush for granted.

Hence, in a state where Christians are taxed to have their own children sent to resoundingly God-less schools, where the content produced by the film industry takes free sexuality for granted (let them-- free speech), where the people are disenfranchised on the issue of abortion, where a majority is willing to try the unprecedented social experiment of gay civil unions; in such a state, Wendy Smith is afraid of an "extremist Christian regime." Go figure.

[UPDATE: To be fair, some lefties break the trend and are fascinated when they encounter a thoughtful "conservative." And then, I have sometimes gotten in debates with conservatives and had them thinking I was a lefty. At the end of an argument, my uncle once said, "We'll make you a Republican yet!" What?!]


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