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Are we stuck with red state-blue state? May 18, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.

I just finished reading Bill Bradley’s book The New American Story. Although his solutions are rather too liberal and take many assumptions, his analysis of many things going on in the US seem quite accurate. One is that the notion of a chasm between red and vlue states is not real.

One of the strategies of the George W. Bush presidency was toi consciously divide America. GWB’s own thinking was always black or white. You either were a fervent supporter on everything or you were not. Whenever one of his cabinet waivered, colin Powell or Donald Rumfeld or anyone else, they were out. Period.

This view was extended to the people of the US and the world at large. You could not be supportive in one area and opposed in another. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove engineered the issues so that people had to choose, support everything blindly or you were unpatriotic, disloyal, unAmerican. Republicans built up a bunker mentality. Fundamental Christians were preached to believe that their churches were under assault, that they were the disadvantaged minorities in the US.

The White House and GOP demonized any opposition as being soft on terror, soft on defense, against life, against religion, against morals and values…..against the truth.

The media hopped fully on the bandwagon, even creating the whole red state – blue state psychology. Ever wonder why all of the networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, and all the others all used the same color scheme during elections? The voting patterns were not as hard and fast as the media claimed, though, or Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton would not have been elected by the same electorate as Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

Among red states, Montana is not South Carolina. The ideas of what government ought to be, and not be, are quite different. Likewise, a blue state like New Hampshire is not California.

The two parties have won, not by sticking to their core 15 % to 25 % of the population, but by swaying a large portion of that in-between group of independents and moderates. Most of the states would change colors or at least be purple if the results of the past thirty years were assessed objectively.

It pains me that there is now no room for compromise, not even the courtesy of dialogues and listening to the other side. Both parties now have become more absolutist.



1. The Chemist - May 18, 2009

Recent events have motivated a new response from me when I’m asked about politics: The Democrats are incompetent where not corrupt, and dishonest given the opportunity. The Republicans are worse.

Color me disillusioned and disaffected.

2. fetzthechemist - May 18, 2009

Bradley talks of this in two chapters, one for each party. These are why they each cannot support broad changes because of their many factioned supporters, each cobbled into the party decision making so that flexibilities are little. The Republicans have just been dealing with their coalition longer than the Democrats, with formal plans and initiative created by the conservative think-tanks, like the Hoover Institute. That gives the appearance of more efficiency, but if you get them “off message”, they are as inept as the Democrats. The trick each party uses is to get the other off message, like the current Pelosi flap over torture keeps the Democrats on the defensive on a real minor facet.

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