I received this email called Nuevo California (at the bottom of this post for reference) twice after this last election, and about fifty times after the 2004 election. I felt the disenchantment so sorely after the 2004 election. How could we?, I mean even how could we get close enough for fraud to pull an election? As president Bush declared that he saw a clear mandate in this close close election I cried. I mourned for our reputation in the world, and for the continuance of what I considered poor choices and dangerous paths. I felt sore about the depth of the loss and I wanted to hide. The humorous yet derogatory emails contained an element of how I felt.
I looked at every state that winner take all made this happen with perplexity. I couldn’t understand about Red state mentality. I started to try.
So I have been thinking about this for a few years now. I spent hours on this state stats site confirming that yes it is true. It would seem that all of the larger morality, health and social problems are concentrated in the states that vote republican. Why? How? Can it be that people are voting to “protect marriage” because they see it is in danger more than their blue state counterparts with 22% less of a divorce rate? Is that it? Is morality a big issue in these states because they are surrounded with problems? It may be part of it but I don’t think that covers it entirely.
I was reminded of this again when I watched a TED Video on the difference between liberals and conservatives. (yes another one, I know. I am addicted)
This is a psychologist delving into the five ethical structures of humanity. Fascinating. The reminder of the 2004 election was that his presentation used this image as the usual reaction of liberals when trying to understand the red state mentality. Am I the kind of person who thinks that if someone doesn’t agree with me they must be dumb? Probably as long as the laugh lasts and then no, I want to look deeper.
This time I got only two emails and I noticed something very different. First off I have to say that I think that it is kind of crass to spout off like this. We own all the toys and we are taking them home to play without you.
What I noticed this time was about the resources listed here, particularly: fresh water, food, education and low-sulfur coal. Is this really that one part of the nation is wealthy in countless ways and opportunities and therefore educated and open to change and the other part is well *not.* Therefore the red states are filled with a lot of the problems of poverty – bad food, low education, less opportunity. Perhaps the higher alcoholism, teen pregnancy, porn consumption, obesity and everything else mentioned here is due to a larger poor population comparitively. Perhaps the educated and better off people of the red state more fear the “take” of their impoverished neighbors because there are more and the dole is bigger. Is this all really that the blue states are the haves and the red the have nots? I know this is not news here but it hit me harder this time. And it hit me harder how crass this email is because of it.
So this time “we” won the election. With the state of the economy and the talk of new deal style investment into our country perhaps we could learn from how it got this way and invest in the red states. Not just the military base investment that was done in the new deal but perhaps an investment that will equalize the resources and bit. Maybe in a while the wealth and empowerment will fix the problems that make the red states try to legislate morality. Wouldn’t it be nice if Alabama was our shining star of alternative energy creation instead of the lead of porn consumption per capita in the USA. If Texas was solar power central would the obesity naturally go down? Would Tennesseeâ€™s teen pregnancy rate stabilize ifâ€¦
Dear Red States:
We’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren’t aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.
To sum up briefly: You get Texas , Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole’ Miss. We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and
entrepreneurs. You get Alabama . We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we’re going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals.
With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country’s fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95 percent of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90
percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their
projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We
get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.
Finally, we’re taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico