Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State

That faint gurgling sound you heard early in the morning on November 3, 2004 was the collective apoplexy of the liberal elites in those dwindling puddles of blue on the electoral map. It’s never a pretty sound when someone has a stroke in mid-sip of a double cinnamon decaf café latté frappé. They were truly shocked.

How could so many Americans, from across so many states, actually re-elect the evil, hated, and stammering President Bush? Didn’t they see Fahrenheit 911? Couldn’t they understand how brilliant John Kerry was? Surely they are ignorant. Surely they are deceived. Surely they are too stupid to even know the joke about not calling me Shirley. Their progressive friends across the Atlantic were equally perplexed. The 2004 election headline in Britain's The Daily Mirror read, “How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?”

The post election analysis came streaming across left-leaning internet sites and out of the old media editorial pages—and was mostly filled with bitterness, hatred, and disdain. In summary, the backwards corn-folk out in the red hinterlands just don’t know what’s best for them. Additionally they are sexists, racists, and homophobes. They are dragging, along with their knuckles, this great progressive nation back into the dark ages. Religious wacko zombies—the whole lot of them. If you look close enough, you can almost see the little spirals whirling in their pupils as they await the next batch of orders from their priests, pastors, and radio talk show hosts. That’s why all those states are red.

And oh yeah, did we mention—they’re really dumb too.

It is exactly this patronizing analysis of the ’04 election that will ensure an even larger swath of red across the country in ’08, and will begin the death knell of the once strong Democratic Party. As I love a good fight from time to time, and am inclined to believe that complete one-party domination would too easily facilitate corruption, I will explain the situation to all of our friends left on the small blue islands adrift in endless fathoms of red (just look at a county-by-county map of the US electorate).

It is really quite simple. Listen carefully now: The red states used to be blue. That’s right—not too long ago, the very same sort of people who populate the dreaded fly-over country that makes the red-eye from New York to L.A. soooooo tediously long, used to be blue by a large margin. It was Democrat country. They were the parents and grandparents of the people living in the red states now. Now, listen even more carefully: These people have not changed. It is the Democratic Party that has changed radically since 1968 and the subsequent “revolution” in 1972—and in doing so has left vast portions of the electorate out in the cold, or more accurately, out in the red. “Left Behind” should be the title of a book about the average, hard-working Americans who used to be the base of the Democratic Party—not a book about evangelical eschatology.

Speaking of the end times, they may be just around the corner for the “party of the common man”, as it was dubbed by its founder, Thomas Jefferson. The progressive glitterati who now call it their political home refuse to see what ought to be plain to the average reader of Dr. Seuss: either the party of FDR and Harry Truman needs to take compass, re-orient itself, and get back in line with the majority of working class Americans out in the heartland, or they will go the way of the dodo. Queer Studies departments, Upper West Side pundits, network news producers, gangster rappers, Hollywood darlings, and fat unshaven white guys do not a national party make—although quite a pajama party it would be.

There has been no “jihad” in Middle America by radical religious zealots as many on the left have opined. The people of the great interior of this nation are the same as they were when they used to vote for Democrats en masse. They work hard, they go to church (and actually believe some of the stuff they hear there), they love their kids, they volunteer their time and tithe to the poor, and they still believe that the United States of America is the greatest nation in the history of the world. It's not so much that these children and grandchildren of once dyed-in-the wool Democrats vote for Republicans now-- it's more that they have no one else to vote for. The national leadership of the Democratic party simply opposes, criticizes, and patronizes too much of what they hold dear.

No, the real jihad came from the other side of the spectrum, and it has destroyed the once proud party of the people from within. The Democratic Party needs to severe its ties with the extreme leftist elements that have alienated so many Americans. Only then will they begin to see some of those red states begin to cool toward blue. Mind you, even in recently stalwart blue states, the margin of victory for Democratic candidates has shrunk significantly the last few election cycles. The Republicans picked off Iowa and New Mexico in 2004. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota could be next.

Judging from the actions and antics of the leading Democrats and their media spokespersons over the last year, it appears that they still don’t get it. By 2008, we’ll see if they've figured it out. Another liberal elite from a Northeastern state? They won’t have a prayer—mostly because they’ve forgotten or ignored that most Americans still say them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be an assumption here that the Republican party is a viable alternative. It's clear to reasonable people that Republican leadership also operates outside of Roman Catholic values (i.e. corruption (Abramoff, Lott), manufactured an unjust war (Iraq), continued and religious defaulting to the "market" (social security), and "free" trade). Their only "strength" is abortion, on which they've done virtually nothing in 18 of the past 26 years they've held the White House (excepting mere vocal support for pro-life causes). There's no better time than the present for a third party.

Friday, January 27, 2006 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the Democrats changed? For instance, an organization called Democrats for Life seems to indicate that a move is afoot. What if Hillary Clinton proclaimed that she's had a change of heart on abortion? This has been indicated in the past few months by some Sunday talking heads (i.e George Stephanopolous).

Friday, January 27, 2006 7:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Edmund Campion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, January 27, 2006 7:27:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

Dear "anonymous" Verizon Internet customer with IP address 71.240.46, thanks for your 2 1/2 "comments". Sorry you had to check...let's see...three times this evening to see if anyone had read your "comments" but some of us have social lives and don't have all evening to anxiously await recognition.

1. Your accusations are general and uninformed. If you've got something to say, say it clearly and sign *your* name to it, not a Saint that was born 466 years ago as of 4 days ago. Just because he spent time in Bohemia doesn't mean he was "bohemian".

2. I applaud Democrats for Life and only wish the DNC would not shun and marginalize them.

3. The idea that Hillary will go pro-life is...hilarious, but if she did then I'd go to the next tier of issues and compare her with the competition, duh.

4. a. Born Alive Infants Act, b. Lacy's Law, c. executive order banning gov't funding of fetal tissue research, d. shutting down gov't funding of cloning, e. non-pro-abortion-activist judges, etc.

Saturday, January 28, 2006 1:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Smithin Wells said...

Mr. Dougherty (& other xcatholics):

After thinking over your reply for a few days, as well as learning more about you through your other blog sites and internet postings, I have decided to propose a deal:

If you want dialogue with a reasonable Catholic (the above posts notwithstanding), I will continue to post to your site. The benefits to you and your cohort should be obvious: more traffic, potential for greater exposure if the exchanges become good, etc. I will do my best to avoid spurrious, mean-spirited postings.

I will also continue, however, to operate under a pseudonym: Smithin Wells. Learn more about him here:

Why the pseudonym? Foremost, I admire the Forty Martyrs canonized by Paul VI in 1970. Their pain and suffering, particularly their gruesome deaths, keeps me humble. In terms of what I'm proposing here, my identification with persecuted, anonymous, defenders of the faith will keep me on mission. Plus, authors like pen names. This is non-negotiable. After a suitable period of time, defined by me, I may reveal myself.

Finally, if after a trial period you decide you do not like my posts, I will respectfully withdrawal.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

OK Tim, whatever you say.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Frank Hogrebe said...

Unfortunately, the original point of the Red State, Blue State post was apparently missed. It was in no way intended to a "get-out-the-vote" piece for the RNC.

I thought it quite clear the point was that the Democratic Party has slowyly abandoned its hitorical voting base over the last 40 years.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Smithin Wells said...

I have no idea who "Tim" is, but excellent.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Smithin Wells said...

Mr. Hogrebe: I did not miss your overall point. It is quite clear that Democrats have sold themselves out to overly liberal special interests - namely the extreme left abortion lobby. I am quibbling with implications, assumptions, and rhetoric of your piece.

In the context of this site, the piece seems to imply that one should vote Republican because, as you said, "it's more that they have no one else to vote for." Third parties are a viable option. For one, third parties force the major parties to change their platforms to accommodate the needed votes. This has happened consistently in U.S. history with abolitionism, Populism, the Grangers, Bull Moose, Nader, etc. Catholics should not simply fall into the RNC because the DNC is faulty. Even if an election cycle must be sacrificed, it is worth it to effect long-term change in the two parties.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

Tim, read the post again, the subject of the sentence you quote is "these children and grandchildren of once dyed-in-the wool Democrats" which clearly accurately describes a lot of people. The post makes no general-purpose claims. In some cases there's a viable Dem sometimes there's not; in some cases there's a viable Republical, some not; some a vialbe 3rd party, sometimes not.

Tim, it's not all or nothing: the world is not a world of only black and white.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Hogrebe said...

In an election this close, particularly in a key swing state, the choices were fairly distinct:

A - a candidate (I don't care what party) who could nominate as many as 3 pro-abortion, judicial activist judges to the Supreme Court)

B - a candidate (I don't care what party) who could nominate as many as 3 strict contructionist, non- judicial activist judges to the Supreme Court)

If the Catholics who voted for candidate B had instead voted for candiate C in the 2004 election, candidate A would now be President and nominating his judges to the High Court.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Smithin Wells said...

Mr. Dougherty: Once again, I do not know who "Tim" is. It's really quite useless to peg any particular identity on me. Moreover, as per an earlier post on a different thread, please *do* use my post name. Per the conditions of our agreement, outlined above on this thread, I may reveal my true identity at a later date. Until then, I wish to use the pseudonym. Does a name matter more than the conversation, the pursuit of an idea, to you? Now, on the issue at hand:

Based on Mr. Hogrebe's post, it appears that the author - not me - envisions the situation as black or white, A or B, constructionist or no, activist or no. This are his words, and it was something I perceived after reading the piece.

What I'm arguing for is exactly 'C'. In situation 'C', Catholics could be drawn in equal numbers from A and B. Waffling Catholics who voted for A might be swayed to C, not just votes stolen from B. It could be a wash.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:01:00 PM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

I don't like these games. If you can give me a good reason to play, I'll consider it. Otherwise leave anonymity in the AA meeting and the voting booth.

Look, it's just a fact that a vote for a third party candidate in the last election contributed only to the success of a major party candidate. A binary relation is an historical reality there, not a stipulation.

I'm fine with a third party, I've considered starting one.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Frank Hogrebe said...

Mr. Wells,

The reality of the situation is that a "3rd Party" which reflects a thoroughly Catholic worldview, would only attract orthodox Catholics from one of the existing parties-- not from both equally.

Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Smithin Wells said...

A better party would also attract from those disaffected by the current, political lay of the land. Not every orthodox Catholic voted, or does vote, Republican. Unless one is satisfied with the current situation, the ultimate question is this:

What planks could be constructed for a new, or renewed, party that have broad appeal and maintain the essentials of the faith? Obviously, a pro-life stand that equals for exceeds that of the present situation would be fundamental. After that, what would satisfy the notion, articulated by the Holy Father, of a citizen's "due" or "just" share?

Friday, February 03, 2006 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

Frank's appositive phrase "not from both equally" should be the lens through which to interpret his comment, and it is abundantly clear that there are more orthodox Catholics who vote Republican--whether they like to or not--because of the Democrat Party's relentless support for the unlimited abortion license.

Obviously, a perfect "Catholic friendly" party would be a matter of much controversy and hard thought: thought I'm not willing to put into it at this point since it's neither necessary--yet--nor a viable possibility.

Every orthodox Catholic sees a safety net of support for the truly unfortunate--widows and orphans and their equivalent. However, to what degree this should be carried out *by the federal government*--backed by the police power of the state--is a matter of wide disagreement where reasonable people can disagree (unlike the issue of the unlimited abortion license).

Orthodox Catholics can support political systems ranging from very socialistic democracies all the way to very libertarian ones: it is *not* a "deal breaker" in the way that the unlimited abortion license is.

Let me be abundantly clear: Supporting a Culture of Life includes protecting the welfare of individuals from the womb to the tomb. This is agreed to by every orthodox Catholic. The question is this: which kinds of support are to be backed up by the police power of a state and which are not? Lot's of Catholics think that protecting the very lives of citizens is a legitimate use of the police power of the state--and every law passed invokes the military, don't ever forget that.

However, when it comes to discharging our Catholic obligations with regard to social welfare, many of those same orthodox Catholics think that the rightful use of the police power of the state leaves off pretty early allowing the rest to be supplied through private motives and means. The idea of all Catholic social justice goals being met by the federal (or local) government strikes many as A. mean--because wasteful--B. excessive entanglement between Church and State. This is essentially the neocon position as it's been explained to me by neocon's themselves and as I've gathered it from their writings.

Friday, February 03, 2006 10:45:00 AM  

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