Friday, October 10, 2008

The Redneck Vote

>Redwing finally shamed me into posting something. I've been meaning to ever since his story last month of his misadventures in rural America. The last straw was seeing Sarah Palin’s patronizing performance at the debate last week.

The past few weeks, I have been writing the great treatise on Redneck America, and how to win them over to the progressive side; establishing my redneck roots (farmers on my mother’s side, my dad’s family were railroad men, my generation was the first to attend college), explaining the role of religion, etc. I just deleted the entire manuscript. While it wasn’t a Damascus Road experience, I came to the conclusion what I was writing was bullshit. Maybe

There is a predominant theme in redneck culture, that is of the average guy who outsmarts the educated egghead; from the Simpleton who gets the princess in fairy tales, to the inmate at the mental asylum who suggests letting the air out of the truck’s tires so it fits under the bridge, we delight in the belief that we know more than the “elites” who run the world. The guy on the assembly line knows more than the manager, the grunts on the front line are better strategists than the generals, the lieutenant is a complete idiot, and those city folks in suits and ties know nothing. And we love to see them get their comeuppance. This also has its roots in Scripture: The Apostle Paul wrote:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

First Corinthians 1:26-27)

This often manifests itself as a fierce pride in anti-intellectualism, and any pastime, habit, or taste that smacks of the upper crust. Real men don’t eat quiche.

Jeff Foxworthy describes redneck as “a glorious lack of sophistication.” Playing to the rubes is a time honored tradition in American politics, at least since Andrew Jackson, continued through the “log cabin and hard cider” campaign of Benjamin Harrison, perfected in Ronald Reagan, reaching its apex with George Bush, the scion of a wealthy New England family who could play the part of a plain-speaking country bumpkin. I’m hoping this has run its course in Sarah Palin. As in most endeavors, a woman has to be twice as good as a man to be accepted as qualified, and her “doggone it’s” and “you betchas” sound phony and ham handed.

This ruse also has the added benefit of causing your opponents to underestimate your candidate. I’m never sure how much of George Bush’s bumbling, ineptitude is phony, or is he really that dumb? All this leaves liberals scratching their heads, wondering how can these people be so stupid. The right has learned to mask their contempt for the redneck, and how to manipulate him. To paraphrase Mad Eye Mooney's advice to Harry Potter in The Goblet of Fire: Just because George Bush’s head may be filled with sawdust; Dick Cheney’s and Karl Rove’s are not.

The good news for liberals is this can not be sustained over the long run. As the economic and social policies of the radical right are enacted, it is the little people who suffer. There will always be some who don’t get it, and vote their xenophobia, but already the tide is turning away from the conservative agenda. Former reliably “red” states are now in play, the Democrats have made inroads into rural America, the small business community, and dare I say it…. the church.

The dirty secret is most people support the progressive agenda. Rednecks are starting to realize they have been played for chumps by the Republicans. We can win them back, if we don’t talk down to them. Perhaps we could start by channeling Will Rogers?


Grey Fedora said...

Sorry for the typos. I composed this in Word, and all the formatting transferred to the post. While deleting it, I accidently deleted some words. The major error is in the following sentence which should read:

I’m never sure how much of George Bush’s bumbling, ineptitude is phony, or is he really that dumb?

Larry said...

Grey, very good post. Most people consider me a redneck, although I don't. But considering the county I live in and my childhood life it is easy for me to understand the reasoning of why people think this.

I actually grew up as a democrat. My entire family are democrats. I am a registered democrat, but when I registered I only did so because of what I knew about my family, so I didn't know any better. On some matters I am liberal and on some conservative.

Before the final candidates were chosen to run for President, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I thought McCain was a complete idiot. I am still not sure he isn't. But I also had reservations about Obama. He definitely had more energy and seemed like more my style. I did several online candidate matches and McCain came out ahead on them all. I was actually angry because I didn't want him to be my candidate. So at this point I just let it go and decided to research more about them both.

In this research process I started reading message boards, blogs, comments to articles. And this is where the tide turned for me. There was so much anger and hate from all the Obama supporters, and I couldn't understand why this was. Everywhere I went they were bashing McCain. Hardly did I see this from the McCain supporters. Then I noticed the news media, magazines, etc. were very anti-McCain. So then I had to decide who I was going to vote for. I decided I would look at issues that I hold dear to my heart, and abortion is one of them. I think that even though I personally would never abort a child, that if a woman wanted to for whatever reason that was between her and her God as long as the baby wasn't a formed being (in other words early on). Then I read that Obama voted against the born alive bill. Now understand me on this abortion issue. These partial birth abortions, when the baby is 20 weeks old or whatever, I would not be for. If a woman wanted to abort early on, then do it and be done with it, but religion aside, I consider it a human at this point, and think it should be against the law, as murder is, unless there is reason to believe the mother will be harmed or if some kind of birth defect of the child is found.

Abortion is really my only issue with the democrats. And had it not been for the anger displayed by all the librerals, and the fact that almost the entire media is for Obama, then I would've decided to vote for him and not tried to find a reason not to (ie this abortion issue)

So whether I am a redneck or not, your post holds true to how this "redneck" could've been won over and voted with you. I still think Obama will win without my two votes.

I also think we as a country, no matter who you are voting for, should not let this media bias go unanswered. Fox News is most certainly republican biased, and if one other (say CBS) was this way, then all's equal, but I haven't found another news or television show yet not have favor towards Obama. It is sad that the media is trying to vote for us, and that is my problem. They should report the news and let us decide. If they want to have liberal programs on during set hours, then that is different, but the news should have no bias in it.

So anyway, before someone writes that abortion should not be the only reason I would vote against Obama, let me say that I think either candidate (from what I've seen so far) will be ok for this country. If Obama wins, I won't be upset, the same as if McCain wins, obviously. At this point I am voting against an issue that I can't get over. I think the next 4 years are going to be the absolute hardest for whoever gets in. I hope that Obama will change this country for the better, and if he does, then I will be the first to give him props and vote him in again. Also, if I had any doubts that McCain was another Bush he would not get my vote either. If by some miracle he wins and does show this Bush side, then he won't get my vote in four years. But again, I am certain Obama will win, so you guys don't have anything to worry about.

Grey Fedora said...


Thanks for the honest post. The only thing I have to add is people see "hatred" and "bias" where they want to see it. You see the media as pro Obama, and Obama supporters posting a lot of attacks against McCain. (As an old guy and a veteran, I think these lines is unfair) but I along with many other liberals see the same thing in conservative blogs, and even in the recent campaign.
It wasn't so long ago that we had only three TV channels, and news and commentary was pretty middle-of-the-road. Today, with the plethora of cable, internet, etc. it seems everyone is "preaching to the choir." I find that in order to get a good picture, I have to read a multiple web sites, even the ones I don't agree with.
That is one reason I like this board, people engage in reasonable discussion, without name calling and rancor.

Larry said...

Thanks Grey, I do see your point on the blogs, comments.. maybe it is all what I want to see. In my post I was really trying to refer to your "We can win them back, if we don’t talk down to them" sentence. I guess that is how I see the negativity from Obama's supporters.

I don't agree with you on the media bias, however. If I can see the bias on Fox News, then I can certainly see it on other stations, so this isn't a made up "what I want to see" situation. Wouldn't you agree to that? I guess unless you don't think Fox News is biased, then maybe you wouldn't understand. But they are and I see it and admit it.

Most undecided voters follow the leader, so if all the media is saying Obama is the better candidate then some of these people just follow. Sometimes I am a follower too, so good for them trying to control this winner, except I don't like it. I never liked Fox News being as bias as they were either. And we've already seen in this blog how a lof of posters see the bias there. So I will give you half of what you said.

Garrison Keillor said...

We are a stalwart and stouthearted people, and never more so than in hard times. People weep in the dark and arise in the morning and go to work. The waves crash on your nest egg and a chunk is swept away and you put your salami sandwich in the brown bag and get on the bus. In Philly, a woman earns $10.30/hour to care for a man brought down by cystic fibrosis. She bathes and dresses him in the morning, brings him meals, puts him to bed at night. It's hard work lifting him and she has suffered a painful hernia that, because she can't afford health insurance, she can't get fixed, but she still goes to work because he'd be helpless without her. There are a lot of people like her. I know because I'm related to some of them.Low dishonesty and craven cynicism sometimes win the day but not inevitably. The attempt to link Barack Obama to an old radical in his neighborhood has desperation and deceit written all over it. Meanwhile, stunning acts of heroism stand out, such as the fidelity of military lawyers assigned to defend detainees at Guantanamo Bay — uniformed officers faithful to their lawyerly duty to offer a vigorous defense even though it means exposing the injustice of military justice that is rigged for conviction and the mendacity of a commander in chief who commits war crimes. If your law school is looking for a name for its new library, instead of selling the honor to a fat cat alumnus, you should consider the names of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, Lt. Col. Mark Bridges, Col. Steven David, Lt. Col. Sharon Shaffer, Lt. Cmdr. Philip Sundel and Maj. Michael Mori.It was dishonest, cynical men who put forward a clueless young woman for national office, hoping to juice up the ticket, hoping she could skate through two months of chaperoned campaigning, but the truth emerges: The lady is talking freely about matters she has never thought about. The American people have an ear for B.S. They can tell when someone's mouth is moving and the clutch is not engaged. When she said, "One thing that Americans do at this time, also, though, is let's commit ourselves just every day, American people, Joe Sixpack, hockey moms across the nation, I think we need to band together and say never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars," people smelled gas.Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself — one stink bomb after another, and now Gov. Palin.She is a chatty sportscaster who lacks the guile to conceal her vacuity, and she was John McCain's first major decision as nominee. This troubles independent voters, and now she is a major drag on his candidacy. She will get a nice book deal from Regnery and a new career making personal appearances for 40 grand a pop, and she'll become a trivia question, "What politician claimed foreign policy expertise based on being able to see Russia from her house?" And the rest of us will have to pull ourselves out of the swamp of Republican economics.Your broker kept saying, "Stay with the portfolio, don't jump ship," and you felt a strong urge to dump the stocks and get into the money market where at least you're not going to lose your shirt, but you didn't do it and didn't do it, and now you're holding a big bag of brown bananas. Me, too. But at least I know enough not to believe desperate people who are talking trash. Anybody who got whacked last week and still thinks McCain-Palin is going to lead us out of the swamp and not into a war with Iran is beyond persuasion in the English language. They'll need to lose their homes and be out on the street in a cold hard rain before they connect the dots.

RedWing said...

I think the media bias does exist. However, quite simply, it exists because those that are closest to the powers that be (journalists) see BS just like us average "Joe Sixpack" folks do.

You ever reach outside of the box to think that maybe the media is liberally biased is because liberal ideas are the ideas of change? The ideas of tolerance and the lack of bigotry allowed in our society? Maybe they are biased because more and more journalists are waking up.

Maybe journalists see the truth that is the neo-conservative movement. They are fighting back against an idea that all humans are NOT created equal. They are fighting back against the idea that running a smear campaign against a very respectable man (Barack Obama) is the only way to win. They are fighting back against the idea that to enable stupidity by putting an "Aww shucks" and "You betcha" hockey mom into national office with no vetting is the way to "recharge a campain." And maybe, just maybe, they are fighting back against the corporate greed, corporate welfare, ethical nightmares and downright fraudualant activity.

When people say "the media is biased" they never stop to think that maybe its that way for a reason. Maybe enough journalists have seen enough bullsh*t and can't continue reporting objectively without selling their souls. Maybe having a media bias isn't a bad thing. The conservatives have their lie machine called Fox News. I'll stick with a "media bias" more than I will a station full of lies and outright false claims guised in "fair and balanced" journalism.

One day people will wake up and realize that "media bias" is there for a reason. If you have confidence in the average American...then have confidence in the media, as well.

Great post Grey Fedora, the mockery on intelligence that the McCain campaign has become is shameful. Barack Obama speaks of mending relationships and is very anti-negative campaigning. He has no bias. He only has truth.

Larry said...

Redwing, without a doubt your post is shamefull. For you to condone the bias that is on your side only proves my point. I bet you if there were 10 fox news and only 1 liberal news, you'd have a different opinion.

Marianne said...

Larry, aside from one side of Hannity and Combs, what part of FOX news would you consider unbiased? FOX news is mostly a conservative Republican view(take) of things and I used to watch it until I could take no more. Too much of anything is never a good thing hence why I like reading the posts on these blogs. I like the fact that Redwing lets anyone speak freely and post comments stating what they think whether he agrees with them or not. I am un undecided voter and I am tired of the bullshit ads from BOTH sides. I just want facts and straight forward answers to my questions. McCain has really made me question his sanity after he posted Palin as his Veep. Obama should have had Hilary as his choice. I guess I can't have it all, but this election year has been, by far, the most frustrating and confusing one I have ever had to vote in. I voted Reagan twice, Bush Sr. once, Clinton twice, Gore once, Kerry once, and now neither of the people I was hoping to choose from are even in the running. I will say that Obama is, to me, the lesser of the two evils. McCain insulting my intelligence with Palin may be the very tipping point for me. If she can not show me why she feels that she is qualified for the job of President then McCain is out. I am still waiting to see if any sign of reasoning as to why he chose her will surface.

Larry said...

Hi Marianne,

I don't think anything hardly on Fox News television is unbiased. They generally try to make Republicans look better. I think O'Reilly sometimes can be fair, but mostly not and he is an angry person. I have seen a few youtube video's of his that are fair though, as I don't watch his show. Fox News website is unbiased. Sometimes they bring attention to Republicans that the others do not, until they get a sniff of it I think. I have been monitoring the websites of fox, cnn, cbs, and abc since August.

Regarding Palin and the 2 candidates, I completely understand. I really wish we had different choices. However, the Obama supporters really feel he is an inspiration and hope they are looking for. I have no idea why I am not affected by his speeches or think he is the hope we need. I just am not one of those followers. I can't explain it. I was so hoping Romney was the winner and was so saddened McCain was chosen. Romney at the RNC was boring as crap though, so I guess I can understand why some didn't like him, and his Mormon faith got in the way, even though church and state should be seperate, but most conservatives don't see it that way. How different this election would be now had he won knowing what we know NOW. Or even if McCain had chosen him as VP since Romney's experience with economical issues would shame Obama and Biden.

About Palin, I see her as a star I guess. A celebrity maybe.. This isn't the right thing to do I know. I never paid attention to the Presidency really in the past and can't recall Gore being in the spotlight (ie doing anything for me, but I never paid attention), just like Cheney past 8 years. Hardly see him or hear from him unless he's shooting somebody. So this Palin choice to me is like who cares. Sure it would be crazy if McCain dies and she takes over. I guess I am all about giving people a chance. She has certainly not yet proven herself though.

Basically I didn't want to flip a coin or do the "any many miny moe" in the voting booth. They both have pluses and minuses to me. So I chose McCain based solely on Obama's abortion stance. That is my view and my reason. Good or bad, right or wrong, at least I am not flipping a coin over it.

RedWing said...

How is my post shameful, Larry? Just because I choose to think 'outside of the box' on why a media bias might exist does not, in any way, represent something that I would consider "shameful."

I'm a bit offended that you would even suggest it. Thinking outside of the box on some issues is not a bad thing. But let's take what you said and run with it. I'll break down the major news outlets in America and let's see how biased they are.

FOXNews - Biased Conservative

MSNBC - Biased Progressive

CNN - Equally partisan (despite what FoxNews watchers say, they are absolutely equally partisan)

NBC - Non Partisan - Brian Williams has zero bias.

ABC - Leans conservative - Charles Gibson who interviewed Sarah Palin in her first test is a conservative. Despite this, ABC is, for the most part, fair.

CBS - Leans progressive - With former anchor Dan Rather and now Katie Couric it is obvious where CBS leans. However, they are generally fair and hit both sides hard, when necessary.

FOX - Leans conservative - Every broadcast I've ever seen locally or nationally that FOX (not FauxNews) has presented has had conservative bias. From the week long coverage of 9/11 to the local coverage of the Greensboro Obama event where they interviewed only the protestors and not the supporters.

Now based on this list, I'm thinking the media bias isn't quite as bad as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity make it out to be. They always claim "media bias" when a story doesn't fit their conservative agenda. They have done this SO well in the past that they've actually caused media outlets to not report the truth and their analysis for fear of being "biased."

Thankfully news organizations are waking up. They now list things as Opinion and don't claim that news has a bias. They report it, then comment on it. There is ZERO lack of reporting going on with very few exceptions where, for example, the Bush Administration does not allow Press access or the obvious lack of access to Sarah Palin.

Larry, I know you'll likely argue about CNN being progressively biased but every panel they've had for every debate has had equal democrats and republicans. Just because the little meters they show have Obama winning and Biden winning in the debates doesn't mean they are biased. It means they are HONEST.

If good, honest journalism leans progressive...I still stand behind the reasoning 'outside the box' that I have listed. I will not feel ashamed for speaking my mind on something.

With all that being said, I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Larry said...

yea sure redwing.. sure.. You are always right anyway..not.. I just disagree with you. Sorry.

Check out these links on how ABC reported the Mark Foley (Republican) compared to the current democrat.. Anything missing from the last link? Maybe that the guy is a democrat?? Sure ABC is fair. Right.

ABC Foley 1
ABC Foley 2
ABC Mahoney

RedWing said...

OMG OMG guys did you hear? ABC found out a republican senator was making passes at children. OMG OMG since Foley is a Republican that means ABC is full of "media bias" and leans Progressive! OMG!

With that though process, Larry, nothing would ever get reported.

You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to use Mark Foley as your ABC label of media bias.

Larry said...

oh i'm not ashamed. Facts are facts, and some people try to spin it when they realize it might go against something they said. I expected that reaction from you spinner, I mean redwing.

RedWing said...

First I want to apologize for seeming so condescending. I was a bit tipsy and my $300 litter box was on the fritz so I was angry when I wrote that. I apologize to you Larry, for that. Not an excuse, just a reason.

That being said, Mark Foley should have been strung up, sent to prison, and had rocks thrown at him while being raped by a large cellmate. That may seem harsh... but the ends justify the means, in my opinion. That is not spin. That is fact.

This is a man who preyed on innocent children for sex. This is a man who was actively hitting on his own employees searching for sex. This is a man who was seeking out sex from 13-15yr old boys and encouraging gay sex upon impressionable pages. This was a man who deserved media bias. This is a man who deserved EVERY SINGLE ITTY BITTY thing that happened to him. Period. He should be in jail right now and he's not because he "retired" and that seemed to satisfy the Republican led congress along with Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert who KNEW ABOUT IT beforehand and did nothing!

THAT is an injustice...not media bias.

Mark Foley is the reason the Democrats are in power in Congress. I would trade all of that power for him never to have had sex with young boys. He has ruined lives forever. Media bias him away...

RedWing said...

Well I just took a moment to read the links Larry provided as evidence of "media bias" with ABC News. I encourage everyone to read them and forumlate their opinion.

The articles prove that ABC is fair.

In one article, it even speaks of a former Democrat in congress that was hitting on 17yr old boys.

All 3 articles are written objectively with no bias. Thanks Larry!

Jack said...

ok guys! I just can't resist chiming in here.
First of all Larry you are somewhat right, there is alot of bias in the media. Of course there is. Doesn't make it right,but I do believe our constitution gives us all a right to our opinion. Now before you shake ur head and scream you weren't heard, hear me out.
Before anyone can call MSNBC or CNN bias they must first ask themselves WHICH PROGRAM on these stations they were fact watching?
Shows like Countdown, Hardball, Rachel Maddow etc are NOT conducted by REPORTERS (who must remain objective) these shows are done by COMMENTATORS, and there is a REAL difference!
A reporter/journalist such as Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Barbara Walters, are and do remain OBJECTIVE and keep their opinions to themselves.
Now I have watched Fox News a few times, but not enough to know any names...I did hear bias there, but again I wasn't watching the NEWS, I was watching some show by two people giving their opionions (which of course were bias..thats what opinions are)
Now, you claim ABC is bias, but the 3 links you gave...seriously!
2 were direct links to the BLOTTER, a COMMENTARY format of current events, the other was actually ABC NEWS, and it was NOT a bias report. IT was a piece discussing that the sick F##@ of Mark Foley wasn't the only Sick-o in the White House. It clearly discuss that in 1983 both a Republican and a Democrat both plead guilty to the the same filth.
Thus this NEWS report is NOT BIAS.
Mark Foley is a piece of scum that should in fact be wiped from the same soil I raise my children on, but reporting his disgust does not make ABC bias, it makes them responsible.
And if you find yourself hearing 'bias' reporting during an actual news show, stop shaking your head long enough to listen to the entire story, just because its fact, and it goes against your party, your choices, or your beliefs it does not mean it is bias, its just simply the truth.
*on a side is beyond me why anyone would choose a candidate based on the BLOGS of others! Blogs are COMMENTERIES, as in OPINIONS, and unless sources are sited for information, I wouldn't hold them any higher than I would my neighbors opinion.*
my two cents...down this winding road....

Larry said...

guess what idiots? I was only referring to the fact they made a point to say Foley was a republican by putting the R beside his name, but not putting a D on the other ass who was a democrat. All the media is bias over ONE PERSON.. Obama.. Ask Hillary, she'll tell you. I know how I feel and it is my opinion. If you don't like, GET OVER IT. I am done responding on this topic. You won't change my one-sided mind. I don't even know why I come to this liberal blog. You people can't be fair about anything. It is pathetic that anything I say, unless it is for Obama, is so easy for you guys to harp on me about. You can have your stupid opinions, but I cannot. Before you idiots write that I am taking it personally or that I shouldn't be calling you idiots, I'll go ahead and say that i am not taking it personally and for what its worth, you are idiots. Now that I won't respond to either of you on this post, go ahead and call me whatever you choose.

Larry said...

I'm a liar.. Had to post once more. And yes this is a conservative site below. So what

ABC Stephanoplis

Jack said...

its ok if you think I am an idiot, but from everything you have said you are basing your opinion of me on the fact that I do not agree with you. By not agreeing with you I am now an idiot?
Well you have just displayed yet another difference between you and I, when your opinion is attacked with facts which dispute it you resort to name calling? seriously!
Do you work for the McCain campaign?
If you would reread my post you would see that I mostly agreed with you! but alas, you have only seen what you wanted to see.
That is ok.
You accused me earlier this week of not being a debater, but I see now that it is you that has trouble with the concept.
I am not pro-Obama anymore than I am pro-McCain, I am for the person/s that support the things that are important to ME, MY family and MY values as an American. Nothing more and Nothing less.
You are a McCain supporter, yet you have yet to say anything POSITIVE about him, yet you have tons to say about Obama and why you dont' like him.
I dont need to point out the things I disagree with on the 'other' side, as it has nothing to do with why I agree with the side I am on.
Have a great day Larry! and your opinion is welcome here, I do believe I have heard tons of invites for anyone who wants to post a blog about McCain in a positive light is very welcome to do so....yet you havent??

Jamie said...

This is a blog, people, not a forum.