Monday, July 26, 2004


Insights from Red America

Not Crazy About Bush, Unsure of Kerry, Wild About Mt. Dew Floats
He went on, "I fought with my family and friends defending Bush's decision, I remain hopeful, but feel somehow cheated."

Others echoed the same set of concerns.  Not that more than a handful would change their vote as a result, but a vast majority of the dozen or so folks I spoke with thought that we were mislead on Iraq.

I had several interesting observations while chatting with the masses at my nephew's baseball game Saturday in the heart of Red America.  First, is that there is a lot of concern and lack of understanding of why we are in Iraq. It's not the Washington, DC chattering class concern, but rather a deeply held, visceral reaction to the lack corroboration of the Administration's rationale for invading. 

As one man put it. "I always thought that America didn't start wars, we finished them."
Or as another put it, "I hate the F'ing French, they betrayed us in the security council and I hate even more that it's looking that they were right."

Besides Iraq, the economy was also first and foremost on peoples minds.  The state has already lost over 200,000 well paying manufacturing jobs which are widely acknowledged not to be coming back. Suprisingly several folks I spoke with commented that they really could careless about the FMA (not a single person thought the government should get involved in this) or a flag burning amendment (again a big yawn) and want leadership on the economy, federal spending and such.

The skepticism didn't translate into being wild about John Kerry though.  Red staters are suspicious of big government and most dems. are seen (rightly so) as advocates of bigger government, which again was another area they seemed to have a beef with Bush on.

So, it seems, If Bush were to take the lead and start offering a vision for the economy and Iraq (as he promised, but never delivered) it seems from my unscientific poll, he could do more to rally his base in the Midwest than all the posturing and posing on the social issues could.  The folks in small town America aren't crazy about either choice. They were however, crazy about the Mt. Dew floats (glass of Mt Dew with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) that were on sale at the concession stand.  We are a fickle bunch aren't we!



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