Ever since the election ended, the folks on my floor have been nearly rabid with their stereotypifying of the Midwester folks who voted against their preferred candidate (might I add, the winner of the race). Now, I can understand being upset that the guy you thought was a better candidate lost. Fine. I voted for Kerry, I'm not ashamed, and my guy lost. The other fellow won, despite what I might have wished. Quoth Vonnegut: "So it goes."
However, whipping out your bigoted statements about them all being "Bible-thumping, uneducated Midwesterner hicks in their John Deere ballcaps and overalls" does nothing less than infuriate me. The pretensions are particularly staggering.
Just because someone disagrees with you (no matter how strongly you believe your argument to be the One Truth, it isn't) does not give you the right to paint said opponent in such a manner. Now, I am from the Midwest, I know plenty of people in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, and Indiana (Trista was born in Iowa City, though she was raised in good old Michigan). My buddy Jay lived for several years with his lady-friend in Colorado. These are good, hardworking, smart American citizens, just like the good, hard working, smart American cids on either coast, and no matter if their opinions differ, they (and I) should not be cheapened into anything other than what they are -- people just like everyone else in this country.
Now, I have complained about living in the Midwest (I was born and raised in Michigan, and just who doesn't complain about the locale they were born and raised in? People get tired of the same-old, same-old. Especially young people.) and I have a right to, but these people (who've only ever lived in the East or West Coasts) are insulting my friends, families and neighbors, and that does not stand (insult me if you want. Whatever. There's nothing anyone can say about me that I haven't already said about myself at one time or another -- I've suffered from self esteem problems for years. But nobody, NOBODY insults my people.). So, I've been handing people their hats and their heads, and becoming something of a frothing freakazoid. (One of my few creedos is: "I want to live my life taking as little shit as possible." It has served me well, and I have very few regrets.) Worst of all, everything I've been responding with has fallen on essentially deaf ears. They are whining to whine, and lashing out blindly, unconcerned with what and whom they hurt. Now, obviously, not everyone out here feels this way -- its a galdamned university, after all, folks come from all over -- but there are enough that it is getting stressful. (I had to go further and defend people's right to believe in divinity without compromising their intelligence, yesterday, and if you know about my personal views on the otherworldly, this is terribly ironic. I had to defend my mother-in-law of all people, equally ironic. Don't get me started on THAT.)
I cannot count on all my fingers and toes the number of liberals (I might say fellow liberals, but I don't like to include myself in their number; they are a different breed than I) who are seriously railing about seceding the "blue states" from the "red". Their whininess makes me want to respond, "fine do it, just don't take me with you." (Thank my parents I am not a Democrat; thank my parents I am not a Republican; thank my parents I am an independent, who judges individual cases based on their individual merit, forgoing a singular party line.)
Do they realize that not everyone in this state agrees with them? Only 70% of the people voted on their "blue" side, that leaves a big chunk of the populace with a different opinion (hell, I voted with the 'blue' and I don't want to secede from the Union). Likewise, not every state that sided with red is filled with people who voted that way. To think that it's Us Against Them is absolutely asanine. People are given the right to disagree. If you don't like what's going on, voice your opnion, fine. But then take the next step and try to change things for the better.
Parable: once upon a time, I was at lunch with a table full of folks who were complaining about some work related thing or another. It was a legitimate gripe, and I said, "Why don't you talk to [name withheld to protect the unwary] and change it?" The response? "No, it's more fun just to complain." Hmmph.
So it goes.
End Political Sidenote