Tedder

Gagflex: The long wait for the Red States

Last week while driving through the rural town of Lawrenceburg, my mother became a victim of racism, sort of.

As she was driving down the highway, two hillbilly geniuses pulled alongside her and dropped the ’N’ bomb.

Racist morons in rural Tennessee towns are hardly noteworthy, except for the fact that my mom is, by all standards, white. My mom did what any self respecting 50-year-old southern woman would do in that situation. She gave them the big bird.

The incident was most likely provoked by her bumper stickers. On one side she has her ’Proud Democrat’ sticker, and on the other is a sticker supporting senatorial candidate, Harold Ford Jr. If she ever had any doubts about supporting the Democratic Party, there’s at least some vindication in supporting the party that racists hate.

While I was going off on my tangent about these two primitive subhumans, a friend of mine pointed out that maybe the bigger culprit to blame is Tennessee’s educational system. The obvious bell went off in my head. Those guys probably don’t know much about politics, current events or even the issues they actually care about.

It doesn’t take a scientist to look at a map of the United States, separate the red states from the blue states and compare the state’s education levels. If you ever feel the need to do just that then you’ll see that states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, California and Minnesota all rank high in educational funding, and all primarily vote Democrat.

I’m not saying that all Democrats are smart or that anyone who votes Republican is an idiot. I’m just saying that education is the key factor in deciphering reality from delusional nonsense.

Delusional nonsense is seeing Sen. Lamar Alexander dressed in his flannel shirts during an election season and actually believing that he’s just some Joe who can easily relate to the common man on a factory line in Lawrenceburg. Any person who spearheads the efforts to block a minimum wage increase like Alexander did is completely detached from the people whom he is serving. If Sen. Alexander made anything in the area of $5.15 an hour, his wardrobe would only consist of those ridiculous flannel shirts.

Yet, people like Alexander keep getting elected. The science of campaigning is a matter of finding the appropriate issues to exploit, and simplifying them in a way that those two useless skin bags in Lawrenceburg can relate. Bush’s economic policy can be explained to them backwards and forwards and they’d never understand a word of it. Slap on a cowboy hat and throw words out there like patriotism and terrorism, and they’ll soak it up like a Jeff Foxworthy joke.

George W. Bush getting reelected after four years of political scandals and complete idiocy is proof that all a politician has to do to win is to target na’ve voters. And thanks to our education policies and the great ’No Child Left Behind’ program, there probably won’t be a shortage of na’ve voters for years to come. It’s really a nice cycle where the Republican Party actually gets to create its own base.

I realize that progression is slow, and that everywhere in the world has its share of idiocy, but this isn’t the race between the tortoise and hare. There’s too much at stake, and there are too many places in America and the rest of the world that can’t afford to wait for us at the finishing line. And judging from those two political experts who screamed at my mother in Lawrenceburg, the wait would be indefinite.

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