In ‘Dearly Beloved,’ and in ‘Are Capitalism and Democracy Compatible?‘, I spoke to the inequities of the Electoral College and of the very unrepresentative Senate. In the both, I spoke of how, in 2016, Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes yet won the Electoral College, and the presidency, by 80,000 votes in three states. In 2020, Trump lost the popular vote by more than 5 million votes; but this time he lost the Electoral College by only 45,000 votes. So, as soon as they figure this out, will republicans start demanding the Nation get rid of the Electoral College?
How in the hell could 73 million Americans vote for Trump? How many of those 73 million Americans supported Trump because of his Birtherism, Racism, vulgarism, anti-science attitude, self-centeredness, sexism, misogyny, narcissism, habitual lying, …? Did that many Americans always harbor such beliefs, but were to embarrassed to express them? Did the good union man, the good family man, always harbor these thoughts about women, blacks, …? Evidently, many of them did. Is it that they would have been embarrassed in the past for others to know of these thoughts, but felt that they were given license by Trump to express them publicly? Whatever, a very large percentage of Americans are really screwed up. How can we deduce otherwise? The question becomes, how does the Nation address this reality?
The development of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for a novel Corona virus, a new way in record breaking time, a culmination of more than sixty years of research, is the stuff of history, of legend; a light at the end of the tunnel, a ray of hope, a godsend, … . As exciting as this is, in the face of all the havoc wreaked by this pandemic; at this time, at least 40% of Americans appear to be more than a little hesitant to get vaccinated with the new vaccines. These are, for the most part, those who did not want to believe in, to follow, the science in combatting the pandemic. Instead, they chose to believe in, to follow the advice of, Donald J. Trump. Many of these are Evangelical Christians who believe in, follow the teachings of, 5,000 year old scriptures. Can the Nation go forward, in this the 21st Century, when such a large proportion of its citizens are looking to the far distant past for answers? Can the Nation, the world, go forward without secular governance? America’s Evangelicals are America’s Taliban. They would impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. And, there are a lot, a craven lot, of Congress Critters, and a couple, and now more, head-case Supreme Court Justices, more than willing to abet them in doing so. The Evangelicals need to be held to account for their actions to undermine America. The business of Evangelicalism, and it is a business, needs to be held to account. Maybe drag a few of the better known bottom feeder Pastors/Practitioners before a few congressional committees for racketeering? Before the court of Public Opinion. Let’s see if their beliefs, er, sermons, can stand the light of day; a little sun-light over here please. Let’s stand with France; let’s take on theocracy. They and theirs are entitled to their ‘culture’. But, just as AOC and the Squad are not entitled to impose their beliefs, their ‘culture’ on the rest of the Nation, the Evangelicals, science deniers, racists, misogynists, are not entitled to impose their beliefs, ‘culture’ on the rest of the nation. Which, somehow, brings us back, full circle, to the problem of the Electoral College and the most unrepresentative Senate. Somehow, the whole 73 million who voted for Trump need to be held to account.
Do the red states better represent working class America than do the blue? Doubt that. Quick look tells us that the blue states are more productive, more productive per capita, than the red states. Mitch McConnell brags of extorting $17.2 billion from the blue (Yankee) states for his more deserving Kentuckians. Civil War’s over Mitch; has been for a long, long, time.
Culture: The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. Also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time. We hear that maybe there is a culture war going on between the blue states and the red states. The use of the word war implies that at least one, or both, of the two is trying impose their values, beliefs, and practices on the other. Denying a woman the right of choice is imposing your beliefs on others. Allowing a gay couple to marry is not. Denying a gay couple the right to marry is imposing your beliefs on others. Listen up, Justice Alito! The wearing of masks is not about your personal freedom, it is about consideration for others; not wearing a mask is about self-centeredness. Suppressing the vote is not a cultural value. Neither is White Supremacy. Strutting around in camos carrying assault weapons is not a cultural value; it’s unbelievably dangerous, and asinine. Armed militias aren’t culture; they’re stupid, adolescent, and illegal. Willful ignorance is of no cultural value; is nothing to be proud of.
To an extent, I think the red states represent those who like things to stay the same, want to go back to an earlier time. That’s the big desirability, the big reason why they live where they do. Staying the same means ignoring a lot of things that are going on; a lot of facts. A lot of people in those red states voted for Trump because his message, his spiel, harkened back to the past. Perhaps, we on the coasts and in the larger cities, similarly, may live here because we like change, the excitement of change, would find it boring to be around people just like ourselves. Many Americans appear to simply be unable to think anew. Even in these times, when almost everything is changing, has changed, they want to apply solutions from the past to today’s issues; to live in the world in which they grew up, at least in the world they remember growing up in. Tie-hacking’s too hard. So is keeping up. If Dolly Parton can do it, so can we all.