Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ignorance Knows No Region

From a poster:

Sorry to have to say it, but the retro Nebraska and Kansas are, their university towns excepted, deeply insular places where the people have low levels of information and high levels of suspicion about the outside world. If approved sources--Bush, Fox news, evangelical ministers--say something is untrue, then those folks KNOW it is untrue. Their blinkered view of the outside world is a recipe for disaster. Sadly, It is their kids--from Fargo, Topeka--who are getting killed in Bush's grand folly. I am sorry for them but, in a serious way, it is their fault. They have gotten exactly what an insular and ignorant vote is likely to get. By the way, I was born in the Middle West.

Well, I'm from the Midwest (Iowa) and I find this kind of pseudo-intellectual, elitist BS deeply offensive. I'm voting for Kerry, but if Democrats see the majority of Americans as idiots, then they deserve to lose elections. Just on general principles, I woudn't support someone who looks down their nose at me. I can't comment at length, but I didn't want to let this pass unremarked. More later.


Thomas said...

Boy was I surprised to read that view of my home state of Kansas. I mean, here I am in Kansas reading things on the, what's it called? Intranets? And I've never even known an evangelical minister, much less had one of my own!

But I do like Brit Hume. Especially the roundup with the talking heads.

I sure am glad there are people out there to set me straight. Thank god for my intellectual betters.

Palooka said...


So, let me get this straight. You support a war. You view the war going badly, so instead of concluding the war was a mistake, you blame Bush for mistakes and mismanagement. Then, to help alleviate your cognitive dissonance, you vote for a man who will lose the war you wanted.

Well, at least you're not a snob.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am offering intellectual, elitist bullshit, Phil Klinkner. But two contentions are in my post are still true. Many of the people in the redstates are more insular than metro populations. And their kids are being killed in Bush's grand folly. Born in Kansas, descended from Kansas pioneers who fought to establish the free state. But it is true: I have not been back for 20 years.

Diane said...

What makes a person in the midwest insular? You might be amazed at how the proliferation of computers has managed to keep people out here in the heartland just as informed as people living in New York. Or does insular mean not being able to drive to Boston for weekend and having to settle for St. Louis instead? Insular could also apply to east coast cities with their "unblinking blinders" on swallowing the DNC party line.

Anonymous said...

Diane, Since we are contrasting cities for insularity, let us try a few more. If you looked for broadbased knowledge of the world in Minneapolis and in Winnipeg, or between Topeka and Regina, Sask., you would likely find less insularity in the two Canadian cities. They will certainly have more South Asian, Vietnamese, and Eastern European restaurants. Just as Kerry voters outnumber Bush voters among American holders of passports by 58-38(Zogby).

The Warrior Scholar said...

Wow, what an arrogant and condescending comment about an entire region. It is arrogance like this that gets "progressives" in trouble. Maybe because the proletariat just can't think for themselves, an elite is necessary to think for them. Hmmm…that didn’t work in the Soviet Union. "Bush’s Grand Folly?" Then I guess Kerry shouldn’t have voted for it. The deposing of tyrants, the liberation of the oppressed, freedom for women - are these not the hopes of "progressives"? Or are "progressives" just snide commentors that go out and drink their latte rather than doing something about it? Gone are the days of JFK’s "Bear any burden, pay any price" for freedom - now it is just hard, cold self-absorbed interest. Last comment - "it is their kids that are getting killed (and they are getting what they deserve - my paraphrase)." This is a kinder, gentler, more sensitive comment by the vanguard of the people too idiotic to think for themselves?

First, these soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that have given their lives knew what they were getting into, and they felt it was worth risk to their lives to protect our country. They are not draftees, they are professionals. They know the risks, and think it is important enough to put themselves in harms way to protect their country. I doubt Phillip Klinkner has done the same. A “Grand Folly?” I would refer you to the AP story today about how Saddam's Ba'athist supporters hope Kerry gets elected because they think that the US will be weakened and they will get a better deal. Comments like Mr. Klinkner's simply place a target on every American soldier fighting in the GWOT. Dissusion is important, distain kills. The more soldiers the terrorists kill, the more people like Mr. Klinkner will de facto side with the terrorists - and arrogantly distain the sacrifice of his fellow citizen. When Arafat, Mahathir Mohammad (Malaysia), Zapetero (Spanish Socialist), and Kim Jong Il of North Korea, and al Sadr of Iraq are all pulling for Kerry...Mr. Klinkner must believe that these world leaders are much more intelligent than his fellow Nebraskans and Kansasians.

The Warrior Scholar said...

Apology to Mr.Phillip Klinkner - I mistook the comment from the poster as yours. I do apologize for my misdirected statement - it was intended for the poster, not for you.

Diane said...

Ok, Mr. Anonymous, the mark of insularity is the presence of Asian restaurants? Come on. Looks more like you prefer having the rest of the world decide for us what we should or should not do. Has a familiar ring, that thought.

carla said...

Liberals do think that conservatives are stupid a lot of the time.

Conservatives also think that liberals are evil and out to turn the country into Sodom and Gomorrah...or the Soviet Union. Take your pick.

Neither perspective is correct. It's born out of a lack of understanding of one another's basic values. Democrats and liberals don't deserve to lose for considering Republicans and conservatives stupid...any more than GOPers/Conservs deserve to lose because of their errant perspective on Liberals.

In my opinion, you're missing the deeper context here. And to brush this off as an issue of "looking down their nose" is missing the boat.

Anonymous said...

Pew Center research item: 61 percent of Americans read no foreign news, except in a crisis period. It is not a question of letting foreigners tell you what to do. It is a question of being informed about the world. On that score the majority of Americans, not just redstaters, are sadly lacking.

Diane said...

I was informed by what some in the rest of the world are thinking after reading this in the Guardian last week:
"On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

Anonymous said...

Well, if nothing else we've got the choicest tropes from both sides of the political fence at work in the comments: Liberal intellectual elites vs. insular incurious conservatives.

I think all of us take exception to being lumped into a particular category we don't agree with and seek to make a rebuttal into an argument from exception. I'm not representative of the dominant political culture in Texas; I don't think that my exception from this group means that anyone making blanket statements about Texas political culture is a liberal intellectual East Coast elite or whatever the phrase of the day is today.

I've been lumped in with a political and social group I disagree with by being from Texas. Many progressive folks I've met while politicing in other parts of the country make statements about everyone in Texas I find offensive. Slinging their stuff back at them never struck me as the best way to handle the situation. I have always given numerical evidence of the progressive community in Texas as a rebuttal to the general meme that all Texans are hard core George W. Bush Republicans.

But then again, I'm talking about discussing these perceptions with people within my own subset of political beliefs. It's more difficult to do across ideological lines as my conversations with talk radio Republican friends attest. But it's not impossible.

Is the original poster's statement a generalization? Yes. Was your reply a generalization? Yes. So who's better off here? No one.


QPRHigh said...

Sadly, this Midwestern-bred, New Yorker-wannabe has probably never sacrificed for a damn thing in his life. Don't make judgments about the noble sacrifices of others unless you've done what they've done. I thank God every day for the kids who have the balls to take the fight to the enemy, and the families who raised them. Bush's grand folly? Who is the insular, not at all useful idiot, the poster or the people who recognize the Jihadi movement for what it is and who know deep down nothing will change for the better until the status quo in the Middle East is turned on its head?