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“Red State” and The Chances of Winning Back The Senate

Posted in on October 18th, 2006 11:01 am by HL

by H.L.
I was watching Lou Dobbs on CNN last night; he was in Kansas covering the Senate race there, which apparently is very close. They played a clip of Jim Talent, the Republican incumbent giving a speech. The first thing he said was “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” the people went into a frenzied applause. That’s the number one thing rural voters care about. War, no problem, no jobs except Wal-Mart, no problem, Bush looting the US Treasury, no problem, no health insurance, no problem….Gay Marriage, now we got a problem. Gay marriage will never happen in Kansas anyway, or any red state for that matter, so what is the problem that they have with gay marriage?

This brings me to a movie I saw recently called Red State, it was about a guy from Venice California, (Michael Shea,) which is the second most liberal town in Southern California you already know which one is first. he decides to go on a driving tour of 22 red states right after the 2004 Election, to see why the Bush voters did, and do, what they do.

Shea went out with an open mind, not meaning to cause controversy, but just wanting to let them talk about who they are and what they are about, of course it was gay marriage, as well as abortion, and God. These thing trump all when it comes to the way residents of that giant swath of land between New Jersey and the west coast vote. In one scene Shea is sitting with a group of 6 people in a town in Arkansas, they begin talking about Wal-Mart, saying that this is not how it was when Sam was alive, and that his kids are a bunch of greedy money hungry bastards. They talk about the monopoly Wal-Mart has down there. If you want to shop to somewhere else, and with the price of gas the way it is, you can’t afford it anymore. Wal-Mart pays horrible wages, so its employees can only afford to give their hard earned wages back to the company store. They also mention how they lost other jobs and were able to make more money on Social Security, and disability benefits then when they were working. When Shea asks them why any of this doesn’t come into play when they vote, the answer is “Financials are the least important thing to us. Bush don’t take care of us, God does.” We have to vote our values, and God is against gay marriage, and Bush is against the gays taking over the country.

Being that gays make up less then 10% of the population, and that most gay people will end up moving out of the rural areas for the cities, it is unlikely that gay marriage will ever be an issue, yet the churches keep pounding this message into the heads of the attendees which is the majority in the red states. Of course separation of church and state is never an issue here, but when a church endorses an anti-war candidate, as Jesus would be were he running, suddenly the IRS is breathing down their necks and threatening to take away the church’s tax exempt status.

By the end of the film, Shea, having heard in every discussion that it all comes down to what God (and the Republican controlled faith based initiative receiving churches) tell them to do, is showing the frustration of trying to use reason, or logic while talking to the people he meets in his travels. The viewer may feel the same but it is definitely a film that should be seen by anyone who is interested in political and social issues.

As for the prospects of the Democrats taking back the Senate, they are having a problem in New Jersey, Robert Menendez is running behind the Republican Kean in a what should be an easy Democrat win, seems he is being accused of some financial improprieties by the Repubs. Nothing they can prove of course, but its enough to raise some doubt, and that’s all they want to do. The race will be close but if the Democrats lose they will need to win in Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. We better thank God for Macaccawitz Allen, and pray that He tells the voters in Missouri and Kansas to vote the way Jesus would.