My friends are nice people. I am nice people, and I am their friend too.
My friends do the same stuff that nice folk in the rest of the country do. They work hard, they play hard. They raise their kids well and they generally have their priorities in the same place everyone else does.
They are decent, honest and politically about as stupid as stupid gets.
I have always preferred the term "low-information" to pejorative terms like "stupid". I am rapidly running out of patience though. If you have "low-information" yet refuse to accept any that is offered, then you are stupid.
I don't really know why, or who to blame. I am tempted to blame them for their ignorance, their completely incurious acceptance of the conventional wisdom around here that all that is Republican will be their salvation, and all that is Liberal is dragging the country down to the level of, oh I dunno, Ulan Bator, or somewhere else most of them couldn't find on a map. Maybe Wisconsin ...
I have tried. I am blue in the face (sic) from trying, but to little avail. Even the little things are beyond their comprehension, or capacity to accept. Even things as basic as the President being an actual American, or that two wars contributed massively to the deficit, and cost 5000 American lives, needlessly.
They won't hear of millionaires or billionaires paying a little more tax ... and this from a guy who works for the sanitation department. Well he might be a billionaire one day. He fails to acknowledge, understand or concede that were he ever to be so fortunate then he actually would be able to afford to pay a little more tax, given that he would have more money than he would ever be able to spend.
He thinks that Liberals are "Big Government" mad. He thinks they should stop wasting his tax dollars on "government spending". This spending isn't actually quantified. He can't tell me which government spending should be cut. He thinks that teachers, first responders, sanitation workers should have decent pay and benefits, but that Unions who try to obtain these benefits are ruining the country.
His 40 hour working week was apparently a gift from a generous employer ... nuttin' to do with Trades Unions.
Enough of sanitation workers ..... Let's examine building work in my locality.
I live in a small town in North Eastern Oklahoma. Population is maybe 35000 and the town is decently prosperous. Unemployment is low and there are few of those black or brown people around. We live in a semi-rural area just outside the Fence-line yet only two miles from Walmart and the central shopping area. In the last two years two buildings have gone up between us and Walmart, and both look splendid. One is the enormous new Church of Christ (aren't they all?), the other is the new headquarters of Lifechurch TV.
It's not like we are short of churches. A couple of hundred yards along the road is the First Baptist, which is about the size of the High School, and that is one of only a dozen similar edifices in the neighborhood. We need a new Middle School. We need lots of things but all we are getting are yet more expensive and ostentatious churches.
I try hard not to conflate the church with the sanitation worker, but one seems to beget the other around here and it's depressing. They are turkeys, and in election after election after election they vote for Thanksgiving.
Yes, that is harsh. It is as harsh as they are unthinkingly blind to their own best interests. I don't try to tell them what is in their best interest. I try to share facts and gently push back against the worst excesses, but it's an uphill struggle and I'm fed up of it.
I could, I suppose, get more involved in the local Democratic Party, and help get Dan Boren re-elected. NOW do you get it?
I am coming to the conclusion that Oklahoma is a lost cause. At least for now. That it is a small backwoods of three and one half million, who will not understand national politics, who will never get our President, or me.
They will be left, when change comes as it surely must, staring around in blank anger and lack of comprehension that their country could desert them, not understand that Oklahomans "live right", and deserve better.
In the end we will just have to out-vote them. They will not be part of the change, they will not have a seat at the table, because that demands a reaching out, and empathy, and understanding of the other guy, and they don't have that ... and they don't even try.
Oklahoma was traditionally a Democratic State .... Last general election it was the only State, out of fifty and let us not forget that the fifty includes Utah and Wyoming; the ONLY State that trended Red.
We imprison and execute the most, or close ... we pay teachers the least, or close. We are top of all the tables you want your State to be bottom of, and vice versa.
I still don't like calling folk stupid. It's rude, and I am not generally known for being rude. But there comes a point where willful ignorance has to have a term, and "stupid" fits.
They talk about secession as if it would somehow hurt the Blue States. That's the point where I struggle not to laugh in their faces. They have no concept or understanding of the fact that the bloody South would go bankrupt if they seceded. The Blue States aren't much smarter ... if any States have a motive to go it alone, it is they. They vote for social democracy and are dragged down by the very States that leach their tax dollars ... It's mind boggling.
We have great college football teams, so that's okay!