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Red, White and Blue

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Red, White and Blue

Red States - Blue States, Two Americas! Didn't we hear enough of this before November 2 nd? Apparently not, according to the spin-doctors who insist on dismembering a live patient.

ABC news correspondent Carole Simpson went so far as to compare the Red States of 2004 to the Slave States of 1864. I've even heard reports that Michael Moore PhD. (Political Sciences DNC University) posted a new map on his web site. The map suggests Blue States secede from the Union to join Canada, leaving Red States to be the newly formed “Jesus-Land”.

Though tempted, I will not waste column space addressing elitist bigotry and contemptible Christ-a-phobia. Nor will I respond to sour grapes commentaries recently published in this newspaper. I won’t even gloat over Daschle’s demise!

Rather, let me pose the following: No matter your preference Burgundy and Brie or Pepsi and pork rinds, we are one America-Red, White and Blue!

After all the election post-mortem's, we are left with these facts. Roughly 4 out of 10 voters in Texas voted for Senator Kerry. These numbers are reversed here in Massachusetts. Then there are states like Wisconsin and Ohio where the contest was even closer.

The point is this: 117 million Americans voted. The majority of us are not Kool Aid drinking disciples of agenda driven cabals.

Bush supporters are not all uneducated, gun-toting, gay-bashing, warmongers. Kerry supporters are not all pseudo-intellectual, disgruntled flower children who worship Jacques Chirac. To the contrary, by a close margin, Americans chose to keep George W. Bush in office because they believed he was the better alternative.

As I worked the polls on Election Day, I had the opportunity to speak with two amiable women who lean very heavily to the hard left. As our dialogue progressed, I explained that I believe in bringing an end to poverty, improving education, and affordable health care. They were dumbfounded and insisted I must be a closet liberal. To be honest, I found it amusing that those who embrace diversity as a theological virtue failed to recognize their own tendency to stereotype. Despite their claims to be open-minded, they could not fathom any articulate espousal of compassion coming from the mouth or heart of a conservative.

I would ask my charming interlocutors to consider the following.

Mainstream Americans (conservative, moderate or liberal) have much in common. We don’t want a nation driven by unbridled greed. Yet we don’t want to exchange our free markets for Socialism. We reject discrimination, hatred, and xenophobia. By the same token, we don’t want to be subjected to the “New Thought Police of Political Correctness ”. Mainstream Americans want to preserve the environment. Nonetheless, we realize that sometimes the civil rights of a property owner outweigh the preservation of two orange azaleas and a maple tree.

Therefore, for most of us, it boils down to a series of public policy questions: How do we provide real opportunity for all? How do we best care for those who truly cannot help themselves? How do we improve education, make health care affordable, fix social security, and create good paying jobs?

As a conservative, I believe that the best way to address these challenges is to bring free market principles to bear. That does not make me an advocate cold hearted economic Darwinism. Nonetheless, I believe we need an environment conducive to the creation of prosperity. Then we can talk about how wealth can or should be distributed.

Liberals, on the other hand… well, I’ll let them speak for themselves lest I subject them to the kind of formulaic distortion which I’m railing against. Suffice it to say; aside from the fringe left, most classic liberals want solutions that don’t destroy our institutions. They respect the rule of law and don’t seek to subvert the system that protects our liberty. Classic liberals are not driven by blind agendas.

This is not to say that strident coalitions didn't play a role in this election. Both “Blame America Marxists” and “Jingoistic Fascists” threw their support behind the candidate they mistakenly thought represented their twisted world views. Sad to say, these political cultists now see themselves as power brokers, each claiming to represent half the nation.

But there is good news for the rest of us. Blue State residents don’t need to learn the words to “Oh Canada”; Red State residents can still practice or not practice the faith of their own choosing.

Don’t get me wrong, liberals and conservatives have some real philosophical differences. This ongoing scrimmage in the arena of ideas is part of our great heritage. In this debate, fair amounts of comical hyperbole or caustic sarcasm are literary devices that can provoke thought. But spare us the pundits mocking people’s faith, comparing half the nation to slave traders and encouraging the secession of states.

I don’t expect a love-fest between liberals and conservatives. We don’t need to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya”. But a chorus of “We Gather Together” may be appropriate since Red, White, & Blue Americans are thankful this election did not end up in the courts.

John DiMascio

Communications Director
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government



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