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He spells his last name: "C-H-E-N-E-Y." "Yeah," he says. "Distant relatives."
January 31, 2006 6:15 AM   Subscribe

"The mind-set of Utah". The Washington Post (BugMeNot) visits Randolph, Utah, the place where they like George W. Bush more than any other place in America.
posted by PenguinBukkake (165 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
"Dijon mustard," Louderman says as the woman drives away. "I don't know what Dijon mustard is. Don't care to find out, either."

This is such a beautifully Coen Brothers quote that I almost can't believe it's not in a movie.
posted by selfnoise at 6:25 AM on January 31, 2006


Utah is in America?
posted by Miko at 6:27 AM on January 31, 2006


I enjoy pushing cows, chasing girls and shooting guns.
posted by naxosaxur at 6:27 AM on January 31, 2006


I don't know if I was supposed to find that intolerably cute, but I do. While I want to smack a lot of blood-hungry, ignorant Bush voters, I just want to hug everyone in that town.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 6:36 AM on January 31, 2006


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
UTAH?
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:39 AM on January 31, 2006


They really seem like nice people, don't they? They're just ... I guess ignorant is an appopriate word.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 6:40 AM on January 31, 2006


Living La Vida CRACKER!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 6:44 AM on January 31, 2006


Ignorance truly is bliss.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:46 AM on January 31, 2006


I suppose if you expect all your relations and neighbors will soon be living on a giant spaceship or on some other planet with a bunch of ghosts, the whole notion of partisan politics becomes quite trivial.

I, too, was struck by the cuteness of the entire thing - hapless peasants - however one of the comments really infuriated me, because I immediately recognized the mindset,
"We can't do this because it offends the gays. We can't do that because it offends the atheists,"
It's this sort of bizarro, reverse logic weirdness - "It's really strange that you get offended when we deny you your civil rights, what about my rights to deny you yours?"

Sticks in my craw.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:47 AM on January 31, 2006


It is of course easy enough to belittle and deride those who like the man in the White House since many of us do not. But remember this: on just about any given issue,l 50% of the nation will vote against what you favor. Worse: those who vote or approve of that which you dislike live in states that get money back from the govt than they put in while those who post, comment, support things Bushies do not, tend to live in states that get less money back from the federal govt than they put in...in short: you are supporting those you find stupid. and the joke is therefore on.......?
posted by Postroad at 6:47 AM on January 31, 2006


"I don't think there's anything he could say that would make me dislike him,"

You'd think that Bush would need to actually have a personality before there could be a cult of personality around him but that doesn't seem necessary. I just don't get it.
posted by octothorpe at 6:47 AM on January 31, 2006


She turns off the "open" sign and starts adding up the day's receipts. It isn't much. She netted $10,000 last year, if that. She has no savings. She has no retirement plan. She works seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

In comes Debra McKinnon, 53, who says she nearly dropped dead nine months ago from heart failure and is working for one reason only: health insurance. She takes 12 pills a day, for which she pays several hundred dollars a month, which, without insurance, would be four times that.

In comes Charlene McLean, who runs a flower business out of her garage and says that the problems in America are due to a "gimme, gimme, gimme" attitude that is the fault of the Democrats and is turning the country cockeyed.

Yes. Those greedy, greedy Democrats. See: Cognitive Dissonance.

"I don't think there's anything he could say that would make me dislike him," she says.

Ignorance is right. George W. Bush is laughing his ass off at these people.
posted by you just lost the game at 6:49 AM on January 31, 2006


Sounds to me like Randolph, Utah is as insulated as the Oval Office. I'm the boss, applesauce.
posted by crunchland at 6:49 AM on January 31, 2006


"Don't be wise, bubble eyes, or I'll knock you down to peanut size."

Shades of Annie Wilkes in Utah.

Dirty Birdy.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:52 AM on January 31, 2006


I enjoy pushing cows, chasing girls and shooting guns.
posted by naxosaxur at 9:27 AM EST on January 31 [!]


Sounds pretty good to me.
posted by caddis at 7:02 AM on January 31, 2006


There are small pockets of reasonableness in Utah, mostly in the more urban areas. I've always thought Utah would be absolutely beautiful if it weren't for all the people.

Nonetheless, besides the vapid political thinking, third-world birth rates, limited gene pool, and beastiality, Utah has a lot of nice folk.
posted by effwerd at 7:09 AM on January 31, 2006


beaucoupkevin: 'I guess ignorant is an appopriate word.'

Willfully ignorant seems more appropriate.
Fuck 'em.
posted by bouncebounce at 7:12 AM on January 31, 2006


Let the balkanization begin!
posted by shoepal at 7:15 AM on January 31, 2006


Utah used to vote nearly 100% Democrat until John Henry Smith convinced Mormons that it "was possible to be a good Mormon and a good Republican."
What's the GOP's policy concerning polygamy these days?
posted by Pseudonumb at 7:15 AM on January 31, 2006


The Redstate-Bushlover function:
for all values of X:
I don't know what (X) is. Don't care to find out, either.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:20 AM on January 31, 2006


OK, fuck 'em, right. But here is the bigger problem: The willfull ignorance that all those Germans clung to in letting themselves be taken down the path to the national socialist paradise feels very similar to the Randolph UT state of mind. How do we stop this, without blood in the streets? I mean, these people have kids who carry on the views of their forebears, and all...
posted by owalt1 at 7:20 AM on January 31, 2006


shoepal - you say 'balkanization' like it would be a bad thing.
Personally, I'd like to see it happen.
I'd rather buy all my crap from China than from Jesustan.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:22 AM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.
posted by caddis at 7:23 AM on January 31, 2006


effwerd: Indeed there are small pockets of, uh, reality in Utah. They are hard to find though.

It really is a beautiful state, I often visit the southern part of the state (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Brianhead, etc) and it is wonderful. The trick is to manage to avoid most other people while there.
posted by SirOmega at 7:23 AM on January 31, 2006


you know, it's funny. There isn't anything wrong with these people, on the outside. Not one of them dislikes the local mexican guy, but what do you want to bet that he married the local catholic because none of the mormon ones would? There's nothing WRONG with him, but he's just not the marryin' type, you see.

Of course, I'm just speculating, there. I will say this, though. It's very easy to support a president when you fit several criteria:

1. You're not in danger of attack from the terrorists who may retaliate against his actions.

2. You don't fight in the wars he started for no reason (except for that one guy, who came back alive to ice cream.).

3. You don't understand the first thing about the economy, social security, taxes or federal drug regulation. That way, you don't have any idea why you spend your retirment money on your medication, why your social security isn't supporting you anymore, why your kids won't even have any money from social security when they retire, etc...

4. You don't understand the first thing about secular government, and why the separation of church and state isn't an appeasement of atheists.

See, it's easy to support him when you don't risk your life for his policy, you don't have to do anything for what benefits you perceive yourself getting from him, and you refuse to learn anything about what negative effects he's having on your lifestyle.
posted by shmegegge at 7:24 AM on January 31, 2006


That shit ain't cute. You want to be an ignorant hillbilly, that's fine, just don't vote. If you do, then you don't just fuck up your own crappy life, you fuck it up for the rest of us.
posted by ND¢ at 7:27 AM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.

You too can achieve this state of bliss! Try DRUGS
posted by rxrfrx at 7:28 AM on January 31, 2006


Education, owalt1. I don't think it's possible to remain insulated to the degree that the baby-boomers in this article display - at least, not in the 21st century. You'd have to be completely cut-off, and if that were the case you'd be living harmlessly on a commune somewhere. That's willful ignorance.

I think it'll be hard when things start to get really bad. Really, really, bad. Regardless of their political stripe, I don't think people will be willing to fund the oil wars if they simply cannot eat.

But the people who feel strongly about guns, gays, and abortion feel more strongly about those issues than any liberal does about "the real issues," education, government transparency, defending our children's future environment.

I don't know why the spellchecker doesn't show up in Ghostzilla but it's slowly driving me mad.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:29 AM on January 31, 2006


Willful ignorance is right. I live in North Idaho, Coeur d' Alene area, (clockin' in at 58% for Dubya) and it's much the same. Although we've had an influx of rich asshole Californians moving up and taking over the local governments. They tend to lead the more ignorant but well intentioned locals around by the nose, and their reasons for supporting the GOP are a lot more cynical and self serving.
posted by stenseng at 7:29 AM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it's not living.
posted by three blind mice at 7:29 AM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.

You too can achieve this state of bliss! Try DRUGS


Or a lobotomy.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:29 AM on January 31, 2006


I used to see a lot of this back when I lived in Missouri. I consider it a most serious failure on the part of the Democratic party that we haven't found a way to reach these people. We really do represent their intrests far better then the Republicans, which I believe this article does a good job of pointing out.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:30 AM on January 31, 2006


I think a big part of the rural republican mindset is the idea that urban democrats are complete assholes when they talk about rural people, so they must be wrong, and being a republican must be right, if only to avoid being associated with those who so quickly belittle and insult.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:33 AM on January 31, 2006


I consider it a most serious failure on the part of the Democratic party that we haven't found a way to reach these people.

I think the unfortunate reason for this is that to "reach these people" is a fundamentally cynical and manipulative act (moreso than politics in general, I think). Ignorant types who don't really care about politics or the world in general will tend to vote GOP because the right-wing media has, over the last 30 years, made a very deliberate effort to tell these people that their natural affiliation should be GOP. Not for any good reason, but just because that's how it is. It's ingrained now. If the Democrats had done the same thing, the situation would be inverted right now. How much brainwashing will it take to re-align the ignorant? I dunno.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:34 AM on January 31, 2006


The problem is that these people have no fucking clue as to what their interests actually are. Left to themselves (meaning off the Federal tit) they'd all starve to death.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:35 AM on January 31, 2006


Is that Bush's fault, though? "No," McKinnon says. "It's a problem from the drug companies to the lawyers to the doctors to Congress, and it's not because Bush isn't a caring man. I think he's a very caring man."

This is a consist line I hear from just about every Bush supporter there is-- it's always someone else's fault. Interestingly, this mindset echos excuses Bush has made over the course of his entire life.

The biggest sin any American figure/politician/etc can make, and the one that will bring down the ire of the Bush suppoters, is the sin of making Bush look bad.
posted by deanc at 7:35 AM on January 31, 2006


to tell these people that their natural affiliation should be GOP. Not for any good reason, but just because that's how it is.

That absolutely hits the nail on the head. The same is true for one particularly large portion of the democrat voting block. The democrats did the same thing in the inner cities.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:36 AM on January 31, 2006


shmegegge: Its worth observing that every single area that is a potential terrorist target voted *against* Bush in 2004. Even in states that went Republican, the major cities went Democrat.

I really do think that somewhere, maybe not consciously, Bush voters were aware that they weren't going to get killed by terrorists. Anti-intellectualism also tends to produce an anti-city mindset. Only those blankity-blank city slickers will get killed when Bush screws up the war on terror, and Bush pisses them big city intellectuals off anyway. Hell, its a win-win situation.
posted by sotonohito at 7:37 AM on January 31, 2006


I belittle and insult those who have shown themselves through their ignorant words and downright stupid actions to worthy of contempt.
The mass of willfully ignorant people have demonstrated that they cannot be reached, and so I feel it would be better to divest, and let nature get them out of the gene pool as quickly as possible.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:38 AM on January 31, 2006


This is more or less what most people outside of this country think Americans are like: well-meaning, sweet, friendly but also ignorant, incurious, lazy, and indifferent to changing a corrupt and malfunctioning system.

I am happy not to disappoint them.
posted by psmealey at 7:40 AM on January 31, 2006


Both parties have a tendency to use ignorant segments of the population to their advantage. What, you think all the people in the inner cities that vote Democrat watch the news regularly and keep themselves fully informed of all the issues of the day? There's a lot of ignorance in both parties. The only difference is that the GOP is better at getting their people to vote.
posted by unreason at 7:41 AM on January 31, 2006


I really don't get how anyone who isn't a billionaire can support Bush.
posted by wakko at 7:42 AM on January 31, 2006


Uh...bashos....I kinda think nature favors them.

I kinda wanna go there now.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:45 AM on January 31, 2006


shmegegge: There's nothing WRONG with him, but he's just not the marryin' type, you see.

Heh. Utah is not good for single non-mormons/non-religiously affiliated folk. Unless you like the club scene. When I first got here it seemed like all the women were married, divorced with a kid or three, or lesbian.

SirOmega: I often visit the southern part of the state (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Brianhead, etc) and it is wonderful.

The best parts. But even in Salt Lake and Provo, the mountains are frickin' awesome. (Oh my heck! I just wrote "frickin'".)
posted by effwerd at 7:45 AM on January 31, 2006


The only difference is that the GOP is better at getting their people to vote.

Actually a bigger difference is that the ignorant folks in the inner city are generally not voting against their interests (and often just not voting), while the ignorant folks in rural areas are voting themselves into having to work a diner job at age 77 just to barely support a lifestyle that can generously be described as modest at best. And they are voting to screw themselves (along with the rest of the country) in large, lemming-like numbers.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:48 AM on January 31, 2006


That absolutely hits the nail on the head. The same is true for one particularly large portion of the democrat voting block. The democrats did the same thing in the inner cities.

Yeah, but in 30 years, Randolph, UT will be a ghost town, and all the children of Randolph will be living in some shitty suburb of Salt Lake City, wondering where the halcyon days of their youth went.
The future of this country whether we like it or not is urban in nature. Peak Oil, the inexorable consolidation of whatever remaining American industry there is near critical (read: coastal and heavily urbanized) transport infrastructure, the decline of petroleum dependent interstate tractor farming will put an end to places like this in very short order. Randolph and many of the other rural Republican enclaves we liberals have recently taken to wringing our hands over (I'm looking at you, Kansas), are pretty much dead. They just don't know it, yet.
posted by Chrischris at 7:48 AM on January 31, 2006


Baby_Balrog,
It's tax money from the cities that makes that kind of breeding possible.
But you knew that.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:51 AM on January 31, 2006


If this place is like a lot of other small towns I'm very familiar with, then there are two things they are definitely not happy about. There is no new business coming to town, while the traditional sources of income are declining. And as a result of this economic fact of life, most of their children eventually move away to make a living.

Now , they don't expect that all their children will stay in town, but they would like for them to at least have the option to stay closer, if they wanted to. But they can't, and the parents know it, and that's why stories like this are usually talking to 55 year olds and teenagers. Everyone else has left.

And they know this for a fact, just as sure as God made little green apples.
posted by dglynn at 7:54 AM on January 31, 2006


Actually a bigger difference is that the ignorant folks in the inner city are generally not voting against their interests

You're right, but that's mainly a matter of chance. They wouldn't know it if they were voting against themselves. My point is that both parties make extensive use of poorly educated people who don't actually know what they're supporting.
posted by unreason at 7:55 AM on January 31, 2006


Did anybody go to Randolph, UT back in 1997 and ask them what they thought of Wiliam Jefferson Clinton?

Would they have spat vitriol, or would they have been ambivalent?

That would be interesting.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:56 AM on January 31, 2006


bashos-frog: The problem is that these people have no fucking clue as to what their interests actually are. Left to themselves (meaning off the Federal tit) they'd all starve to death.

Mormons love to stock up. They used to advise a year's worth of food and supplies and I knew plenty who followed this advice. Now, I think the official suggestion is three days worth but there are plenty who still keep a year's worth. Of course, Utah isn't all Mormon, but the sentiment carries over.

Utah has a great food bank program. It's a tit, still, but a local tit. Remember, Mormons started out extremely communist and that strong sense of strong social bond still carries through today. I think if we somehow isolated Utah from the rest of the world, Utah would be just fine, if not happier for it.
posted by effwerd at 7:59 AM on January 31, 2006


I think if we somehow isolated Utah from the rest of the world, Utah would be just fine, if not happier for it.
posted by effwerd at 7:59 AM PST on January 31


Sounds good to me. All in favor?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:06 AM on January 31, 2006


I really don't get how anyone who isn't a billionaire can support Bush.

Bush doesn't want to kill more babies. Really. Not joking. I had a big long discussion with my sister and brother-in-law about a number of issues. On damn near every issue they are in a position where they would be better served by Democratic policy. However, because God doesn't like dead babies, they will continue to vote (R) until Jesus comes back.

Yes, they live in Utah.
posted by wah at 8:12 AM on January 31, 2006


My point is that both parties make extensive use of poorly educated people who don't actually know what they're supporting.

One party tries to put programs in place that would help them improve their situation, and one party panders to and exploits them to increase profits for their corporate contributors.

Same thing really, I guess.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:16 AM on January 31, 2006


What, you think all the people in the inner cities that vote Democrat watch the news regularly and keep themselves fully informed of all the issues of the day? There's a lot of ignorance in both parties. The only difference is that the GOP is better at getting their people to vote

well, looking at the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, it seems like the GOP excels not only at getting "their people" to vote, but also at preventing the "democrats' people" from voting.

also, it's about time we put the idea that urban blacks mindlessly vote democrat to rest. growing up, all the friends and family members i knew who actually did their civic duty expressed a great deal of cynicism about democrats and the democratic party. they voted for democratic politicians, but they didn't venerate them the way the people in this article seem to reverence bush.

there is one similarity, however: some of the people i knew weren't voting so much for the democrats as they were voting against the republicans, whom they saw as actively out to get us blacks. i detect some of that among bush voters, especially conservative christians and racist/xenophobic whites -- they seem to firmly believe that not only will democrats not look out for their interests, they'll actually work to deny them their rights, take land and money from them, and keep them down.

that's in the past though: everybody in the friends and family circle i've spoken to since the 2000 and 2004 elections has pretty much given up on voting. since the democrats basically did fuck all to fix things after 2000, leading to a repeat of many of the same issues in 2004, most blacks i know have said "fuck you" to the whole democratic process and resigned themselves to being fucked over by both parties, at least at the federal level.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:17 AM on January 31, 2006


Randolph, population about 480

This was my favorite bit.
posted by Aknaton at 8:34 AM on January 31, 2006


Problem with this article is it focuses on people who live in a small farming town, when in fact it's the farmers in the surrounding countryside who set the trend. It's natural for us in urban areas to imagine rural life centered on the town, but its not, its all about land owners and the farms, the towns exist to support the farmers.

The in-town people couldnt exist without the farmers so they support the farmers interests even if they know that as townspeople they are more aligned with Democratic values (even if they dont realize it, but will once massive growth takes off), which explains the ironic duality of her closeing sentence in the article.
posted by stbalbach at 8:41 AM on January 31, 2006


That's middle America for you. Glad I moved back to Canada.
posted by clevershark at 8:44 AM on January 31, 2006


Canada elects Conservative
posted by caddis at 9:04 AM on January 31, 2006


Da da da dum dum...dee dee dee dum dee. (Well I hope that sounds like Dueling Banjos because it seems that most of the Utans in this story probably have as much genetic diversity as that kid on the porch. ) Not that there's anything wrong with being insular. seemed to work great for US just prior to WWII, of course so did Eugenics.
posted by Gungho at 9:06 AM on January 31, 2006




Side note: I read a similar article late in the 2004 presidential campaign that was about a small town in Montana. That town was of a comparable size, but was a bit more depressed, it had some problems with crystal meth production and use, and more than a handful of folks on welfare. Even so, the tenor of the article was very similar to this and the people every bit as pro-Bush. It did also posit another take on it. Most people interviewed for the article indicated that they were big Bush fans because (I guess with his eastern elite pedigree, his Greenwich/Andover/Yale/Harvard background and the nepotism that got him placement at Harken Energy, the Texas Rangers and the Governorship at Texas) he was the embodiment of cowboy self-reliance and rugged individualism.

Chalk another victory up for "emotional truth" in this whole, emotional truth versus actual truth in the truthiness wars.
posted by psmealey at 9:09 AM on January 31, 2006


sotonohito: Isn't that precisely what I was getting at? That's why I said that it's easy to vote for bush if you're not a target of terrorist retaliation for his policies.

I consider it a most serious failure on the part of the Democratic party that we haven't found a way to reach these people.

I consider it a most serious failure on the part of the Democratic party that the entire party continues to listen to this nonsense as if it were true. To "reach these people" would involve some very simple changes:

1. don't support abortion rights.
2. don't support the rights of gays
3. don't support the separation of church and state.
4. don't support black-lead initiatives on anything.

and that's it. bam, you've got their vote. the problem is that when you do that, you stop winning democrat voters, and you become a republican.
posted by shmegegge at 9:15 AM on January 31, 2006


I think that shmegegge nails it. The Dems and reach out all they want to these folks but the Republicans are giving them what they want.
posted by octothorpe at 9:31 AM on January 31, 2006


Somewhat ironic, considering the federal government once almost went to war with Utah.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:34 AM on January 31, 2006




I consider it a most serious failure on the part of the Democratic party that the entire party continues to listen to this nonsense as if it were true. To "reach these people" would involve some very simple changes:

1. don't support abortion rights.
2. don't support the rights of gays
3. don't support the separation of church and state.
4. don't support black-lead initiatives on anything.

and that's it. bam, you've got their vote. the problem is that when you do that, you stop winning democrat voters, and you become a republican.
posted by shmegegge


[applause]
You tell 'em shmegegge!
Dead on dude!
And we don't want no stinking DLC Republican Lite either Holy Joe Lieberman!
posted by nofundy at 9:41 AM on January 31, 2006


"...in 30 years, Randolph, UT will be a ghost town..."

Randolph already is a ghost town. Has been from day one, and things aren't going to change.

There are two reaons why Bush pulls 71.5% in Utah: Mormons are taught by their church that they're supposed to be submissive to authority, whether it's spiritual (their bishop and the church hierarchy) or secular (the government), and it's a not-so-secret fact that the church encourages its members to vote GOP. Combine the two, and Chimpy McFlightsuit wins 5 electoral votes in a landslide.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:42 AM on January 31, 2006


That's why I said that it's easy to vote for bush if you're not a target of terrorist retaliation for his policies.

When has there ever been terrorist retaliation for Bush's policies within any blue state? 9/11 sure wasn't in retaliation for Bush's policies. So what are you talking about?
posted by JekPorkins at 9:46 AM on January 31, 2006


willfully ignorant?

they know what they need to know ... or percieve they need to know ... like i heard someone in the u p once say, "once you get up here, you can just not give a fuck about the rest of the world"

unable to feed themselves?

in cattle/farm country? ... yeah, right ... (what did you think they did 100 years ago)

working at a diner when you're 77?

beats watching soap operas and doing crossword puzzles in a retirement home ...

they vote as they do because they don't percieve the consequences ... and in their little world, there probably aren't many to speak of that matter to them ... it's abstract ... and they have real day to day things to do

i suppose they might call you willfully ignorant because you don't know how to herd cattle, till a field or fix a tractor

it does seem, though, that it's a part of america that's fading ... and the economics of why that is happening have little to do with democratic or republican politics
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 AM on January 31, 2006


Randolph Utah, is frequently the coldest spot in Utah, if not the coldest spot in the United States. These people work hard, and believe what they read, and if the papers have nothing bad to say about Bush, then they leave it right there. They are sweet people, they are not haters. They live somewhere that you would never want to live, and work hard to live there. Finding fault with the people of Randolph, is like going to Montana in January, and complaining about snow. I am a dyed in the wood Democrat, and I find the people of Northern Utah, to be so nice, and some of the brightest people I talk to are the produce brokers from that area. They know there are big problems with how things are going. Regular Utahans are having a hard time connecting George Bush, to their pain. They will though, they just got their gas bills.
posted by Oyéah at 10:05 AM on January 31, 2006


i might add that the really willfully ignorant people are those in the larger towns, small cities and suburbs who make up the rank and file of the republicans ... they actually are surrounded by the consequences of what they support ... and have turned a blind eye to it

people in places like randolph don't have any influence ... and i don't think they were that much concerned when clinton was president either
posted by pyramid termite at 10:11 AM on January 31, 2006


Canada elects Conservative

So? Canadian conservatives aren't American republicans. At least 1/3 of their MPs are centrists in wolf's clothing (certainly all 10 of their MPs from Quebec are), and the real reason Harper gets to be PM is that the Liberals were so tainted by corruption that people wanted to teach them a lesson. And the fact that the Libs seemed to stop showing up halfway through the campaign period didn't help either.
posted by clevershark at 10:21 AM on January 31, 2006


I had a friend in the Navy from Utah. When I first met him, I asked if was a Mormon. His was response was: "Fuckin' Mormons, I hate those bastards". He said that as a non-Mormon in Utah was essentially a second-class citizen. They were always very friendly, but if you wanted a job/raise/promotion/home loan/etc. it helped very much to go to the right church.

As for them being happier than us, tell it to the teenaged girls who are told they'll be marrying a 40 year old man who already has 2 or 3 wives.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:24 AM on January 31, 2006


However, because God doesn't like dead babies, they will continue to vote (R) until Jesus comes back.

Yes, they live in Utah.
posted by wah


Single issue voters.
Very dangerous lot.
I guess Scalito will take care of that little issue for them.
Who they gonna vote for then?
Or perhaps more accurately, what's their weak assed excuse to abdicate from thinking for themselves gonna be then?
posted by nofundy at 10:27 AM on January 31, 2006


As for them being happier than us, tell it to the teenaged girls who are told they'll be marrying a 40 year old man who already has 2 or 3 wives.

The Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. and its members do not practice polygamy. There are some very small splinter groups that do, and they are not members of the church, though they erroneously refer to themselves as "mormons." They are a tiny minority in Utah. The majority of Utahns are not Mormon. Polygamists make up an extraordinarily small minority and are primarily in remote parts of the state, and live on compounds segregated from the rest of the population.
posted by JekPorkins at 10:32 AM on January 31, 2006


Mormons are taught by their church that they're supposed to be submissive to authority, whether it's spiritual (their bishop and the church hierarchy) or secular (the government)

This doesn't entirely fit. For one thing, there's some segment of the right wing here which views the entire Federal government as barely a step up from UN, with which Bush 41 and Clinton were involved in a plot to abolish all sovereignty and establish a Fascist-Socialist New World Order. Or, more mildly, Utah is one of the first states to get actively restless about No Child Left Behind, with some state legislators making noise to the effect that the feds can take their money and go back to DC. And there's certainly not a lot of submissiveness towards authority when it's a Democrat.

Did anybody go to Randolph, UT back in 1997 and ask them what they thought of Wiliam Jefferson Clinton? Would they have spat vitriol, or would they have been ambivalent?

I suspect Cheney-like language, if not "fever pitch of hysterical screaming", would have been the result.

and it's a not-so-secret fact that the church encourages its members to vote GOP

I see indirect cultural influence rather than direct commands from the church hierarchy. It comes out the same because the GOP is able to sell value identification to people who religiously hold those values.

And I think that's the larger issue. This isn't really a rural-urban divide. Population-wise, Utah isn't a big collection of Randolphs -- the urban population is significantly bigger and growing faster than the rural population.
posted by weston at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2006


"And if he" -- meaning Bush -- "is listening to my calls? I'm not doing anything wrong. Why would I care?"

The old "I've got nothing to hide" saw. This attitude is depressing and infuriating. And it's definitely not limited to Mormon hillbillies.

Why should you care? Because when you give that much power to the state, you don't get to decide whether you're doing anything wrong. And because privacy is vital to the health of a free society.
posted by oncogenesis at 10:42 AM on January 31, 2006


I can completely understand the perspective of the people in that article.

However, they don't seem to understand that they are able to live the life they do due to the rest of this country.

If Randolph Utah was a country in and of itself, it would not be viable.

In many ways, the people of Randolph are free riders. They are taking advantage of the economic good in this country without having to worry about the economic bad.

Randolph couldn't afford to do the research to support the latest medical and dental procedures, for example. They depend on the rest of the country for that.

They couldn't afford that low-cost garage door opener if it wasn't made in China.

Life certainly isn't all about money, and it's great that the people of Randolph are happy with their lives. But their lives would be a lot harder if it wasn't for all the people in this country working together.

And that's the danger of Republicanism -- it makes people believe that they got where they are 100% on their own, and that anyone who can't must be a moral failure, and deserves the worst the world will serve to them.
posted by RalphSlate at 10:49 AM on January 31, 2006


Or perhaps more accurately, what's their weak assed excuse to abdicate from thinking for themselves gonna be then?

the eternal war on terror!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:56 AM on January 31, 2006


I'm not interested in the political side, myself - I'm agreeing with selfnoise. This reads like a middle-of-the-country gothic story, music by Stan Ridgeway.
They all say that it's a lonely town
They all say that it's a lonely town

Wide open spaces––empty rooms
If the weather holds out, you can get there by noon
Shadows crawl on the highway line
Don't rush, you've got time

Pull into a donut shop
And get a cup of mud
Ask for directions from a plumber outside
He says "don't go there, bud"

Chorus:
'Cause they all say
That it's a lonely town
And they all say
That it's a drag
And they all know
Those people in a lonely town
All those people are
Lonely and mad

posted by Zack_Replica at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2006


Nigga, please. How is this any different from the town in Northern NJ where my mother was raised? The town that has two democratic parties because no one would ever think of voting republican? OMG UTA SUX. Whatever. These people vote, and they don't read MetaFilter. What are you doing to change things? What do you suggest that the rest of us do that doesn't take up hours of free time we don't have?

And for the record, my mother says: "Don't get wise, beady-eyes*. I'll cut you down to peanut size. I'm the boss, applesauce. Understand, rubberband?" just as her parents did before her.

*I always heard this as beebee/BB, possible explaining the "bubble" connection?
posted by Eideteker at 11:14 AM on January 31, 2006


Did anybody go to Randolph, UT back in 1997 and ask them what they thought of Wiliam Jefferson Clinton?

I'm sure they would have said the same thing:
"there's a sense of loyalty and patriotism that kind of overcomes the tendency toward cynicism that is evident in the rest of the country right now."
Right?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:15 AM on January 31, 2006


Ugh, and I used "these people" just as every other idiot in this thread has. At least I meant small-town traditionalists in general and not "ignorant hick yokels." Yeah, way to not be ignorant.
posted by Eideteker at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2006


my friend just sent the gator inn two bottles of dijon mustard, with the message that its good to "try new things." brilliant. more of us should do that.
posted by yonation at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2006


Waste of time, yonation. Any condiment more exotic than relish (and even that would be pushing it) will likely be regarded as something that could give them teh gay, or worse, teh French!
posted by you just lost the game at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2006


yonation and yjltg: The real question is: Do you know what Fry Sauce is, and do you want to try it?
posted by JekPorkins at 11:25 AM on January 31, 2006


All kinds of awesome, yonation. Maybe I'll have to take a drive up there in the spring (Northern Utah is gorgeous in the spring) and drop of a new sauce or two myself.
posted by weston at 11:28 AM on January 31, 2006


I noticed a few weeks ago that another user on Discogs and former rave promoter, Pete Ashdown, is challenging Orrin Hatch for a Utah senate seat this year. He's also a techie and is using open source and copyright as a wedge issue after Hatch's famous remarks. Would be great to see him win, but given the state and who he's up against, i have my doubts :(
posted by p3t3 at 11:28 AM on January 31, 2006


Yonation - your friend rocks.

pyramid termite:
in cattle/farm country? ... yeah, right ... (what did you think they did 100 years ago)

Died at age 42, mostly.
posted by bashos_frog at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2006


I can't see yonation's friend's act as anything but condescending. I hope this is a personal failing in myself not shared by those at the Gator.

"Why can't we reach 'these people'?"
"I don't know, we keep telling them that they need to change because they're stupid, but it's not working."
"Stupids!"
posted by Eideteker at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2006


"The majority of Utahns are not Mormon"

Not true.

There's an excellent county-by-county percentage breakdown here (PDF)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:39 AM on January 31, 2006


former rave promoter

Ashdown is a former rave promoter?

If that's true, he's so doomed.
posted by weston at 11:39 AM on January 31, 2006


I stand corrected. Let me revise my comment: The majority of the folks who live in SL County are not mormon.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2006


Has anyone ever considered that these folks know that the left call them names, and that that might have something do to with why they vote Republican? Believe it or not, when you keep calling people stupid, they tend not to vote for your candidates. Eideteker hit the nail on the head. If you call a demographic stupid, you can't expect that they're going to side with you when you want them to. It may make you feel important to call people from rural areas stupid and backwards, but it also insures that they will never take your side in things, no matter how much your policies help them.
posted by unreason at 11:47 AM on January 31, 2006


I can't see yonation's friend's act as anything but condescending.

Dunno. If Gladwell is to be believed, "if you gave people a mustard taste test, a significant number had only to try Grey Poupon once to switch from yellow mustard." Maybe that's good enough.
posted by weston at 11:47 AM on January 31, 2006


@weston,
Yeah, I doubt he's advertising the fact, and I'm not sure if his opponents will dig any of that stuff up. But he did, however, supposedly start the first ISP in Utah, XMission, in 1993 which he continues to run. He's using lots of tech credentials and appealing to younger intenet-savvy types it seems (most of whom would probably dig the fact that he used to set up raves)..
posted by p3t3 at 11:48 AM on January 31, 2006


I'm not sure if his opponents will dig any of that stuff up.

A random metafilterian can dig it up, but Orrin Hatch's staff won't be able to? I think you underestimate them.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2006


so where's the edit post feature? :)

Yeah, I assumed they could probably find the info already, but I meant to say that I'm not sure they would bother bringing it up - unless they can pin him to drug charges or hosting illegal venue events which I'm guessing might be tough (otherwise he shouldn't be running)..
posted by p3t3 at 11:58 AM on January 31, 2006


And furthermore, while I'm still fuming about the general tenor of this thread, your "we have to save these poor people from themselves" attitude is precisely what so many dislike about the various sects of evangelical Christians. No hypocrisy is too blatant for MetaFilter.
posted by Eideteker at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2006


It's obvious Democrats can't win nationally without compromising. Instead, Urban centers need to move forward on their own. Urban schools need to start producing the best students, urban areas need to end their oil dependence, urban areas need to embrace verboten civil liberties such as drug use, and urban areas need to maintain cohesian by blocking sprawl. Aim for Amsterdam- the Federal government can't stop you. The clearer alternative Urban areas set, the more hope there is for the country to see an alternative to the drunken faith they've placed in Capitalism, Christianity, and Militarism.
posted by efbrazil at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2006


unreason mixes up cause and effect once again.

They don't vote GOP because they were called stupid.

They were called stupid because they vote GOP without being billionaires.

Stupid is as stupid votes. They are not gonna come around and vote Democrat, anyway. Not because of name-calling, but because they are too STUPID to make the connection between their economic problems and their dear leader. I don't want them to side with me, until they stop being stupid. I'd much rather make an example of them, pointing, and saying "Look at how stupid they are - do you really want to be (or vote) like them?"
posted by bashos_frog at 12:05 PM on January 31, 2006


on preview:
Eideteker, I don't want to save them from themselves. I want to save me, from the people they're electing.

It's like watching a 6-year old playing with a Glock. But don't condescend to point out that what they are doing is stupid and dangerous.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:08 PM on January 31, 2006


They don't vote GOP because they were called stupid.
They were called stupid because they vote GOP without being billionaires.


Not true. I remember the last elections. I met some of the Democrats campaigning during 2004 and in 2000. When they talked about rural voters, there was always an attitude of condension and disgust. Then, surprise, surprise, the rurals responded by voting Republican. The rurals know by know that you think that they, their religion, and everything else is stupid and wrong. Why on earth would they vote for people that think that?

I'd much rather make an example of them, pointing, and saying "Look at how stupid they are - do you really want to be (or vote) like them?"

Yes, I'm sure you'll have a great time doing that. What you won't have a great time doing is living under a Republican government in 2008, 2012, 2016, and so on until you figure out that calling people names makes them less likely to take your side.
posted by unreason at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Hey! Bush doesn't know what Dijon mustard is either! Woohoo! Amer'ca!
posted by NationalKato at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2006


JekPorkins,
Sounds like Fry Sauce may be the one redeeming feature of Randolph. Although, I haven't tried it, I've mixing mayo and ketchup for fries for years. This sounds like it is probably the platonic ideal of that combo. I'll be writing to Arctic Circle for a sample.

And for the record, I have yet to meet the food I wouldn't try, still wriggling, or cooked. (Although dolphin meat was a bit hard for me to choke down, for moral reasons as well as taste.)
posted by bashos_frog at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2006


"The majority of the folks who live in SL County are not mormon"

That also may not be the case. As the PDF file I linked states, in 2004 the Mormon majority in Salt Lake County was 53.3%. It's possible that has shifted enough since then, but I find it unlikely.

I wouldn't find it hard to believe the city of Salt Lake is Mormon-minority, however, but it is definitely one of the lone Democrat strongholds in the state.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2006


And I'm eating some great fries with fry sauce right now, courtesy of Apollo Burger on 45th South.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:19 PM on January 31, 2006


...figure out that calling people names makes them less likely to take your side

The names 'fag', 'nigger', 'wetback', 'raghead' and 'effete liberal elitist' seem to be working just fine for the other side, so I'll take my chances.

Although it is much easier to get out the vote when your side's voters are stupid sheeple who will believe any bullshit you feed them as long as you look folksy, clear enough brush, act uneducated and uncurious, and stuff your flightsuit.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:21 PM on January 31, 2006


mr_crash_davis, you magnificent bastard. Apollo Burger's fry sauce is one of the very few things about Utah culture that I can tolerate.

Looking at your profile, I bet I know someone who knows you. Eek.
posted by JekPorkins at 12:23 PM on January 31, 2006



The names 'fag', 'nigger', 'wetback', 'raghead' and 'effete liberal elitist' seem to be working just fine for the other side


No, not really. The Republicans call gays fags, so gays don't vote republican. They call Moslems raghead, which means that Moslems are starting to vote Democrat. Seeing a pattern, yet? When you call people names, they don't vote for you. It's that simple. The republicans stupidly call potential voters names because they're bigots. What's your excuse?
posted by unreason at 12:26 PM on January 31, 2006


"Hey, Aaron," Orton says, and in comes a young man who is 16, and who is considered one of Rich County's three African Americans even though he considers himself a mix of a white mother and black father.

Just to add a slightly different data point to this, I am also mixed and have had a Utah experience that contradicts the "ignorant-but-harmless" attitude this article seems to convey with regards to cultural diversity. In high school I visited St. George on an orchestra field trip, and I have never felt that much overt racism directed at me in my life. Not only were there plenty of stares and whispers in public, when my friend (who also has darker skin) and I decided to take a walk to a convenience store, we were verbally assaulted multiple times by people driving by. Several people honked, and at least two rolled their windows down to yell something. One man slowed down and screamed "NIGGERS!" at us, then speeding up. I don't know if it was just this town, but it made me never want to visit Utah again. (I know that the urban areas are somewhat better, but this truly scared me.) It was like being in the South 50 years ago. "Cute" does not come to mind. Randolph may not be at this point yet, but it may be on its way.
posted by mayfly wake at 12:28 PM on January 31, 2006


My excuse is that it is easier to type "stupid" than to type "myopic, intellectually challenged, stubborn, irrational, xenophobic, fascist-wannabee" although both are accurate descriptions.

And the republicans know that it is easier to bring people together to oppose something/someone than it is to bring them together to support something. They've become the masters of taking a two-minutes-hate and stretching out through an entire election cycle. But God forbid some points out that it's a tactic that only appeals to the stupid masses. Then the poor freeper's feelings are bruised.

I just wish there was something equivalent to their demagoguery that would be equally effective with intelligent, open-minded, liberal/progressive types.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:41 PM on January 31, 2006


(scrolling text) In 2036 the American empire lay in ruins. torn by internal dissent, and wracked by numerous wars, its rich trade routes fell easy prey to british privateers...and the treasure of the Spanish main was brought home to the shores of England.
By the time roller captions have finished the rowing boat has approached much nearer. It stops and they ship their oars. Cut in to close ups of pirate's face peering into the darkness. Shot from the boat of a deserted cliff top. A light flashes twice. Then there is a pause. Cut back to the boat; the men look uneasy as they wait for the third flash. Cut back to the cliff...at last the third flash. Cut back to the boat; they start to again. Cut to them beaching the boat on the shore. They start to unload sacks and chests. Putting them onto their shoulders they start to walk along the shore line. We pan with them for quite some way...and suddenly between the camera and the pirates we come across the announcer at a desk. He wears a dinner jacket and shuffles some papers in front of him.

posted by uni verse at 12:42 PM on January 31, 2006


stretching out => stretching it out
some => somebody
posted by bashos_frog at 12:42 PM on January 31, 2006


On preview: Terribly sorry, I hadn't realised the conversation had gotten serious.
posted by uni verse at 12:45 PM on January 31, 2006


caddis: ... We're not like you.
posted by Pseudonumb at 12:39 PM EST on January 31 [!]


Can't take a joke huh?
posted by caddis at 12:46 PM on January 31, 2006


My hovercraft is full of eels, and you have beautiful thighs.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:47 PM on January 31, 2006


bashos_frog: so, you use one insult because it's easier than using lots of other insults. And I suppose that if someone called you a myopic, intellectually challenged, stubborn, irrational, xenophobic, fascist-wannabee, that would make you seriously question your political leanings and consider voting for the other side. Right.
posted by JekPorkins at 12:48 PM on January 31, 2006


They're peasants.

But unlike the tradtional peasant, their way of life is unsustainable without subsidies from their more liberal, urbanized brethren (whose fucking buying the patty melt in the story? Thats right, some ski bunny who I'd wager is probably a hell of a lot more liberal (and far far wealthier) than anyone in Randolph).
posted by Chrischris at 12:52 PM on January 31, 2006


If someone called me that, I would get angry.
If half the country was calling me that, I'd probably seriously reevaluate some of my beliefs.
But I'm philosophical like that - comes with liking me some good ol' Grey Poupon.
(Also, it implies that at some point I had already evaluated my beliefs, rather than blindly believing whater the preacher man on the teevee told me.)
posted by bashos_frog at 12:52 PM on January 31, 2006


Chrischris, I'm pretty sure that Randolph's economy isn't sustained by the occasional heli-ski tourist who buys a patty melt. That town's in the middle of nowhere, not on the way to anything. It's a farm town, not a tourist attraction.

and bashos_frog, half the country is calling you that -- the half you think is stupid. Well, slightly more than half, actually, but semantics . . . And I suspect that rural utah isn't real into televangelists. Just a guess.
posted by JekPorkins at 12:58 PM on January 31, 2006


Just to add a slightly different data point to this, I am also mixed and have had a Utah experience that contradicts the "ignorant-but-harmless" attitude this article seems to convey with regards to cultural diversity. In high school I visited St. George on an orchestra field trip, and I have never felt that much overt racism directed at me in my life. Not only were there plenty of stares and whispers in public, when my friend (who also has darker skin) and I decided to take a walk to a convenience store, we were verbally assaulted multiple times by people driving by. Several people honked, and at least two rolled their windows down to yell something. One man slowed down and screamed "NIGGERS!" at us, then speeding up. I don't know if it was just this town, but it made me never want to visit Utah again. (I know that the urban areas are somewhat better, but this truly scared me.) It was like being in the South 50 years ago. "Cute" does not come to mind. Randolph may not be at this point yet, but it may be on its way.

One of the central themes within the book of mormon is that black skin means inherent eeevihl-ness. Nephites = Good and Light Skinned, Lamanites = Bad and Dark Skinned (mark o' cain and all that). I spent my high school years in Orem, Utah, and man the black jokes were rampant. It wasn't until 1978 that blacks acheived technically equal status with whites. I say technically, because the rulling council of 70 is still disproportionately white considering the widespread proselytization efforts in the south sea islands and africa over the past 30 years.

Many posts to this thread have referenced that these people are ignorant. The least you can do is pronounce the word as they would say it in Randolph. The correct Utahn pronunciation of Ignorant is Ignernt!
posted by prodigalsun at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2006


It's a farm town, not a tourist attraction.

JekPorkins, fair enough on that count. But:
According to this site, Rich County, UT (pop. 1961 as of 2000) has received $6,636,579 in federal farm subsidies & disaster relief since 1995. Of that six million $4,632,564 has been disbursed since 2001.

Tell me again, how we're not subsidizing these folks and "their way of life"?
posted by Chrischris at 1:22 PM on January 31, 2006


prodigalsun, you clearly didn't finish reading the book of mormon, or you'd know that by the end, the light skinned ones had become the bad guys and the dark skinned ones had become the good guys, and they had switched back and forth a few times. And it has nothing to do with the mark of cain.

In my experience, a lot of Utahns are racist because they are, indeed, ignorant. Many of them also have dumb misconceptions about mormonism, like the one you have -- including many of the ones who are actually mormons. Mormonism started out being very open to african-americans, and at some point some very racist ideas crept in. Those ideas have only recently (in the last 30 years or so) begun to be eclipsed by the actual non-racist doctrines of the church. Nevertheless, a lot of idiots remain. I tend to interpret it as being an isolationist/rural thing, and that people then try to get the religious stuff to fit within their racist views. But it doesn't really fit.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:23 PM on January 31, 2006


OOOhhh, Chrischris *SNAP*
posted by prodigalsun at 1:25 PM on January 31, 2006


Goddamn I'm starting to get sick of the "I am special because I make you aware that you're being a condescending liberal" routine.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:27 PM on January 31, 2006


No, Jek, you're right, I didn't finish the book of mormon, too much was plagiarized out of the KJV version of the Bible.

The Mark of Cain was how it was explained to me by several well meaning but bigotted mormons.

Are you LDS, Jek?
posted by prodigalsun at 1:28 PM on January 31, 2006


Jek, if a person paints a target on the side of a barn, but never fires anything at it, is it still a target? Or is it only a target once it's been hit?

You may, if you like, reread my comment and realize precisely what I was talking about, in that light.
posted by shmegegge at 1:29 PM on January 31, 2006


prodigalsun - as much as I hate to admit it on MeFi, since it poisons the well with so many people here, yes, I am. But there have been far too many posts on that topic on MeFi, and I don't want to start another one. I'd be happy to discuss via email -- see my profile. FWIW, I can't stand Utah and the racist events in mormon history are very troubling to me - and the well-meaning folks you talked to were not only bigotted, but also ill-informed and totally wrong. And part of the definition of plagiarism is that the quote is not attributed. So the parts you're referring to are not plagiarized. For further discussion, please feel free to email.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2006


One party tries to put programs in place that would help them improve their situation, and one party panders to and exploits them to increase profits for their corporate contributors.

Same thing really, I guess.
posted by bashos_frog


Improve their situation? Or keep them there. A whole 'nother debate, but the world isn't quite as black and white as you see it.

That's middle America for you. Glad I moved back to Canada.
posted by clevershark


And middle america misses you, no, really.

And that's the danger of Republicanism -- it makes people believe that they got where they are 100% on their own, and that anyone who can't must be a moral failure, and deserves the worst the world will serve to them.
posted by RalphSlate


And that's the danger of the democratic party -- it makes people believe that they can't get anywhere on their own, and that anyone who can must be an immoral crook, and deserves the worst the world will serve to them.

I just wish there was something equivalent to their demagoguery that would be equally effective with intelligent, open-minded, liberal/progressive types.
posted by bashos_frog


What about idiotic, close-minded, liberal/progressive types? Really bashos_frog, the republican party would pay for your types to keepy yapping. You're better than any amount of money they could pay for advertising, and the beauty of it is you don't even realize it.

Goddamn I'm starting to get sick of the "I am special because I make you aware that you're being a condescending liberal" routine.
posted by rxrfrx


Then quit doing it. I'm sick of your condescending.

Look, there are voting blocks for each party that wouldn't change their vote in the face of absolute proof it was against their best interest. There are voting blocks who would vote for Bill Clinton if he was smoking crack while killing kittens.

But the difference is the dems do help these grous, right? Like chris rock said...dem or republican president, there's always been compton. The inner city isn't going away, but it sure as hell is going to vote democrat.
posted by justgary at 1:38 PM on January 31, 2006


bashos_frog, half the country is calling you that -- the half you think is stupid.

Yep. And after the 2000 election fiasco, I decided to be open-minded and see what kind of president Bush would turn out to be. (In fact not that long ago I voted for his father.) But the evidence in front of my eyes is undeniable. This is a bad president, who is harming the country, and the world.
And I won't be convinced by those people who "don't think there's anything he could say that would make [them] dislike him."
They may believe it strongly, but they cannot logically or rationally back up their positions. The sum total of their argument rests on faith, and feeling, and truthiness.
Someone who is either in deep denial, or totally brainwashed is not someone I can allow to influence me.

Take the woman with high drug bills, for example. The president came up with the medicare plan, in conjunction with big pharma, and they rammed through congress despite the near unanimous objection of the democrats.
Yet, they cannot see any blame for Bush?
What do you call that, if not stupid? Ignorant, maybe? Maybe there is no newspaper in Randolph? No TV? No radio?
Or maybe, just maybe, there is no critical thinking going on there. Stupid.

"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."
posted by bashos_frog at 1:39 PM on January 31, 2006


Is unreason actually arguing that the way to win an election is to be nice, decent, and honorable to the opposition, and to try to win them over with respect?

Because I don't recall the last two elections being won that way. I recall fear-mongering, devisiveness, slander, and essential dishonesty winning the day. Just barely, but winning nonetheless.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:43 PM on January 31, 2006


Then quit doing it. I'm sick of your condescending.

Whom are you addressing here? Assuming the FPP article is factual, it describes some really bad behavior on the part of the people responsible for putting this president in office ("I don't think there's anything he could say that would make me dislike him"). It's inappropriate to lump together the stupid partisan crap from the later posts in this thread ("Republicans are always bad and therefore Democrats are always good") with the initial posts that really get to the heart of the problem- that the current administration is a contender for Worst Presidency Ever, and there's some die-hard supporters out there whom we have good reason to dislike.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:45 PM on January 31, 2006


close-minded, liberal/progressive types

Yeah, those liberal who keep insisting that the earth is round and that grass is green, should really open their minds a bit.

Unlike the open-minded republicans who feel that people should be free to believe and do whatever they want, as long as it's the party line, and biblically sanctioned.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:48 PM on January 31, 2006


Is unreason actually arguing that the way to win an election is to be nice, decent, and honorable to the opposition, and to try to win them over with respect?

Yes.

Because I don't recall the last two elections being won that way. I recall fear-mongering, devisiveness, slander, and essential dishonesty winning the day. Just barely, but winning nonetheless.

Exactly. But here's the thing: the Republicans are good at those sorts of underhanded tactics. The Democrats aren't. If they try to be as bad as the GOP, they'll lose. Their best strategy is to try to convince people to change their minds at vote Democrat. The GOP doesn't have to do this. They already have a narrow majority. The Dems do, because they don't. When you have a minority, you have to convince people that aren't on your side to join you. And you can't do that by telling them that they suck and that you hate them and everything they stand for.
posted by unreason at 1:48 PM on January 31, 2006


Astro Zombie: The voters themselves are not "the opposition." And I think you really have highlighted a big problem that the Democrats seem to have: They see republican voters themselves as "opponents," instead of seeing the politicians as their opponents.

These people in rural Utah are not the opponents of the democratic party. They are the prize you win if you beat your opponent. Instead of saying "Republicans are stupid," or "rural people are stupid because they vote for Republicans," to win, you need to say "rural people and republican voters are intelligent, good people who have been duped by dishonest, stupid politicians."
posted by JekPorkins at 1:49 PM on January 31, 2006


Wow, I'm late on this -- but as a non-Mormon Utahn (by the way, there's debate on the spelling: Utahan??) by birth, I think that, indeed, there is a frickload of willful ignorance in this state. There is sort of a local cabal of Bishops who are THE authorities to turn-to for just about every kind of counsel -- Political, Business, Sexual, Spiritual etc. etc. To me this smacks very much of the Religious Right. But Mormons are this sort of separate entity outside of your typical evangelical, born-again, bible-thumpers.

Recently I attended a Mormon wedding. The phrase "Patriarchal Dominion" was uttered 6 or 7 times. mr_crash_davis had it right: Mormons are made to submit to authority.

This is a very sheltered and frightened culture (with just a pinch of cut-throatedness).

Finally, here in Salt Lake City less than half of the population is Mormon and our Democratic Mayor has got to be one of the most liberal in the country.
posted by punkbitch at 1:56 PM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.
posted by caddis


I wish I could disagree with that statement, dammit.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:57 PM on January 31, 2006


And just to expand on what rxrfrx said a bit, I am admittedly very partisan right now. That's because I feel the republican party is actively harming the country.

Republican ideals, of the type subscribed to by Lincoln and T. Roosevelt are worthy of respect, and the Democrats would do well to absorb some of that philosophy.

Even Reagan (dare I say it on MeFi) showed some evidence of actually caring about the country and it's values, although I think overall the system corrupted his early ideals and led him to some truly bad policies.

But this group currently in power is scary because they've not only won over the stupids, but they keep convincing other folks that stupidity and ignorance are virtuous and patriotic. In fact anything other than blind obediance to authority is looked at as a bit subversive these days. And is dealt with in an increasingly harsh manner.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:59 PM on January 31, 2006


In fact anything other than blind obediance to authority is looked at as a bit subversive these days. And is dealt with in an increasingly harsh manner.

It's more than a little worrisome how familiar that "Democracy vs. Despotism" video seemed.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:06 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm starting to get sick of the "I am special because I make you aware that you're being a condescending liberal"

I think it was less an effort to say "I am special" and more an effort to point out that being an ass won't win you any friends or respect.

I understand that there's a strong desire to write people off and assume they'll never change and they're hopeless. And that desire stems from the case that it's true in a good number cases -- many people never will change their mind or paradigm. If there's any example of this, it's the last governor's race in Utah. It was as polite and issue-focused and non-partisan as you could have asked for -- in many ways, the bizarro opposite of the Presidential race. The Democratic candidate (Matheson) was the picture of personal success and family values and well-spoken and professional -- and actually repudiated an attempt to smear the Republican candidate (Huntsman). And he still lost by 30%, if I recall correctly. Now, for the democrats and other Matheson supporters, that's discouraging: they did everything right, and still lost. So if you can't actually win people over, why not be a jerk about expressing your views?

Because you don't really have anything to gain from that, either, do you? I've gotten upset about politics with people before, and I still do, and so far as I can tell, you don't get much.

And sometimes, in my experience, real dialogue works. I have acquaintances I differ with strongly on political matters, and yet I've managed to maintain a certain amount of respect and even, in a few rare cases, change some minds.

And Matheson apparently did too. Not enough to win, but the margin between him and Huntsman was 10% smaller than Kerry's was with Bush.
posted by weston at 2:16 PM on January 31, 2006


keep in mind, too, that Utah used to be an all-democrat state. That's when Matheson's dad was governor (Gov. Matheson was his dad, right?). All it took for the entire state to flip parties was for a prominent mormon republican to become the leader of the church. It perplexes me that mormons don't seem to realize that the current president of their church is an outspoken democrat.
posted by JekPorkins at 2:21 PM on January 31, 2006


It perplexes me that mormons don't seem to realize that the current president of their church is an outspoken democrat.

Maybe ibecause on the books the church presents a very nonpartisan message. Every year at election time the presidency of the church sends out a letter not only encouraging members to vote and be active in politics, but also reaffirms that the church doesn't promote any candidate (and also that church records should not be used for campaigning, political purposes, etc).
posted by artifarce at 2:52 PM on January 31, 2006


And while we're on famous Democratic Mormons, the Senate Minority Leader, of course, is Mormon.
posted by artifarce at 2:53 PM on January 31, 2006


What drives votes in the USA is hate. The party that can get people to hate the most, wins the most.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:03 PM on January 31, 2006


What drives votes in the USA is hate. The party that can get people to hate the most, wins the most.

See, that's what the Democrats apparently think, and that's why they fail.
posted by JekPorkins at 3:12 PM on January 31, 2006


And that's the danger of the democratic party -- it makes people believe that they can't get anywhere on their own, and that anyone who can must be an immoral crook, and deserves the worst the world will serve to them.

huh
posted by mcsweetie at 3:28 PM on January 31, 2006


I am not a Democrat, Jek. Gettaclue.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:52 PM on January 31, 2006


I didn't say you are, fish. And thanks for the insult.
posted by JekPorkins at 3:55 PM on January 31, 2006


"Finally, here in Salt Lake City less than half of the population is Mormon and our Democratic Mayor has got to be one of the most liberal in the country."

Not to mention that he has a parrot named Cardoso.

That's fuckingfrickin' awesome.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:27 PM on January 31, 2006


that, it is
posted by caddis at 5:02 PM on January 31, 2006


Suck it haters. These people are happier than you are.
posted by caddis

Are they really happier?
Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use.
And here.
posted by Merlin at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2006


shmegegge: I was agreeing with your statement, not trying to correct you. Sorry it didn't come out that way.
posted by sotonohito at 6:32 PM on January 31, 2006


I read this entire thread, and all I got was 12 kids, some funny looking underwear, a few 5 gallon pails of unground winter wheat, a bucket filled with dry dog kibble but labled "TVP", a few drums of slightly bleached water, a 2.5 gallon tin jerry can full of honey and an oily 5 pound fiberboard canister full of weird looking peanut butter, both labled "Deseret".

No, haven't seen the wife yet. Ponder, I do. I think she's gone missing, or maybe she's in the peanut butter again.

Q: How many Mormons does it take to screw in a light bulb? Dude, you can't fit three wives in a light bulb!

A: 41. 1 to screw in the light bulb and 40 to bring refreshments.
posted by loquacious at 6:39 PM on January 31, 2006


ahhhh, I didn't catch that. sorry.
posted by shmegegge at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2006


See, that's what the Democrats apparently think, and that's why they fail.

I guess that on whatever you're planet from, it's the Democrats who mastered the art of character assassination, and who took media control to new heights. And it's the Democrats who routinely round up voters by playing on the hate of bigots.

You're trolling, gone down the road wacko, or posting on Bizarro MetaFilter. My money is on #2.
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2006


punkbitch:
There is sort of a local cabal of Bishops who are THE authorities to turn-to for just about every kind of counsel

I think it only fair to point out that a 'bishop' in the Mormon church is equivalent of a minister/priest in other churches. Bishops are elected from the lay people, and unpaid for their work in that position. Just sayin'

As for the rest of this, have so many of you forgotten the simple fact that the media aren't doing their job of reporting facts? How can people begin to think rational thoughts on an issue about which they lack the whole story? It takes an informed electorate to make a democracy work.
posted by Goofyy at 4:24 AM on February 1, 2006


but those facts are so biased against the Bush administration, how can a media outlet report the facts, when the facts are biased?
posted by caddis at 4:53 AM on February 1, 2006


caddis: facts are not biased, by definition. Bias is achieved by selective inclusion and omission of facts, and subtle spin. And while this does take place in the American media today, the real problem, it seems to me, is simple failure to report whole stories.
posted by Goofyy at 5:12 AM on February 1, 2006


please turn down your sarcasm filter
posted by caddis at 5:20 AM on February 1, 2006


caddis: sorry dude. I didn't catch that. I should've. New glasses, you know? They pinch the nose, which increases capacitance in the sarcasm detection circuitry.
posted by Goofyy at 5:38 AM on February 1, 2006


See, that's what the Democrats apparently think, and that's why they fail.

Yes, would agree. The DLC did the damage. When Reagan pulled in the "trailer park republicans" instead of looking to win them back, they instead went for the "Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal" types, and abdicated the evangelicals that put Carter in the whitehouse.

What pisses me off is that the Democrats think it's merely enough to stand back pointing and saying "Can you believe the shit they're doing?"

Jekporkins, thanks for being honest and "coming out." There is a big difference between mormons in utah, and mormons outside of it. Mormons I know outside of the state understand that it's a big world with a multiplicity of views, and and that there's is not the only belief system out there.
posted by prodigalsun at 6:32 AM on February 1, 2006


I stole it from the Daily Show anyway.
posted by caddis at 6:59 AM on February 1, 2006


I've been to Randolph. I think it would surprise a lot of people to go there after reading this article. They would wonder what's so special about it, besides the self-declared moral superiority of everyone you would meet. But that's not why I decided to post for the first time. Randolph, Rich County, Utah is about as socialistic as they come in America. If you complain about it, they might call you a terrorist.

http://www.rangebiome.org/editorials/nutah1.html

Ms. Cornia intimated that I and the Western Watersheds Project are terrorists because we appealed the recent BLM grazing decisions in Rich County....Ms. Cornia complained our action will be devastating to Rich County ranchers and that the environmental analysis we requested will be paid by the taxpayer, not us. I would like to note, that if the ranchers’ livestock were not grazing these lands, the environmental analysis we appealed would not have been necessary. The cost of that analysis was also paid by the taxpayer. In addition, Federal grazing fees are $1.43 per cow and calf for each month to consume somewhere around half a ton of forage. With hay running near $100 per ton, that is quite a discount and is a fraction of market value of private grazing ground. The costs of administering these grazing permits across the west are subsidized by the American taxpayer to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. This does not count the additional billions of dollars in lost topsoil, stream damage, silted reservoirs and canals, treating water supplies to remove silt and fecal material and the need for fish hatcheries because fish can’t reproduce or even live in many of our streams due to livestock. It doesn’t count the annual loss of millions of acre-feet of water due to watershed damage from livestock grazing. It doesn’t count the loss of deer and elk and other wildlife.

posted by Brian B. at 1:46 PM on February 1, 2006


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