Friday, November 12, 2004
( 4:38 PM )
Better Dead than Red
Lots of the blogs over the last week have been quoting various pundits and columnists about what happened in the election and then arguing with them or praising them. I thought I'd join the crowd - but the article I like best is by Dan Savage this week. His view of the election is one I can jive with:
Look at our famously blue West Coast. But for the cities--Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego--the West Coast would be a deep, dark red. The same is true for other nominally blue states. Illinois is almost entirely red--Chicago turns the state blue. Michigan is almost entirely red--its cities turn it blue. And on and on. What tips these states into the blue column? Their urban areas do, their big, populous counties.
It's time for the Democrats to face reality: They are the heart of urban America. If the cities elected our president, if urban voters determined the outcome, John F. Kerry would have won by a landslide.
Urban voters are the Democratic base.
It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion--New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on. And we live on islands in red states, too--a fact obscured by that state-by-state map. Denver and Boulder are our islands in Colorado; Las Vegas is our island in Nevada; Miami and Fort Lauderdale are our islands in Florida. Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They--rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs--are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hate-mongers.
All is not lost, oh urbane progressives!!
The Republicans have the federal government--for now. But we've got Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City (Bloomberg is a Republican in name only), and every college town in the country. We're everywhere any sane person wants to be. Let them have the shitholes, the Oklahomas, Wyomings, and Alabamas. We'll take Manhattan.
Dan has the answers... read on, you won't regret it. This article will give your heart a lift, perhaps a smile will alight upon your face, and you too, my progressive friend, will have hope once again.