Friday, November 05, 2004

Every time you try to be nice 

Reader and frequent Scholar contributor Roger Lewis writes in again:

Here in the College of Business, I had hoped for a few more like minded individuals, but Wednesday the folly of that hope was apparent. After Tuesday�s election, many of my colleagues were very dejected, even depressed. I graciously tried to give a couple of them some hope, saying that four years from now, the morning after the election, they can celebrate Hillary�s victory. To no avail - one Despondent Democrat (DD) couldn�t believe how �bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, redneck stupid the American public is�. Exit, stage left.

Wednesday afternoon, another DD was in my office commenting on the Red/Blue map of the United States. The reason, DD said, is that the voters in those blue, metropolitan areas live in a diverse culture. They live in the REAL world and support the party that supports diversity - the Democratic Party, of course! I asked if that meant Red America didn�t live in the real world and DD said yes, we�re just ignorant here in Red America. I figure DD must be part of the intelligentsia minority among the unwashed masses here in Red America.

I guess my well of graciousness has been drained. Playing with DD, I said the reason Blue America votes Democratic isn�t because they are smart or diverse, it�s because the Democratic Party steals money from the pockets/food from the mouths of Red America and gives it to the crack addicts/whore mommas living in the urban areas and the more taxes Democrats steal from us �ignorant� Red Americans to give to the urban residents, the more urban residents are going to vote Democratic. Diversity and intelligence have nothing to do with it!

I have to say I've received more email lately, including one outraged reply from one of my aunts who "mistakenly" sent me Alterman's screed. I sent her back Michelle's. You could have taken Elder's advice, which I guess many others did. But some of us are born into families with Democrats, and others of us have to work with them.

I do need to point out a couple of things. The economic redistribution argument is one I remember from graduate school, but looking at the latest figures from the Tax Foundation make it seem not quite true.
�During fiscal 2003, taxpayers in New Mexico benefited the most from the give-and-take with Uncle Sam,� said Moody. New Mexico received $1.99 in federal outlays for every $1.00 the state�s taxpayers sent to Uncle Sam. Other big winners were Alaska ($1.89), Mississippi ($1.83), and West Virginia ($1.82).
All four states, of course, went to Bush. The state at the opposite end of the spectrum is New Jersey, which defied my dark-horse prediction and went to Kerry.

The other thing to point out is that the demographic trends, which I think is where Roger was really thinking, are indeed still moving towards red states and won't stop soon. Take for example this article from Barron's yesterday.

Blue states like Illinois and Pennsylvania are losing population relative to red states like Texas, Florida and Georgia. And people who move to the red states tend to either adopt or bring with them the more conservative attitudes of their new homes.

The power of Democratic strongholds continues to shrink. New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt's home state, once dominated the electoral map, with 45 electoral votes. The Empire State now has 31, trailing California and Texas, and Florida is nipping at its heels.

In the 1960 election, which John F. Kennedy won narrowly against Richard M. Nixon, the northeastern states accounted for 136 electoral votes. On Tuesday they delivered 104 electoral votes to Kerry.

And you can't take too much comfort from California, as it appears growth is slowing. And it gets worse from there:
Senator Kerry, however, won the blue states by generally narrower margins than Gore did in 2000: New York by 18 percentage points, vs. 25 points last time; California, by nine points, vs. 12.
The demographics, in short, are not the whole story. Despite a much weaker Nader protest vote -- weakened in part by the memory of 2000 -- Kerry's winning margins were smaller. That will have to be part of the calculus as the Democrats regroup for '08.

Hopefully by then, they'll be over their anger.