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November 07, 2004

One Last Link

E Pluribus Unum, run until recently by a civil Ara Rubyan, has suddenly come to resemble the Civil War instead.

I have removed Ara's web log from my list of links following this post, which equates me and others like me with slaveowners. It is horribly offensive and I merely provide this post to explain his deletion from the list in the right sidebar.

We now return you to breaking news from the world of Britney Spears' marriage, or whatever.

Posted by Dan at November 7, 2004 07:50 AM

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Comments

Dan:

Please accept my apology if you (or anyone in the United States of America) were offended. Sorry to have caused you the pain. I certainly did not mean to call you slavery-sympathisers or Hitlerites or whatever. OK? Apology accepted?

Now let's put on our political scientist hats and ask some questions.

Are you not the least bit surprised that the maps are so similar? I certainly was. In fact, I was shocked as hell.

Weren't you shocked, too? Come on -- admit it. It blew your mind, didn't it?

Is it a coincidence that the maps are nearly identical?

If so, tell me. If not, tell me why not.

Posted by: Ara at November 7, 2004 09:08 AM

Dan, Casey:

Please accept my apology if you (or anyone in the United States of America) were offended. Sorry to have caused you the pain. I certainly did not mean to call you slavery-sympathisers or Hitlerites or whatever. OK? Apology accepted?

Now let's put on our political scientist hats and ask some questions.

Are you not the least bit surprised that the maps are so similar? I certainly was. In fact, I was shocked as hell.

Weren't you shocked, too? Come on -- admit it. It blew your minds, didn't it?

Is it a coincidence that the maps are nearly identical?

If so, tell me. If not, tell me why not.

Casey: you're a scientist type -- how do you explain this phenomenon?

Posted by: Ara at November 7, 2004 09:09 AM

You know what I hate? I hate how, over the last four years, I have been called a supporter of terrorists. I have been called a Saddam-appeaser. I have been called unpatriotic and unamerican. I have been one of those people who believes the Iraq War was terribly, horribly wrong. Someone who believes it was immoral and unnecessary. And there are many people in this country who have called anyone who dared question this president or this war unpatriotic, and that infuriates me.

Now, what the hell must it feel like to live in a red state and be called an ignorant, hateful, bigoted racist? I suspect it's pretty much akin to living in a blue state and being called unpatriotic and being told you obviously want the terrorists to win because you dare to speak against the president.

There's obviously some serious cultural disconnects between the political ideologies right now and, as well, between urban and rural cultures. But the accusations that are flying right now don't help that--they only serve to inflame. It's been happening on both sides of the aisle and it has simply exploded since the election.

I admit I succumbed to it to a degree. Out of frustration and depression, I asked myself how this country could be so stupid. But that mere question was stupid, showed that in that moment of emotion, I was the one being stupid. Bush won for a variety of reasons. And Kerry received 56 million votes--the most votes cast against a president in history--for a variety of reasons. Did racism enter into it? Sure, for some people, but it sure as hell isn't the majority. There were no doubt racists who voted for Bush and no doubt people who hate Southerners who voted for Kerry, and so on and so forth on both sides of the aisle.

Casting aspersions on the other side, equating this vote with slavery, and devolving into frothing bouts of hatred doesn't do jackshit for this country. Maybe what we should do is stop calling Southerners racist, stop calling those who live on the coast terrorist-appeasers, stop calling red staters gay-hating bigots and stop calling blue staters latte-drinking, volvo-driving, faggot freaks. Perhaps we should stop challenging the intelligence of those who voted against our candidate.

Maybe we should have some goddamn conversations.

I'm trying to do that. It's hard, but I'm trying. But here's the reality: the political parties will be dividing us enough over the next four years. Let's try not to add to it by dividing ourselves.

Talk with those who have different political beliefs than you. See if you can start by establishing some things you agree on, then move into the political discussions if you want. For instance, I'm an out and out liberal Democrat and Dan here is a Republican. But we both love Buffy, and I know that anyone who loves Buffy is damn smart.

And for those who think Bush won simply because he turned out a bunch of homophobics, you might want to take a second look.

Posted by: Joel Caris at November 7, 2004 02:27 PM

Ara,

Of course it is not coincidence that the maps are identical. Slavery was rooted in a sort of triumphalist conservativism that was in turn rooted in the Bible. In fact, the Northern and Southern Baptists split because the Southern Baptists clung like bulldogs to their readings of the Bible that support slavery.

The connect is that type of "divine right" Americans feel. God has given us this land, the belief goes, and we have the right to take slaves, kill Native Americans, invade Iraq, whatever. I am against this type of thought, obviously.

The false connect is slavery. Even if the descendants of slaveowners were the only ones who voted for Bush, connecting the two shows more intention on your part than on theirs.

It was a clear political manipulation that put those two together. Slave-owners and Bush states!Lookee here!

Your charts are interesting and important Ara, and should open up a necessary discussion of how this came to be. However, instead of the discussion, we jumped right to Bush voters = slave owners, and there is no way on this planet you will make me believe that wasn't the not-so-subtle jab you were making in the way you set up your post. The past isn't dead?

Please.

Maybe on a real level you are the polite guy I came to visit so often. Maybe the hurt you felt at losing an election you very well could have won makes you willing to strike out in many ways. Maybe this does have something to do with states that originally owned slaves. Nevertheless, you put blue states in a "pro-kerry, anti-slavery" light and red states in a "pro-bush, pro slavery" light intentionally.

There are just so many lines that can be crossed when I have a limited time online. This is why I don't read any BushHitler or KerryTraitor sites. I don't have time for jerks and I can seldom follow the workings of diseased minds. I think Joel hit it right on.

I agree that the maps were surprising. I remain shocked and interested. However, you didn't raise the point as an issue for proper discussion, you raised it as more sour grapes and proof that Bush, and by extension the majority of Americans are of a sort with slave-owners. This is what knocked me out of the political blogging world.

Most importantly, Joel's right: I love Buffy.

Posted by: Big Dan at November 7, 2004 05:15 PM

However, instead of the discussion, we jumped right to Bush voters = slave owners

Ah, you jumped to it, not I. And you ought to ask yourself why you did, my friend.

...there is no way on this planet you will make me believe that wasn't the not-so-subtle jab you were making in the way you set up your post.

Well, it wasn't. And, from you know about me, you know that's true.

I wasn't suggesting that you're secretly wishing you were a slave-owner. That's absurd.

The truth is much, much more interesting.

You see, these maps aren't just about slavery in the South, Dan. They're also about states' rights. And to me, that's the more interesting lesson you could learn here because THAT argument just will not be easily resolved, over 200 years after it first began being debated.

It doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or a Republican; the party that favors states' rights is the party that dominates in the South.

Shoot, Nixon understood that implicitly back in 1968 after he withstood the third party candidacy of George Wallace. And now his notion has reached its full fruition.

THAT'S the interesting thing about the maps.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

The past isn't dead?

No, sadly, I'm here to tell you it isn't.

We excoriate the warring tribes in the Middle East for not making nice. It's a naive view, given our own historical blind spots.

Posted by: Ara at November 7, 2004 06:32 PM

Oh, and Joel:

Casting aspersions on the other side, equating this vote with slavery, and devolving into frothing bouts of hatred doesn't do jackshit for this country.

Don't know who you're referring to, but it ain't me babe. No, no, no, it ain't me babe.

Heh.

P.S. Stop by sometime. You'll see what I'm talking about.

Posted by: Ara at November 7, 2004 06:37 PM

How many points does Ara win?

Posted by: folkbum at November 7, 2004 07:26 PM

Ara,

Ok. I have always been the type to take a person at face value. You have to admit, the setup, in context of your other anti-Bush posts, could lead one to jump to conclusions.

Benefit of the doubt all around?

I swear to God, though, if I see a link to my sight next to Saddam Hussein, I'm taking a hostage.

Er, wait.. that would prove your point.

Posted by: Big Dan at November 7, 2004 09:34 PM

Yes it would, my friend, yes it would.

Posted by: Ara at November 7, 2004 10:25 PM

Ara,

That comment became a bit more of a wide net, not intended to simply be about your post. I've been to the site a few times and it never appeared you were engaging in frothing bouts of hatred, so I should have made that distinction more clear. That was more about some other things I have seen in the blogosphere of late--and in the recent past. On both sides.

Posted by: Joel Caris at November 8, 2004 02:04 AM

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