Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oklahoma's Stockholm Syndrome

Though I've tried to wish it away and tried even harder to let it go, something fellow escapee Brad mentioned today has been gnawing at me: looking over all fifty state-level contests yesterday, the state that gave the largest margin of victory to McCain-Palin was Oklahoma (66%-34%). My quondam home state went for the Wide Stance ticket more strongly than did McCain's home state of Arizona or Palin's home state of Alaska or Bush's home state of Texas or even Cheney's home state of Wyoming. (Wyoming was close at 65%).

Drilling down to Oklahoma's county-level results brings more unpleasantness:

Do not adjust your monitor -- every single county is red. Naturally, this includes Kay County, the location of Ponca City, the town where I spent nearly all of the first eighteen years of my life. Those years have never seemed more remote in view of these results:

I realize a lot of people will find it condescending, but this saddens me. I honestly don't get it. I don't know how there can be a state with very close to a million and a half votes cast for president, of which fully 2/3 go to the ticket representing the status quo -- and of course that means this particular status quo.

Has Oklahoma prospered under Bush in ways the other 49 states have not? Has the oil economy (which has been good under Bush-Cheney) really uplifted Oklahoma above and beyond Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming? Really? Every single county in Oklahoma? Has it really enriched and made prosperous the 18-29 year-olds of Oklahoma, who went for McCain-Palin by a 60-40 margin? Really?

I don't get it. But whether or not I get it, here's a scary thought: the GOP has a clear incentive to remake this country in the mold of Oklahoma. This is not to say it's the only way they can get back to national electoral viability, and it's certainly easier said than done in any case. But having left Oklahoma as soon as I could, and not spent as much as five minutes regretting the decision, it's a sobering thought.

12 comments:

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I actually understand your sadness on a certain level.

I come from Silverton here in Oregon. Now, Silverton is orders of magnitude more open-minded than any place in Oklahoma will ever be, but on a relative local scale, it has been kind of backward thinking.

That seems to be changing. They have a TG member of the city council, for instance (Stu Rasumussen). The Silverton I grew up in, though, was a smug, self-satisfied place that feared the outside world and knew it all, dammit.

Nicer place now.

AS far as getting it? The failure to see how poisonous republican rule is to this country and the manifest obviousness how voting for republicans continually causes people to screw themselves, and still willingly vote for them, is more than something I just don't get ... it transcends human comprehension. I don't think it can ever be put into words. Or even concepts. Zen koans are more understandable than this. And they don't have answers either.

There is a very nice fellow, a septugenarian cow-orker of mine, who still thinks it's more important that the Clenis dipped his wick into Monica than all the hell the republicans have delivered unto us.

I cry and die a little inside when I think about him. He's such a sweet and intelligent fellow otherwise.

And so it goes, I suppose.

Dale said...

SJKP, thanks for that. I don't know Silverton, but I suspect you're right on all counts.

Everyone knew that OK would go for McCain-Palin. It's one of a few states that Obama didn't spend lots of money or time in, and with good reason. But 66-34? It just bothers me.

Somehow, the FauxNews view of the world is predominant in Oklahoma. I know for a fact they have all the other channels and the same internet, but that particular view prevails, and does so strongly.

Very strange. It really makes me wonder, what would it take to make it close in Oklahoma?

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Has someone told them the "Okie" stereotype is not actually a compliment?

But then again, that's the state where Oral Roberts saw his 900 foot Jeebus, so this shouldn't surprise anyone really.

Anonymous said...

I cried too, when I looked at these same results. Dale...we must organize a rescue...we have to get our fellow classmates out of there before they spawn. My dear Steven Strah...let us hope that he was one of the 250,000
-Shane

Dale said...

Shane, it's sad and weird, isn't it? If he's still there, I hope Steve finds a way out.

Zennalathas said...

You could always move to Canada where our Conservatives are your Democrats...

Dale said...

Zen, moving to Canada has crossed my mind a few times, and not always for political reasons. Mostly for political reasons, but not always.

Call me crazy, but I sometimes wonder what it's like to live in a consistently civilized society.

Zennalathas said...

Sometimes it's great...other times weird things happen like where a kid gets run over by a man stealing gas from a gas station and the government not only implementing a law that forces you to pay before you fill up, but also names the law after the kid...

Sometimes I think we're too civilized...

Bonnie said...

To your comment about 18-29 year old, the answer is a resounding "yes." I am heavily involved in College Republicans and I can tell you that here in Oklahoma, we have sensible young adults who understand that an Obama presidency will now mean paying into a Social Security system that won't pay us back. We know that our future is dependent on putting all alternative energy ideas on the table--and that Obama is unwilling to do so. You adults understand that raising taxes on small businesses is bad news.

What we do know? We know that it has been over 2500 days that President Bush has kept our country protected. We know that the economy has been vibrant under Bush...until the Democrats won control in 2006.

I am happy to report that the aforementioned groups that you can't believe would support McCain came out in numbers to campaign for McCain, even though they knew good and well that he would win.

Dale said...

Bonnie, thanks for the dose of stupid. If you dumb down your syntax a few more notches, you might be ready to give Lady Also a run for her money.

To your specific inanities, thanks, I guess, for giving us the president who read My Pet Goat and looked lost and afraid as the USA was attacked on his watch. We don't have to deal with that dumbass expression much longer.

Anyway, keep up the non-reading. You're representing your state quite well, sadly.

Anonymous said...

Sad, very sad...yes I, Steven Strah ,was one of the 29%.

Dale said...

Be careful, Steve. There are a lot of fast-moving trucks with well-armed drunk drivers where you are, and some of them are looking to defend the honor of Lady Also.

Look both ways.