Thursday, August 7, 2008

Geography is not destiny

For those of you who feel certain you can predict the political beliefs of a person by knowing where he or she lives, I offer the following in opposition to that notion:
  • More New Yorkers voted for Bush than Georgians, North Carolinians, Tennesseans, or the combined Bush votes in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Mississippi.
  • More people in Massachusetts voted for Bush than did people in Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina or Mississippi, or the combined Bush total for Nevada and Idaho.
  • More Californians voted for Bush than the total for any other state. His vote there was greater than his combined votes in Mississippi, Utah, Arkansas, Nebraska, Idaho, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.
  • Kerry got more votes in Ohio than in Massachusetts and Connecticut combined.
  • Kerry got more votes in Georgia than in Oregon; more in North Carolina than in Minnesota, and more votes in Alabama than in Maine and Rhode Island combined.


hankster said...

But you are playing with statistics when you compare numbers which are percents of different sizes. Yes, there are 10 times as many bacteria on and in my body as I have cells. But you don't even see them when you look at me. I share 50% of the genetic material with a banana but it doesn't make me a cannibal when I eat my breakfast.

I am sure people voted for GWB in Greenwich Village last election. Look at those Hillary supporters who are voting for McCain. Freud was correct: people aren't rational.

kgwhit said...

These numbers are somewhat misleading. In New York more people voted for Kerry than the combined total of all the votes in North Carolina.

What is most bothersome is that if you multiplied the vote in North Carolina by the number of teeth of the voter, Kerry wins in a landslide.

This comes of course with love from a person who was born in Tennessee.

Woody said...

Just when I was going to post the fact that college bound SAT scores in Tennessee were higher than every state in the Northeast, kgwhit had to post the comment about North Carolina. Oh well, I am going to give Tennessee its props anyway. When I go to Walmart, I see lower income people looking for the basic items to feed and clothe their families. I feel empathy for them, not scorn.

d'blank said...

Statistics are made to be played with and all numbers are somewhat misleading. And you’re being too literal. The point is that there are people of all types everywhere, and in this country, they are everywhere in big numbers. One of the main things that keep us from addressing our common problems is the misconception that there is an “us” and a “them.” There’s only us, but some of us shop at Wal-Mart and some us don’t. Some of us are fat, others are fit. Some own guns and some don’t. These are superficial differences and we have to get past them if we are ever to achieve greatness.
There is also something wrong about marginalizing the people we think of as “poor white trash” this way. Imagine painting black people or Mexicans as, “clinging to their guns and religion.” You could make that case if you wanted to, but you’d be most reluctant to express it in public. It’s un-American regardless of the target.

Birdman said...

Well now. If we're going to have to take a reasoned approach to solving the nations ills we're certainly on The Road Less Traveled.

But you're correct when you say that there are all kinds of people everywhere. Of course gun ownership, body fat index among other factors are secondary issue at best on the political spectrum. However, our "leaders" tend to push the cultural buttons that will get them 50% plus 1 vote spend all their time rewarding their donors with largess from the federal coffers. Until the voters wake up and do something about this it ain't never going to change.

hankster said...

Woody, when I see a parent with a child with Down's Syndrome I feel empathy. When I was in Wal-Mart, I didn't feel scorn. But I did feel uneasy. We have a failure of education and this is one facet. Our country's direction falls in the laps of elected officials. People, whose lives are out of control, for some reasons due to their own ignorance, elect these people. These people will control the fate of your children. Like it or not, there is an American Taliban. There is a culture in this country which has no place for my kind. As a cyclist, I keep to the right of the road and am not competing for their oil. Yet to these people I am what is wrong with this country. Conservative interests have spent a good deal of effort painting me as an elitist. Come to Block Island and see who are burning oil on mopeds and who are cycling.

D'blank, there is class warfare going on in America. There is a them and an us. The borders can be fuzzy at times but the centers are very hard. This struggle is one of the reasons why politics and this blog are interesting and important. We have a mix of viewpoints from around the country.

I have to force myself to eat a bit more: I am on the borderline of tripping the automatic doors at Wal-Mart and can't afford to lose any more weight...

Birdman said...

Hankster -- You couldn't trip the doors at a Walmart if you had all your bikes on it as well.

Most people don't really care what goes on in Washington or anywhere else for that matter until they get sick, lose their jobs, or suddenly pay $4 a gallon for gas. Then they want somebody - anybody -to do something about it and make it better.

The small % of people that are hard right and hard left will never agree on anything and will never work together to accomplish anything. Unfortunately they (at least the hard right) seem to have taken over the ship of state and don't want to do anything other than get reelected while continually running the ship into every iceberg they can find.

The hard left will never gain power because they refuse to appear reasonable and appeal to a wide audience and don't possess the tools with which to do it.

If we can throw these current set of bums out we may, just may, be able to make some headway to curing at least some of our ills.

kgwhit said...

Another reason the hard left doesn't take control is they would rather be purists than in power.

The press is, in theory, the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party; yet Brent Bozell's group admitted that there were more negative stories about Clinton in his first year in office than Bush four years before.

The hard left hated Clinton even though he got them back in power after 12 years. The right has problems with McCain but they will vote for him. In 2000 nearly 3 million, mostly democrats, voted for Nader instead of Gore. The Nation magazine endorsed wouldn't see the right doing that.

The right views power as the most important thing, principles come later. Look at the way the fiscal conservatives spent like a bunch of drunken sailors under Bush.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who don't believe there's an Us and Them, see: "Louisiana last state to ban cockfighting" headline today.

The best part of the story is this quote: "The culture, the custom of the Cajun people, it's gone," said Chris Daughdrill, who breeds fighting roosters in Loranger, a community about 50 miles north of New Orleans. "It's another one of the rights that big government has taken away from the people."

I'm sorry but it may as well be NY, Boston, SF, Dallas, Chicago (et al) and Kazhakstan.