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All Hail Commandant Edwards

Via Professor Bainbridge, I hear a familiar refrain from the Kerry Camp which is actually mindless and offensive. Says Veep-Wannabe Edwards (registration required):

"When John Kerry is the next president of the United States, there will be no red states, no blue states," he said. "No division of America."

Now, one ponders exactly how Edwards thinks he's going to accomplish this goal. Perhaps he believes that those of us who identify with what he considers a 'red state' mentality are insane or infirm in our beliefs, such that a Kerry ascension will be accompanied by a blinding flash of healing insight on our part. Or perhaps he believes that Mr. Kerry is a man of such messianic prowess that once he has achieved apotheosis in the City on a Hill, our doubts of him shall merely be burnt away with the rest of our impure souls.

Kerry and Edwards not generally tending towards such rhetoric, however, and being more inclined to believe in the goodness of government action than divine intervention, I can only assume that upon a Kerry victory in November I am to be issued an invitation to a re-education camp somewhere in the deepest Midwest, where I shall be taught to love big government, racial gerrymandering, and unionization. Ah well. With Martha Stewart facing prison time, one hopes that the First Lady will intervene and get our fellow inmate to design airy, comfortable, and stylish uniforms.


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Perhaps he's just suggesting more of a live and let live approach. You know, so you'd find it easier to socialise in NY and I could discuss my views on Iraq in Texas without risking my neck... Just look at the crap Kerry gets for being from (low tax) Taxachussets while Bush is either a real texan man, or a redneck cowboy. It's pathetic how much of your political debate comes down to this shallow stereotyping. (like the North South thing in England - although I think that's been better lately) So a US with no red states and no blue states doesn't imply no Republicans, just getting on better. After all it's not like abolishing slavery or giving blacks civil rights sparked mass miscegenation or the destruction of while protestant culture... It might even mean an end to pork barrel politics - I have to say the one thing that comes out of reading Clinton's book is that the senate and congress work in a way I'd have a hard time seeing as anything other than corrupt - so strong is the culture of selling votes for local special interests.
I can see the scenario, Martin, but I think both you, and Mr. Edwards, are missing the Gantt chart. What precisely is Kerry--after having run a campaign and convention that is 'not negative' by virtue of loudly saying that the insults he's about to throw are not negative--going to accomplish this fine goal? The differences in the country are based on more than stereotypes: they're based on real differences of opinion on how the nation is to be run, what our goals are, etc. They are not about to be brushed aside by Edwards' smile.
Perhaps they are admitting that a Kerry administration will be such a disaster that the Democratic party will have to dissolve in shame?
What were the insults? I only saw the edited highlights.
Edwards’ statement is an implicit reference to the current political polarization of the American people. I see where you are coming from and of course he doesn’t mean you are going to change your political beliefs. Edwards is hinting at the fact that the American populace is deeply divided in their opinion of Bush and that enormous groups of people (not just your stereotypical big-government-lovers) are offended by his actions in his presidency. Ask a typical American what they think is the most important thing that has happened in the past four years of the Bush administration – do you really think an average one would respond by saying “the lack of racial gerrymandering”? How about, instead, one of the most controversial wars ever started for no apparent reason except weapons of mass destruction that don’t appear to exist? Or the worst terror attack ever on American soil? It’s obvious to me that Edwards isn’t talking about causing you to become a democrat. He is talking about how Bush has a historically low approval rating, especially for an incumbent, and is depending on winning this election by a hair, or a state, or maybe (if he is really lucky) another Supreme Court decision. Of course you aren’t going to love Kerry if he gets elected, but you might hate him less than a large percentage of the American population hates Bush. And that, my friend, on a grand scale, might come closer to unifying America by making its citizens a little less divided in their opinion of their leader -- so red and blue states are a little less important.
Sarah: Count the 'mights' in that statement. That doesn't constitute a plan, it constitutes a hope that Republicans aren't going to decide to retaliate for the negative treatment Bush has been given. Whilst I'll agree that Bush has strong negatives among Democrats, that's not saying that Kerry won't have just as strong ones among Republicans. Sorry, but unless you feel like backing those 'mights' up with some data, I'm still waiting for an explanation of how the blue/red state thing goes away. The American public is not merely divided in their opinion of Bush: they're divided in their opinion of everything. And Kerry is not about the heal that gap.
I guess that is where we disagree. I don't think the American people are divided in their views on EVERYTHING, as you do. I think most Americans agree on wanting clean air and water to breathe, a safe place to live and work, the world’s strongest economy, reasonable taxes, and affordable healthcare for everyone. Of course there will be red and blue states in the future – if you want to take what Edwards said at face value and nothing more. But if Kerry gets elected into the White House this November, I for one doubt that the 2008 election will be as close as the 2000 and 2004 elections, thus making the current political obsession with which states are going red and which ones are going blue less important than it currently is. Personally, I think that is what Edwards was getting at, not at brainwashing Republicans out into Union-land. You can choose which interpretation is more reasonable for yourself.
Here is something a bit ironic (and off topic) that I thought might interest you and reflects the Current political quandary in the US. Search “Three years of hell” on yahoo. Here is what comes up as number 5 on the hit list: Yahoo! News - Heinz Kerry: Four More Years of 'Hell' if Bush Wins News Home - Help. Heinz Kerry: Four More Years of 'Hell' if Bush Wins. Mon Aug 2, 9:30 PM ET. MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Teresa Heinz Kerry, the outspoken wife of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry (news - ... park, Heinz Kerry, who was introducing her husband, responded: "They want four more years of hell." " Three more months ... news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=615&u=/nm/20040803/pl_nm/campaign_kerry_heinz_dc_1&printer=1 - 16k -
The differences in the country are based on more than stereotypes: they're based on real differences of opinion on how the nation is to be run, what our goals are, etc. Very good, but what does that have to do with red and blue states? People have those differences within the same states, the same towns -- from personal experience, within the same household. I would like to think that Edwards meant that he and Kerry would abolish the Electoral College and thus render red/blue meaningless, but that's too much to hope. More likely, he meant that Kerry would not look at America as a camp of His People (blue states) and The Enemy (red states), but as an undivided mass of Americans to whom he owed respect and attention. While Clinton frequently was derided for his capacity to move to the center and capture conservatives' pet issues, at least he didn't dismiss opposing policy views completely. Like the Borg (or Principles) he attempted to absorb as much as possible. I think Reagan also wasn't bad at giving that same impression. Bush II has been terrible at it.

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