Ahh, the ironies of history. I live in what is now called a “red state.” Fifty years ago, that phrase would’ve suggested that Oklahoma was full of communists. Now, it most certainly means that the conservatives overwhelmingly hold the political power. The Republicans here are proud of the moniker, and it still makes me giggle a little to know that they love being associated with a designation that used to make the Cold War, yellow-dog Democrat leadership cringe. Pastors who used to rail against the godless atheism of communism now boldly wrap themselves in the red, white, and blue — emphasis on red. Bumper stickers reading “Better Dead Than Red” have a whole new, complicating meaning. I wouldn’t have dared flash one before, but I’m seriously considering picking one up now. Incidentally, at one point, Oklahoma was home to the largest number of Socialists per capita in the country. The poor Pinks can’t seem to ever take the majority. In any case, this suggests that the politics of the state — like our dirt — has always had a reddish tint. Conveniently, this means we can reuse our jerseys, even when we switch teams.
And, I have noted of late, that when speaking about moderate Democrats, the talking heads have started referring to them as “blue dogs.” In my hometown, being blue means extreme, homo-loving, abortion-promoting, take-away-your-guns liberalism. I guess it’s all relative. Here, I’m a blue dog independent. On a national scale, I wouldn’t be caught dead with the blues. So, if Socialism is the new blue, what’s the new far left and what do we do with all these moderates? Also, when did we get blue about politics anyway? Being blue used to mean you were whiling away your time over beer at Joey’s listening to covers of Muddy Waters and covertly identifying yourself to others as a “friend of Bill (Handy’s).”
It seems the only thing the parties agree on is that they don’t want to be white anymore. Well, some of the reds want to remain white (supremacists) but they need to woo the Hispanic vote. In private, they may want to be the white party, but you can’t really say that in public anymore. Amusingly, the Republican leadership bristles when people note the lack of people of color in their assemblage. They huff and puff and fumble for words like old white men trying to make conversation with the homies next to them in line at the DMV. They bring in Michael Steele to give them street cred by having a public swearing competition with Rahm Emanuel, and nod like they’re down with the NAACP. Not that the Democrats are much better. The leadership there is largely white too. The blessed difference is that at least they have some women at the top….so Clinton can see up their skirts.
If you can’t bear to be red, white or blue, what’s the alternative? We’re running out of political colors in America. It’s enough to make you want to put on a green armband and shout “Death to the Dictator” from the rooftops. But I don’t hate Ralph Nader that much (he does owe me an election though). The obvious default here would seem to be lavender, a melting pot mixing of red, white, and blue, but then, these colors don’t run.