I read your fine article with interest. As an older Texan I want to add my two cents. A lot
of Bush’s Texan support is from the “Willful Ignerts”. They are the middle and lower class whites
who consistently vote against their economic interests and take personally any perceived mistreating of
Their world-view is concretist, and while it could be shattered by
trauma, it will never be changed by argument. It would be a fool’s errand to even attempt it. There
is, however, one political possibility with these people-neutralize them by delegitimizing their Prince
in their eyes. Keep them out of the polling booths by showing Bush to be a Trickster and a Fraud. The
UnChristian Bush. The UnTexan Bush.
Sorry…just thinking out loud. Will keep working
ONE good question which no one seems to be seriously asking (those sterile sub-
divisions you mention – based on MY limited exposure, they are EVERYWHERE in America …)
Where ARE the people who will get INSIDE of this new “robotized” culture and will see
it from the insider’s POV (the roots of this can be seen in the 1950s … the recent PBS documentary
on the foundations of “Tupperware” are a real eye-opener … makes one wonder how many Americans
literally cannot even remember their own childhoods ???)
This culture [suburbs, two-car
garage, etc.] was celebrated by Hollywood and TV as early as the 1950s … the new manifestations HAVE
to be mostly updates of the originals … when I was a kind in Southern California [1959-1965] … the
extreme right-wing was a foundational component of the region …
… the Los Angeles
Times, George Putnam, the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade (covered “gavel to gavel” on local TV ….
Ch11… for an ENTIRE week) in the sports arena [now old and gone?]which was the original home for the
Lakers (Chick Hearn and the Lakers vs. Celtics playoffs – or was it the finals? with Bill Russell,
Elgin Baylor, Jerry West et. al. James Ellroy captures a believable “flavor” of the LA-region BEFORE
I arrived as a 7th-grader-to-be in 1959) …
to an impressionable kid from the near-
midwest, LA looked and smelled “different” in nearly every way … my 7th grade teacher used to
lecture her junior-high class on the unworthy-ness of our generation and how we were typical of the
post-war generation of young Americans who were insufficiently hardy enough to stand up to the
Communist challenge … and of how WE would probably surrender to Communist agression without even a
[sound familiar to you ??? probably only if you’re old enough?]
WHO is currently situated to actually STUDY the current manifestations of American
residential sprawl (it may be be worse than ever ??? … culture, economics, politics, education) so
that understanding is ACTUAL rather than hit and miss …? Who will even try ???
experience is that the sprawling suburban “middle-class” …
(see the new April issue of Harper’s
for a useful picture of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri … to a stranger like me, it rings quite true as
far as it goes)
… has always been as stomping grounds of crackpot American politics … as an old
college prof (San Jose State, 1970) used to suggest, American suburbia is founded on a transparent,
ill-defined sense of “community” … large cohorts of people are thrown together by economics and
real-estate developments (and most of the people IN these developments have NO idea of just who made
all the deals and decisions which created their inherently alienated communities, hence, there NO
… in America, economic development is the ONLY mechanism which
allows people to escape from the corruptions of well-established “communities” [increasingly insane
real-estate values since Ronald Reagan] … maybe what is wrong with America is an astounding LACK of
renewal in already-established communities – destruction (aided by corruption?) of selected parts those
communites has been our primary method since the 1950s ….???
And now, under GWB,
several millions MORE Americans are getting screwed ??? With many more millions having little idea of
how to fight-back [and not even imagining it to be possible] … and yet, GWB has many tens of millions
of “supporters” who subscribe to the prevailing very foolish fantasies …?
probably said enough for now ….???
R. K. LeBeck,
SEQUIM, WA 98382
[Editor’s Note: In reply, I reminded the writer about
Carter’s “malaise” speech and how it turned out to be political poison. Here’s the response:]
PS: Absolutely yes.
…. there must be many thousands of other Americans
who have also lived through the last 40+ years who have seen and heard their own versions of
saw and heard – artifacts of everyday life familiar to many – all over our country
Yes, I do remember Jimmy Carter’s “malaise,” as well as the one year (?)
experiment with extending daylight savings time, the challenge to turn
down the nation’s
thermostats, the late 1970s gas shortage (riding my bike to work was good for me!), and the surprising
hatred (my naiveté?) of
Carter as expressed by certain executives in the silicon valley company I
then worked at – it was a very common feeling among business “types” back then … it was as if THEY
had “never” [!!] before experienced disappointment in a sitting President (pretty damn silly of them,
I remember thinking back
then …. 1978/79?)
the issue is jobs not terror. Forget Texas. Bible thumpers will never switch and vote for the Dems
even though the Republicans are shafting them economically behind their backs.
states like Texas: The people must not have suffered hard enough under Bush and the Repubs. If they
are in their 50s and 60s, they will find out soon enough. Another Bush term will see the end of the
safety nets that were there for my parents when they retired.
Baby Boomers are either
fools or rich to stick with the Repubs. I pray daily (yes, Dems pray) that we can turn out the vote to
get rid of the most dangerous administration in my lifetime. I still say if the US media was not the
lapdogs of Bush and company, the American people would wake up and see them for what they are. LIARS
good one on counterpunch on the oscars, white bread
and mayonaisse. Of course, black folk in this country, even those who call themselves African, still
consider themselves American first and foremost, no matter how bad they may be treated. And their
leadership wether it be political or cultural has long lost their base in the black institutions that
integration was meant to destroy.
Once upon a time black folk controlled what how their
children were educated, the stores they shopped in, the very institutions that were critical to their
lives. Today, what do black folk control outside of their churches?
Wouldnt you agree
integration was the most effective tool to destroy black institutions? As for the oscars, what has
Thomas C. Mountain