Monday, January 10, 2005

Red-State Values
Georgia: The Southern Baptist Convention sees the Asian tsunami as "a great opportunity" to convert the various heathens in the region to Christianity.

Florida: Two men with guns crash a 15-year-old's birthday party and kill two guests.

Mississippi: Murder/suicide gone awry results in shootings at a hospital.

Virginia: A bill before the legislature would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor if a woman fails to report a miscarriage to law enforcement within 12 hours.

(That last one is a mindblower of the first degree.)

Honesty compels me to report that one could probably find stories of similar ilk from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Oregon, and California, all states that are resolutely blue. But these stories, read in tandem with stories about the Democratic Party's ongoing atttempts to strengthen its position with Southern voters, make me twitchy. It's one thing to modify the party's rhetoric to resonate better with Southerners, but let's not go accepting the conservative frame that the South is somehow more American than other parts of the country, and that its values are the ones everyone should subscribe to. Soft on privacy, harsh treatment of women, religious bigotry, guns under every mattress--I don't think so. Why should we want to be like them? Why shouldn't we expect them to be like us?

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