This idea is not original with me but I believe I will start spending my money in places where I agree more with the politics surrounding gun legislation. Actually, states that don’t agree with my views on gun safety are often the same ones that don’t agree with my views on reproductive rights and other issues of the day. So birds? Meet stone.
I won’t go hard-core. I’ve got a couple of family trips planned for the summer into states where there is not a representational consensus on sanity, and I’m not going to miss those trips, but as much as is in my power, I’m going to take my hard-earned dollars and put them into the economies of states where I feel comfortable.
Naive? Sure it is. Exclusive? You betcha. But if enough people — as much as they’re able — put their money where their politics are, maybe we can make a difference. NRA money certainly has. I imagine that if enough of us get serious, we can at least begin to counter those blood garglers and their political contributions.
Weren’t you planning on retiring to New Mexico?
Not any more.
Well…I don’t think it’s naïve…or exclusive…or extreme. I just think New Mexico could benefit from a few more liberal transplants into their State. (I know Montana would.)
I know it sounds like a whiny little kid — or it does to me. But I left Missouri, the land of my birth, when it was still a kind-of moderate state, if not a Democratic one. I don’t mind living with people who don’t agree with me, but if the public policies are just so out of whack with how I see the world, I think I would just get all mad and frustrated, anyway. Is Montana like Missouri, with pockets of lefties? I mean,there’s you…
I don’t think it’s whiny at all. Voting with your dollars is The American Way. It’s about the only vote that really carries any weight anymore.
Montana is quite diverse politically, regardless of what makes it into the national press. Generally speaking, we’re a Blue Dog State…economically conservative, socially
liberalmoderate. But the same reactionary forces that have changed the political landscape in Missouri have been fighting to change that landscape in Montana. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they lose. Sometimes we compromise. Sometimes we capitulate. It is that struggle, combined with the recognized necessity of mutual reliance common to most pioneer States, that defines us politically.
Leftism in Montana, especially that connected to the labor sector, has a strong historical tradition here. Even outright Socialism. (We had communes before there was hippies.) Where I live has always been an island of liberalism/progressivism/Socialism within the State. (Montana went for Sanders in its Democratic primary this year, largely due to voter turnout in my county.) So there’s much more in that pocket than just my
radicaltempered brand of ideology. Remember, Jeanette Rankin was a Republican.
Missouri, I feel, from afar, has plumb gone conservative, and that’s a big leap from the state I grew up in. My county still vote Democratic, mostly, but it’s one of maybe two in the entire state that does so. My Aunt Julie sometimes feels she’s the only Democrat left in Joplin, but that can’t be right.
I still want to see Montana. I haven’t yet. It looks beautiful, from here.
I think so, too. I love the mountains. The plains, too, but these mountains are what has always called me back.
That’s my home. That’s a view from the north end of the valley to the south. Where I’m living right now is just on the other side of that mountain on the right.
When’s dinner? If I start driving now…
You wouldn’t make it. Breakfast maybe. If you didn’t stop anywhere to take in the views…which is impossible for new visitors…especially if you come in from the east/southeast.
I always been fascinated by the blue oasis in otherwise red places in the midwest and south, usually college towns. Bloomington, Indiana; Columbia, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois (southern Illinois is pretty red); Ashville, NC; Oxford, Mississippi. I’ve enjoyed my trips to these places but have been struck by their insular, almost apologetic nature. We have neighbors who moved to Connecticut from rural Kentucky. Our town is pretty poor and blue collar but they say it feels like Europe by comparison. Demographic shifts are slowly turning some places more purple (the Carolinas, Georgia, I actually have hope for Texas and the southwest in my lifetime) and I think, given their inability to diversify, the the Republicans may have painted themselves into a corner with their gerrymandering. It’s worked in the short term but growing numbers outside these enclaves could overwhelm them. I can dream.
I wish we had a zillion political parties to choose from, but I get your point. Even my favorite Democrat (my afore-mentioned Aunt Julie) and I disagree pretty vehemently on certain social issues, but the overall gist of her town is decidedly conservative — and, in some cases, ill-informed and reactionary.
But here’s where I find hope, too. A few years ago, some asshole burned down a mosque (the mosque, I should say) in Joplin, Mo. The outpouring was incredible, and the outpouring came from people who hadn’t made a study of Islam and only knew what they read in the papers. One of my relatives called up to talk about it, and she asked if Muslims eat pork. I said no, and she said allowed that though a ban on pork eliminated the bulk of the covered dishes in her repertoire, she’d find something that wouldn’t violate their dietary restrictions, and take it over. Another relative said it best: “I don’t understand Islam, but them’s our Muslims and nobody gets to do that to our Muslims.” And that, in a nutshell, is my hometown, goddammit.
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