nimh wrote: okie wrote:
I hope you don't mind, I only included part of your post for brevity sake, but will try to address all of it.
Thank you very much! I really appreciate it, even if I didnt reply straight away. I love to hear these personal stories, especially when they grow into family stories and you see history reflected..
Politics is just numbers and arguments until you can place people's personal stories alongside them, that give it flesh & blood. Without that, there's no way to really understand.
Yes, my parents were okies, as I grew up too, and I think I have a pretty good insight into what accounts for the phenomena or apparent change you speak of. My parents were strong FDR Democrats, my mother taught me the Democrats were for the common man while Repbulicans were for big business, and that is what my grandfather believed.
The loss of their heartland American support sometime in the 60s through 80s must have been the worst thing to happen to the Democrats. I mean, it's just the times - as the cultural lightning rod issues of the 60s took over the mainstage from the bread-and-butter FDR issues, the political faultlines shifted. But it's a hell of a shame.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I do attribute the shift to the shift of the Democratic Party. It has gone from a conservative party socially, with some socialistic or government fix ideas mixed in, example social security, etc., to a very liberal party on all fronts. For example, no old Democrat would have tolerated the hippies that became Democrats. A Bill Clinton would never have gotten any respect from a Truman for example, I don't believe it. There really was a tidal shift of the party following Humphrey, and remember the problems Humphrey had with the hippies at the DNC when he ran? I believe the Democratic Party is now a result of the hippies that grew up and donned suits, but they brought their free love with them, and threw out the morals as well. Anything goes to win, the Clintonistas have proven that time and again.
And it's not just the partisan shift. It's the whole world view underneath it. This view of the common man vs big business, that sort of disappeared along with it. (And thats where we disagree of course, whether thats a good or a bad thing.)
I think its a good thing, but we have to remember a moral society is important to keep things balanced, and when we lose morals, it affects not only government, but also business.
To go on a digression a bit, thats one of my main concerns about Obama. I like him a lot better than Hillary, and I agree with him more too. But he does have a more kind of, I dont know, post-materialist profile than Hillary, which means he might do better among many white-collar middle-class independents in the modern cities, but he will lose even more of the Democrats' remaining support among older, blue-collar white voters, making that old FDR coalition recede into the horizon even more...
Of course you probably know what I think of Obama. I think he is an outgrowth of the celebrity conscious culture that we have, his popularity is based on it being a fad, the voters know very little of what he is about. This is very dangerous in my opinion. Of course the supporters on this forum claim to know what he is about, perhaps they do to a point, but by and large, a very small percentage of the population know much about this guy, and he has not much of a track record beyond talking good. Apparently people think he talks good, I don't.
Quote: okie wrote:
However, here is the thing you must remember, these people are staunchly patriotic, my dad being in WW II, they all worked hard and were fiercely independent. To summarize as Ronald Reagan did, the Democratic Party left him, he never left the party. My parents are still registered Democrats, or were, only one is now alive, and tend to vote the man, not the party, which I see the fallacy of, but that explains how the state can go staunchly Democrat and then go Republican. They might vote Democrat locally, but haven't voted for a Democrat for president in a long long time, to my knowledge. [..]
I am the first generation in the family to be registered Republican
Interesting. Were you a Republican from the start, or did you switch later in life? (When?)
And your parents, you say that they remain (or remained) registered Democrats all their life, but I guess they stopped voting a Democrat for President a long time ago - when did they stop doing so (I mean, if you know, of course)? You quote Reagan - "they didnt leave the party, the party left them"; did they switch in the 80s, after Carter, or earlier already?
I was an indepentant first, then when I learned more about politics, I registered Republican, I was never a Democrat. I think my parents voted for Nixon, then Carter, then Reagan, none of which they were real excited about. They voted for the Bushes. My dad despised Clinton, not personally, but as a politician he had no respect for him at all, and that would be typical of many older FDR Democrats.
Quote: okie wrote:
Oklahoma has far more problems than it used to have, but it is still a conservative state, even when they vote for Democrats. I don't believe you will see Oklahoma go for Clinton or Obama, whoever it is, they are not that liberal yet.
Interesting! You feel that Oklahoma is actually trending more liberal now? I didnt know that..
Oklahoma was one of the last states to go wet (liquor sales) long time ago now, and one of the last to go with the lottery not that long ago, and yes it was a Democrat governor that did it, they voted him in. Those are just symptoms of a society that is going downhill. The problems in Oklahoma are with broken families, more drugs, illegal immigrants taking jobs and lowering pay scales, etc., which tends to cause more sympathy toward government fixes and liberal ideas. Also, rural lifestyle and families living on farms decrease at the expense of city voters, which tend to vote more Democratic. But Oklahoma is still pretty well tied to the land, which causes conservatism.
Also - I know you think neither Democrat has any chance of actually winning OKlahoma, and you're right of course. But which of the two do you think would get more votes?
I do not know. I have seen no polls, but I don't think either candidate would have a great chance, possibly Obama would receive more votes because Clinton is just not liked by alot of people, the Clintons are fodder for jokes, not presidential material.
Quote: okie wrote:
I actually grew up with a guy whose dad was more or less a communist, and this guy nearly made college a life's career and studied all the world's religions and governments, ended up with doctorates and masters of this and that, and actually lived in more than a dozen countries around the world. Alot of his seeking was because of his dad's sort of revolutionary ideas, which was unusual in the farming community, and this guy ended up searching all of this out for himself. Not too long ago, he confided in me that he wasted a long time and has concluded the old dirt farmers he grew up with had the best philosophy all along, not only that, capitalism was the worst system on earth - except for all the rest of the possible systems. I think he thought utopia existed somewhere, but to his disappointment, he never found it. Where he grew up was as close as he could have gotten to it, and now I think he realizes that.
Interesting story. I like the line how "capitalism was the worst system on earth - except for all the rest of the possible systems". On the one hand it's a bit of a cliche; but in the context of his life story it seems to really reflect his search, and a kind of reluctant embrace of his home country at the end.
Yes, it is a cliche that I think he borrowed from Churchill, but he believed it. He honestly did think communism would work, and from his college studies, he seemed to think it should work. His father was a believer apparently.
Quote: okie wrote:
Also, I missed a couple questions, my grandfather was a homesteader, so he settled land inhabited by the indians before that. That has to be an injustice, right?
Wow, so your family really goes back to the very roots of the state! That's cool. Nowadays people move around such a lot, it's hard to have or preserve a sense of local history, of being rooted in a place. I think a lot is lost with that.
And well, yeah, that's the contradiction at the heart of history I suppose - perhaps just more clearly so in America. The country's birth is the story of hardworking heroes who themselves also just escaped poverty elsewhere - but who did end up occupying lands taken from the Indians. Good guys, bad guys? I guess the categories just dont apply very well. They did the best they could, and thats all anyone can do, right?
Agreed, we cannot take the blame for somebody else's decisions. The indians were good guys with some bad guys, the homesteaders were good guys with some bad guys, just looking for a better life once the lands were opened up.
A very long post here, but America is a land of immigrants, my dad was, from Denmark. The other side came from Holland, Germany, England a couple generations or so before. I went to school with a kid that told me that his grandfathers fought at the Battle of the Bulge, on opposite sides, but they buried the hatchet and became friends, although not fast friends. Life goes on. None of us choose our heritage, and all we can do is go forward from here, and I guess that explains why I am so opposed to digging up old greviances, it is wasted energy on a hopeless endeavor. We are much better served to spend our energies on the future on things that we can have some control over. And it is one of the principal things that has soured me on Obama. Looking for injustice and dwelling upon it, keeping company with those that wallow in it, is poison to any society and culture. We have seen the fruits of it in history, and it is to be avoided at all costs.