The Blue-stater’s manifesto

From Dave Winer

I’m the kind of guy the red stater’s hate.

I have an excellent education, and I didn’t stop after I finished school. I worked hard, and struggled, and made a success of myself. I didn’t borrow money, I don’t have much in my Social Security account, but I do have good retirement savings and health insurance. I have a well-used passport. I read voraciously, and on some subjects, systematically, and communicate with people on the Internet from all over the world.

Because of my education both formal and continuing, I have a perspective on the world that people in the flyover states not only don’t have, but that they openly express hatred of. I know that’s an extreme statement, but listen — in the east and the west you don’t hear ignorant people boasting of their ignorance the way Sarah Palin did in her acceptance speech at the RNC. But in the middle of the country, esp the South, you do hear that. A lot. So much so that you can pretty much win a national election by appealing to that character flaw.

Now I’m not a Democrat, and I’m quite conservative on a number of issues, but they still call me “The Left” when dismissing me. I follow the example of my maternal uncle who said he was a Party Of One, he thought for himself, and made up his own mind. So I am totally Pro Choice, anti-death penalty, and I practice no religion. That’s another reason people in the flyover states hate me.

But I’ve decided I don’t care if they hate me or not. After all, they say that we as Americans shouldn’t care whether people outside the United States hate us. So why should I care if they hate me?

I used to enjoy going to the US — especially to the West Coast. But then in 2000 I got a shock. Firstly because the Supreme Court handed the presidency — wrongly in my view — to George Bush. And secondly, because I realised that I didn’t know a single American who had voted for him. And then it dawned on me that all the Americans I know are on the East or West coasts. I didn’t know a single person who lived in the Red (aka ‘flyover’) states. Not a single one.