Democrats & Liberals Archives

I'm A Democrat, Not A Vegetarian

Last week I spent some time on Whidbey Island in Washington (the state). I was at this laundermat and pretty stoked that there was a cafe next-door. I figured, while the laundry was spinning, I could grab a sandwich and a Diet Coke and get some reading done. Man, was I pissed when I found out all they served was organic vegan food!

At that point, I understood why conservatives run this country. I would have voted for Tom DeLay to come in there and clean out that cesspit of ex-Berkeley hippies. All I could think of was, what if these guys ban burgers everywhere? What if I can't get a pulled-pork BBQ sandwich ever again? Or a buck-fifty Costco polish dog?

After cooling down over an ice-cold Hansen's all natural Kiwi-Strawberry soda (made with triple-filtered carbonated water), reason prevailed. After all, Whidbey Island is just one small place: the last, last refuge of the ageing hippie culture. If these guys would rather ban mega-fast food, department store, and even grocery chains on their island in favor of local Mom & Pop entrepreneurs employing local labor, it's hard to condemn it. But, I was still craving a hot Subway meatball sandwich...

A few days later, I started reading Thomas Frank's book, "What's The Matter With Kansas?" The way he sees it, conservatives have taken over the country for the same reason I hate that cafe on Whidbey Island. But where I understand the source of my anger is a single little cafe on a corner next to the laundermat in a small town in Washington, the Republican Party has successfully convinced many Americans that all non-Republicans (and even many RINOs) want to shove vegetarianism, abortion, atheism, gay marriage, and God and Karl Rove only know what else down the throats of middle America.

For about half of us, the very idea that anyone could buy into that kind of self-evidently counterfactual backlash propaganda is just unimaginable. Half the country couldn't be that stupid, right? So we dismiss the whole backlash theory and look for other explanations: We're not getting our message out, or the GOP has a better political machine.

Yet time and again, I see red-column posters arguing that they like what Democrats say about the economy, healthcare, taxes, labor issues, runaway government growth, education, or Social Security, but can't vote for 'em because they want to take away all our guns, or persecute Christians, or kill unborn babies, old people, and innocent souls like Terry Schiavo. That's bullshit, of course, but based on my initial emotional reaction to that vegan cafe in Washington (the state), I think Thomas Frank may be on to something. Backlash politics is pretty effective ju-ju.

Which trumped-up, anti-liberal, backlash propaganda issue do you think is being used to the best effect by GOP political operatives and right-wing pundits?

Posted by American Pundit at July 9, 2005 2:16 AM