Everybody’s talking about why Obama can’t win Appalachia and the reasons seem to range from David Oatney’s elitist diatribe against elitism (I think, though I could be wrong, with his use of “effete” and while at the same time bragging about his own family, that he’s not opposed to elitism, he just doesn’t like the soft, almost-“faggy” kind) in which he claims that Obama can’t win in Appalachia because his supporters are pompous jerks who think they’re better than the “regular folks” from Appalachia.
Of course, this makes no sense because if there’s one group that everybody makes fun of with impunity and who almost everybody else thinks is a bunch of inbred idiots running around raping tourists and marrying their cousins all while listening to the dulcet strains of NASCAR, it’s folks from Appalachia. If Appalachians want to decline to vote for people who look down their noses at them, they are left with only voting for old school country musicians and I don’t recall Ralph Stanley running for President this year, though the libertarians keep switching candidates so I just could have missed it.
Then Josh Marshall chimes in with his theory that the folks in Appalachia just don’t like black people because they are violent, self-reliant ignoramuses who see black folks as a symbol of the inegalitarian stratified slave-holding coastal monied South they could not be a part of.
This also makes little sense for a lot of reasons but the main one is that THERE ARE AND HAVE BEEN BLACK PEOPLE LIVING IN APPALACHIA. Where do you think the “tri” in tri-racial isolates comes from? White, indigenous, and Martian?
Now, I’m not any smarter than David Oatney or Josh Marshall so I’m probably not going to come up with any better reason why Appalachians aren’t voting for Obama than they are, but this being the internet and me being me, I’m going to give it a try.
I think that Appalachians aren’t voting for Obama because fuck him.
I’m sure for some folks it’s because he’s black. And for some folks because he’s a secret Muslim. And for some folks because he’s got book-learning. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Just fuck him.
But mainly, it’s because of the audacity of hope, I think.
When you are a group of people who has repeatedly been kicked in the teeth every time you turned your face to the sun to enjoy just a sliver of beauty, when you have given generations of your family to work under mountains struggling to carve coal out of rocks to set aside a little for your family to do a little better only to have the coal companies up and leave town, when you bring industry to your community only to find them poisoning your water and putting their slushy garbage in ponds above your schools, when your kids are disproportionately the ones who fight and die in wars, when the only thing the people around you want to do is escape, either through fleeing to the cities or through drinking or drugs, when any fool with a Bible can call himself pastor and encourage you to pick up snakes and drink poison, what’s hope?
It’s got to seem like so much bullshit.
So, fuck him.
I think what Oatney won’t admit (but is hinting at) and what Marshall can’t understand is that asking people to have hope when there is so little reason for it is, yes, inspiring to some, but to others?
To others it sounds like just another in a long line of sweet talking folks making a lot of promises that, if you dare to put your faith in them, will bite you in the ass as hard as it can.
I mean, come on. We all know these folks aren’t so much for Clinton as they are against Obama, because we know they don’t normally like Clinton. She’s still the same old castrating she-devil feminist bitch who can’t keep her man at home they’ve always hated and I just can’t believe they’ve suddenly discovered that she’s just a person and not the symbol of all that’s wrong with America that she used to be.
I think it’s just that what she represents is, to the folks in Appalachia, much less potentially painful for them than Obama, and so fuck him, they’re throwing their lot in with her.