As I’ve said before, I sometimes listen to Rush Limbaugh in the morning on the way into work. Recently I’ve noticed a lot of ads for services that help you negotiate your way out of IRS debts. And then I noticed that the worst vacancy rates for shopping malls were in the South and it occured to me that the economy for poor white folks is really tanking. This morning Joe Bageant, author of Deerhunting with Jesus, and a self proclaimed Redneck, says what a northern liberal can’t.
During this US election cycle we are hearing a lot from the pundits and candidates about “heartland voters,” and “white working class voters.”
What they are talking about are rednecks. But in their political correctness, media types cannot bring themselves to utter the word “redneck.” So I’ll say it for them: redneck-redneck-redneck-redneck. As to having our delicate beer-sodden feelings protected from the term redneck; well, I appreciate the effort, though I highly suspect that the best way to hide snobbishness is to pose as protector of any class of folks you cannot bear. Thus we are being protected by the very people who look down on us – educated urban progressives.
And let’s face it, there’s plenty to look down on. By any tasteful standard, we ain’t a pretty people.
Uppity and slick? Not us…
We come in one size: extra large. We are sometimes insolent and often quick to fight. We love competitive spectacle such as NASCAR and paintball, and believe gun ownership is the eleventh commandment. We fry things nobody ever considered friable – things like cupcakes, banana sandwiches and batter dipped artificial cheese…even pickles.
And that is one of the reasons that, mystifying as it is to the outside world, John McCain’s choice of the moose-shooting Alaskan woman with the pregnant unmarried teen daughter appeals to many redneck and working class Americans.
We all understand that there is a political class which dominates in America, and that Sarah Palin for damned sure is not one of them. And the more she is attacked by liberal Democratic elements (translation: elite highly-educated big city people) the more America’s working mooks will come to her defence. Her daughter had a baby out of wedlock? Big deal. What family has not? She is a Christian fundamentalist who believes God spat on his beefy paws and made the world in seven days? So do at least 150 million other Americans. She snowmobiles and fishes and she is a looker to boot. She’s a redneck.
Bageant goes on to describe why Rednecks like war and believe
“The only free country in the world is the United States, and the only reason we ever go to war is to protect that freedom. All this has become so deeply instilled as to now be reflexive. It represents many of the worst traits in American culture and a few of the best. And that has every thinking person here in the US, except perhaps John McCain and Sarah Palin, worried.