Monday, September 18, 2006

“There are no cowboys in Virginia.” -James Webb's son, NY Times

In an interesting Times article about Virginia's Senate race (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/us/politics/18webb.html?th&emc=th), two canidate's differences are evident from head to foot.
Literally though.

Highlighting this senate race (amongst, you know, real issues) is the contrasting footwear of the two canidates. Dem. James Webb wears his son's combat boots while incumbant Rep. George Allen wears cowboy boots. Interestingly enough, a central issue is over the war in Iraq- Webb in opposition to it. Webb has a navy history in Vietnam and a son in Iraq right now, giving him quite a voice on the topic. All Allen can say is that he supports the president and denounces the "Monday-morning quarterbacking."

With a late start in the campaign and the obvious incumbant obstacales Mr. Webb as to face, including far less funds, he is doing quite well in the polls about 4 percentage points behind Mr. Allen. Virginia is sizing up to be a very competitive race- and one that would help the Democratic party gain some control in Congress.

I guess my beef with a race like this- canidates like these and many others, is the lack of understanding I have for many republican voters. Fiscally I understand why someone who is wealthy would vote conservative, but I really don't understand the psyche of rural southerners. Is it all the religious/moral issues? And if so, what puts abortion and gay rights above social justice and capital punishment. Maybe I need a regional context or maybe I come from a rural, Catholic, farming family who is the exception to the rule, but the fact the republican party has such a stronghold in non-urban, poorer regions is in many ways beyond me.

3 Comments:

At 12:24 PM, Blogger polsci421-jeff said...

I can completely understand your confusion as to why certain types of people do not vote the way the people of a certain group normally vote in the rest of the country. However, it is not that wealthy people vote Republican because of fiscal issues or that the rural Southerners vote conservative because of certain moral issues, it is a combination of the whole. In other words, conservatives in general tend to belive that it is the individual that is truly responsible for their own behavior both economically and socially while the liberals in general believe that society as a whole should care for the individuals. Most issues can be traced to this line of thinking of individual responsibility vs shared responsiblity and voters from the south more than in any other area of the country are extremely concerned with individual rights.

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger halleykaras said...

I disagree with Jeff, conservatives don't seem to believe in personal responsibility for one’s actions when they favor banning gay marriage and a women's right to choose. But it’s true that both parties are selective in their concern for individual rights or public morals. The ideology you speak of, favoring minimal government control over both economic and social issues, is Libertarianism. We have learned since high school that liberals want a more government regulated economy and less regulation regarding morality, and conservatives favor a more free market and stricter moral laws.

To the voting pattern topic, and I’m generalizing here, I think southern conservatives see gay marriage and abortion as evil things that “bad, unchristian” people do. Things like capital punishment are seen as necessary to punish the criminals that threaten our families. Capital Punishment is being “tough on crime” while supporting gay marriage is sacrilegious. I never really got the whole poor and middle class people voting Republican thing either, seems like their priorities are out of whack.

 
At 6:50 AM, Blogger D. Schultz said...

I had a nightmare last night:

I was a gay southern woman who was a pregnant rape victim. Scary, huh?

 

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