Letter: Red over blue

By The Daily Illini

Chest beating, mourning and finger-pointing have begun. The voting population’s drift toward the “right” is unmistakable (however, we must not forget that while he got the votes of about 60 million citizens, there were about 65 million who did not vote for Mr. Bush). Whether the credit goes to Republican-focused marketing strategy, to the lack of a “real” alternative on the Democratic ticket, or to the “Jesus Factor,” the clear shift in the political spectrum would require a major re-evaluation on the part of the Democrats and points to an opening for a major third party.

Those interested in one interpretation of the country’s political landscape might Google “What’s the Matter with Kansas,” and follow some of the links. If you find it interesting, you may want to read the book by Thomas Frank (same title; by the way, I have only read some excerpts so far). If you have not already, you are likely to hear about him soon. Here is an excerpt: “The poorest county in America isn’t in Appalachia or the Deep South. It is on the Great Plains, a region of struggling ranchers and dying farm towns, and in the election of 2000 the Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, carried it by a majority of greater than 80 percent.”He goes on to analyze the reasons why the party so closely associated with the rich can accomplish such a feat. An admittedly simplistic summary of his analysis is cultural backlash and three Gs: Guns, Gays and God. The heartland that cares to vote fears homosexual marriages more than it fears its (falling) living standard.

Rizwan Uddin

University employee