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Blue States Only Please:

Some aspiring law professors include geographic limits on where they are willing to teach on their AALS application forms. For understandable reasons (e.g. family, health), some are more geographically mobile than others. Then, according to Glenn Reynolds, there's the candidate who will only consider jobs in "Blue States, Florida and Virginia" and will not consider "Other red states." Ironically, this means he or she is more likely to end up in a red part of a blue state (e.g. Orange County), than in the blue part of a red state (e.g. Austin, Cleveland). [It also does not say much about his or her open-mindedness and academic temperament, but that's another blog post entirely.]

guest:
I missed the part where this post was interesting.
8.24.2005 4:34pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Liberal open-mindedness strikes again.
8.24.2005 4:37pm
Jeff R.:
So when does the jersey-switch actually take place, anyhow? Sometime before Nov 2008, obviously, but how far? Right after the 2006 elections?
8.24.2005 4:38pm
Igglephan:
Maybe one reason is that there is very little culture (not counting bacterial) of which to speak in flyover country, with the exceptions of Chicago, the Clinton Library, and the South Dakota Corn Palace. Law Professors tend to be reasonably educated. Q.E.D. Of course that's tongue in cheek, but why isn't this better thought of as a general preference for urban over rural?

I imagine that, aside from the *one* candidate -- who evidently is enough for a "meme" -- most professorial candidates would love to teach at UT-Austin. SXSW festival and they denied admission to George W. Bush back in the day.

There is nothing ironic about not wanting to live in Cleveland.
8.24.2005 4:45pm
Rational Spidermonkey (mail):
I don't think there's anything whatsoever surprising about a given individual wanting to live near things they like. I can think of any number of Midwestern friends who avoid living in liberal cities because they dislike the culture there... there's nothing inherently open-minded about moving to a state where the majority of people disagree with you.
8.24.2005 4:57pm
DK:
I'm a conservative in a different field (technology), and I doubt I would accept a job in a red state other than blue enclaves such as Atlanta, Austin, and the Virgina DC suburbs.

Blue is a great proxy for interesting hi-tech jobs.
8.24.2005 5:00pm
A. Nonymous (mail):
I only want to work and live with people who think like me, agree with me and are entirely of my _________ persuasion.

Fill in that blank with "political" and it appears some posters (and the original author) here would be ok with that statement.

Fill in that blank with "racial" and I suspect these exact same people would cry "hold on now"....
8.24.2005 5:02pm
Meredith (mail):
You know, this is really funny.

The applicant didn't say s/he prefered urban over rural.

S/he didn't say anything about wanting to be in a cultural area.

This applicant said no red states. Obviously thinking in terms of his own political intolerance. Obviously. It seems clear to me that this applicant actually wanted to express himself that way, show some progressive bonafides but that it just my imagination.

Obviously however, this applicant was thinking in terms of republican and democrat. Sounds like a pompous jerk.

The idea that red stats lack culture is similarly amusing and ignorant. Places like Austin and Houston or some such certainly do have their own culture. Even ruraly places have a culture, as evidences by how sharply they contrast from the Culture of Manhattan.

I may not like the ruraly farming country culture, but I don't really like the grasshopper eating one either. IT still exists.
8.24.2005 5:04pm
goldsmith (mail):
What universities need not is more professors who cannot countenance differing viewpoints.


This is a problem, however, for those of us who are libertarian conservatives and like the uncrowded countryside but who are also attracted to the arts and culture, good shopping, a divers assortment of foods. Unfortunately, this usually goes hand in hand with large government liberal/left cities. The best answer I have found to this conundrum is New Hampshire.
8.24.2005 5:15pm
Shelby (mail):
It also does not say much about his or her open-mindedness and academic temperament

Oh yes it does.
8.24.2005 5:18pm
cka3n (mail) (www):
State "color" may well be a decent proxy for academic support (see, e.g., Mr. Reynolds's own Tennessee).
8.24.2005 5:20pm
WB:
Nonymous, equating politics with race is simply ridiculous.

JN-V, I suppose it's interesting that the applicant will probably end up in a region that is politically hostile. If the candidate is trying to end up in a politically friendly area, that's definitely a bad way of going about it.

If it's a proxy for something else, though, it's just a poor choice of words. For example, maybe the person just wants to be somewhere that touches the ocean, isn't a big fan of the South, and thinks that UVA is too good of a school not to compromise. If so, it's probably better to find some kind of shorthand that doesn't indicate political close-mindedness.

On the other hand, maybe such statements are a boost in the eyes of most law faculties these days. Who knows.
8.24.2005 5:29pm
Adrian (mail):
First, this is ridiculous. Second, I wonder why Virginia and Florida. There are 5 red states where Bush won with smaller margins than in both FL and VA.
8.24.2005 5:32pm
Goober (mail):
The phrasing might be awkward, but doesn't the inclusion of Va. and Fla. suggest it's more geographical? The West Coast, the Northeast corridor through DC, the urban midwest, and Miami are all included in his requirements; frankly it seems reasonable to want to live only in one of those areas. The fellow doesn't want to live in Oklahoma or Nebraska; it's not necessarily for political reasons, even if the requirement is in political terms.

Just a guess.
8.24.2005 5:37pm
Goober (mail):
The idea that red stats lack culture is similarly amusing and ignorant.

Is it? Austin and Houston, TX, and... what? Nashville, maybe, but you're looking rather hard after that. New York and Los Angeles are the centers of American pop culture; Boston's the center of academic culture; and most of the other considerable landmarks appear in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, etc. You can resent supposed blue-state elitism all you want, but Indianapolis and Oklahoma City simply doesn't measure up to Manhattan.
8.24.2005 5:43pm
Goober (mail):
(I added "and Oklahoma City" without changing the tense of the predicate. "don't measure," obviously. Oops.)
8.24.2005 5:44pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Is it? Austin and Houston, TX, and... what? Nashville, maybe, but you're looking rather hard after that.

Statements like that say more about the speaker than the supposed lack of "culture" in red states.
8.24.2005 5:45pm
=0=:
The phrasing might be awkward, but doesn't the inclusion of Va. and Fla. suggest it's more geographical?

That was my take, too. Of course, it could have been phrased better, and telegraphing politics - even if misleadingly - certainly doesn't increase one's options. Of course, that might have been part of the point, too (a friend told me that last weekend he asked a woman out, she asked him whom he voted for last election, he said Kerry, and she said no. And this is in NYC. Point? people have all sorts of proxies they use for making decisions, some better than others. cf. cat v. dog people.)
8.24.2005 5:47pm
A. Nonymous (mail):
WB: In this context, equating politics with race is simply not ridiculous. To say you wish only to surround yourself, live and work with those like you and they alone, be it in terms of race or politics, is the ridiculous element here.
8.24.2005 5:50pm
Shelby (mail):
It seems likelier to me that Florida and Virginia were included because they have some special attraction for the candidate -- most likely personal. Home state, or family there, probably.
8.24.2005 5:56pm
Cornellian (mail):

Blue is a great proxy for interesting hi-tech jobs.


I suspect that is not entirely a coincidence.
8.24.2005 6:11pm
Edward A. Hoffman (mail):
I think Juan and most of the previous commentators are reading too much into this.

The candidate probably isn't trying to stay away from conservatives, since there are plenty in even the bluest states. My guess is that she wants to live in a state with a Democratic governor and/or legislature so that she will be happy with the state's policies and programs. This seems a bit odd but reasonable; all else being equal, someone who has to move would usually prefer to be in the new state's electoral majority.

I have heard plenty of conservatives say they would never want to live in Massachusetts, New York or California (all of which, oddly, have Republican governors at the moment). Why is it so wrong for a liberal to have the same kind of preference?

And I agree with Shelby that the candidate's willingness to live in Virginia or Florida is probably due to some personal or family-related reason that trumps her political leanings.
8.24.2005 6:13pm
Sophocles:
Culturally, Austin would come in at fifth place in Texas, behind Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Austin's only redeeming features are the vibrant music scene and the ginormous university. More importantly, SXSW tends to create false impressions about Austin's music scene. It's good, but it's not that good. Take away SXSW and Austin might fall behind El Paso.

Except for popular music, all four Texas cities are above Austin in terms of music. The same for the arts. Austin beats out Fort Worth for diversity of cuisine. Austin and Fort Worth are roughly even for sports, with the edge going to Austin for college athletics. I give Fort Worth the edge based solely on museums, the symphony, and the ballet.
8.24.2005 6:14pm
goldsmith (mail):
I think it's a mistake to say that Manhattan or LA, etc, have better culture than other places. They simply have more of it in terms of quantity and tend to attract better quality in certain areas of culture because there is generally more money/higher income (the opera comes to mind; it's hard to compete with the Met in scale). But I find a certain boring homogeneity in the cultural scene in New York and LA, and more than a little hubris in assuming that the provincial delights of our large coastal cities are universal.

And, Boston is the center of academic culture? That's humorous though, if true, a little frightening.
8.24.2005 6:15pm
B. Nonymous (mail):
When I first tried to come up with a state-by-state list of places I'd like to live--based on a preference for urban and metropolitan culture--I said to myself, pretty much, the West Coast, East Coast from D.C. north, cities in the Great Lakes States such as Chicago, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities.... Then I realized that, without trying to, I'd listed off the blue states (except Hawaii). I'm a liberal, so this may not be independent of my political preferences, but I wasn't trying to capture my political preferences. And I think I would be more happy in Orange County than in a blue area like, say, Odessa, Texas.

One thing to note is that in most blue states you're not too far from a big city--this is not true in most red states. Blue/red really is a decent proxy for population density.
8.24.2005 6:19pm
lucia (mail) (www):
What a bizarre exclusion and is either purely political or uneducated. It hardly seems Red/Blue is a reasonable enough marker to actually use it on a form. Is there more "high culture" in Maine or Spokane, Washington (both blue) than Atlanta, Georgia? Is Ithaca, New York any more urban than Ames, Iowa?

It's difficult to imagine the candidates choice for expressing preference is going to help them in their job search. Why not just list the specific states they won't consider?
8.24.2005 6:20pm
anonymous coward:
Certainly it's a dumb thing to write in a job letter, but I doubt s/he cares exactly what % Kerry tallied in 2004.

I personally wouldn't want to live in a single red state. Quite certain I don't even want to live anywhere in Florida or Virgina. Don't care for Houston or even Austin (and I have lived in both, so don't try to tell me I'm wrong). I know people with exactly the opposite tendency--and we're probably a lot happier with our self-segregation from each other.

The red/blue dichotomy doesn't map exactly onto rural-suburban/urban or conservative/liberal. I don't know exactly what it is, and it's clearly not as dramatic as all that, but I don't think it's content-free.
8.24.2005 6:22pm
Meredith (mail):
Goober,

Just because it isn't the same culture as Manhattan doesn't mean there isn't any.

Trust me, 4H and country is culture. Eating grasshoppers and praying to the moon would be culture too (I doubt an extent one). Culture != liberal place. Culture != wealthy. Culture != anything specific in Manhattan.

Trust me, America is rich with different peoples and cultures, even in 'flyover country'.

If you go to Chickashae Oklahoma, they have some sort of rattlesnake eating thing. If you go to .. oh nevermind, if you don't care about it, that's your business.

Elitism on the left has won many an election for the right.
8.24.2005 6:28pm
anonymous coward:
See, Meredith, it's probably for the best if our law prof applicant steers clear of Chickashae, Oklahoma...
8.24.2005 6:32pm
Glenn Bridgman (mail):
I thought about this for a few minutes, seeing if there was a good way to defend the guy, but he deserves a smack, if only for putting it in that language. It's possible that this was merely an unfortunate way of describing a geographical or cultural preference, but his use of a political descriptor mitigates against that.
8.24.2005 6:34pm
JoeSlater (mail):
As the chair of an appointments committee of a law school in a red state, I think this thread is trying to make a mountain out of a not-even molehill.

I personally was more intrigued by the candidate who said he would not work in Washington state (and only that state), despite having no listed connections to the state on his CV.
8.24.2005 6:35pm
Glenn Bridgman (mail):
Lucia, ironically, Portland, ME is an incredibly bohemian city for its size and geographical location. In my, admittedly limited, experience, Maine on the whole is the most cultural rural state I've been in.
8.24.2005 6:37pm
Igglephan:
Meredith -- true, but this is about one individual's preferences. I assume you exhibit the same solicitousness for those of us on the left when accused of "lacking American values"? Brooklyn is better than Manhattan, btw.
8.24.2005 6:37pm
BL (mail):
I have to take issue with the rather odd ranking of Texas cities by "Sophocles."

First, let's forget San Antonio. People work in San Antonio and commute 1 1/2 hours from Austin, where they choose to live. No one does it in reverse: not one soul! On every dimension of culture (sports don't count), San Antonio isn't on the map.

Second, for the arts, Houston and Dallas-Forth Worth are clearly better than Austin (indeed, both are extraordinarily good), but Austin, largely due to the University's collections, is surprisingly good.

Third, Sophocles is correct that for all kinds of popular music (from country to jazz), Austin is best, indeed, better than most of the cities on the two coasts (this is what my friends who follow this stuff tell me). But it's preposterous to say that San Antonio is above Austin for other kinds of music; again, the University makes a huge difference, in terms of the musical offerings the city attracts. Houston and Dallas-Forth Worth have better and deeper offerings.

For cuisine, only Houston is better than Austin. San Antonio isn't on the map.

All of the preceding are objective facts, soon to be confirmed in a definitive ranking. Sophocles should stick to play-writing!
8.24.2005 6:39pm
Paul Gowder (mail):
Really, in that (not very tactful) applicant's defense, the quality of life in the bicoastal states that are "blue," along with, yes, Florida and Virginia, are pretty high. Many of the "elite liberal" cities and blue states in general have things like excellent public transportation (N.Y., D.C., Chicago, S.F., Boston, Portland OR, and Seattle to the best of my limited knowledge), lowish crime (PDX, Boston, etc.), high per capita education levels (Boston, DC, NYC, S.F., Portland, Seattle, L.A.), museums and concerts (all of the above + Miami), beaches (L.A., S.F., Miami, PDX [nearby], Boston [nearby], Chicago [sorta]), racial and religious diversity (All of the above although Boston, PDX, and Seattle are probably more racially and religiously homogenous than the rest), decent coffee (PDX, Seattle, NYC), decent bar etc. live music like jazz scene (PDX, Miami, L.A., NYC, Chicago), truly beautiful natural parks, mountains, coastlines, etc. (all of Washington State, Oregon, California, Maine, much of Massachusetts, Florida, New York), history (Massachusetts, New York, Pennyslvania, Virginia, etc.) etc. etc. etc. in meaningfully greater concentration than the red states. Virginia could be Northern Virginia, which is D.C., and Florida has Miami and beaches and great mohitos...

(Most of those characteristic assignments are based on my general sense, rather than hard data, but I have lived in 4 of the above-named metro areas and frequently visited all except SF and Seattle)

Now, there are some places in the red states that have those things. Austin, certainly, is nice. (Houston has its own problems, like truly horrid horrid air pollution.) New Orleans has a lot of that stuff but also insane poverty and crime and an imploded economy. St. Louis I believe has an imploded economy too, though I could be wrong. Indianapolis is nice, but it's an hour from Chicago, which is unquestionably nicer. I've never been to Nashville, but I'm given to understand there are some amazing ribs there. Atlanta is very nice, if a bit quiet.

But the point is that a lot of the things that many people think of when they talk about "quality of life" exist in the blue states. This doesn't mean the people in the "blue states" are somehow better than the people in the "red states." It means that the blue states generally have bigger tax bases, lots of universities, parks, hippie kids who play music, etc. etc. etc. Is it so unreasonable to use blue-ness as a proxy for those things?
8.24.2005 6:48pm
Chris Lansdown (mail) (www):
So how long will it be until this really tired terminology ("red state" and "blue state") finally expires? I mean, it's just incredibly stupid that there are people who assume that everyone who voted for the same presidential candidate are more or less the same person, as if only two people exist in this country.
8.24.2005 6:50pm
B. Nonymous (mail):
Note that, even if you accept that all five of those Texas cities are rockin', it is possible to be teaching at a major Texas university in a fairly large city and still be 5-6 hours' drive from any city that rocks. That just doesn't happen in blue states (except for southern Illinois, maybe, and northern New England). Which was part of my point about population density.
8.24.2005 6:50pm
Meredith (mail):
I don't even know what solicitousness means!

Haha, yeah, if someone said that the people in Brooklen (or what have you) lack values, they would also be wrong, obviously they just have different values. But frankly, your analogy leaves a lot to be desired. I don't really know what American values means, but it could be said that some parts of the country have more traditional values than others. It just couldn't be said that some parts have values and others none.

Just like Goober could say that Oklahoma has less cosmopolitan culture than Manhattan, but he couldn't (correctly) say that one has culture and the other none.

If I take one specific type of culture or value, I surely can evaluate which places have more or less. If I take the vague notion of value or culture, something that people can hardly exist without, it makes no sense to go around saying one place lacks it. (Those who say that really mean they don't have their culture or value).

This is off topic. The main point is that this applicant has a problem with political tolerance. People who have that problem are bigots.
8.24.2005 6:56pm
anonymous coward:
Is not clear s/he is a bigot. Is established that simply being (somewhere) in a blue state doesn't mean you're going to be around more "blue" people than being in a red state. Seems s/he is a bigot and also a ninny or that s/he is attempting to maximize something other than the % of Kerry voters.
8.24.2005 7:02pm
Anon1ms (mail):
Personally, I think the whole thing is a fabrication. There is no documentation of the colleague or the other school (neither of which would divulge the identity of the applicant).

It just doesn't ring true.
8.24.2005 7:02pm
goldsmith (mail):
There's something immensely stupid about the terms "red state" and "blue state", not to mention elitist, divisive, over-simplified. I really, really, really hope we can lose this false binary system in the near future. I think the good things about the supposedly "blue" states and the supposedly "red" states are not because of their politics but in spite of them.

And I do think this is a proxy for money and affluence, if for no other reason than "culture" develops where there is both money and idleness. There is a reason that wealthy port cities develop this way and more rural, farming-based economies tend to be moe "provincial". Hopefully increasing electronic interconnectedness will make a lot of these ideas somewhat obsolete. Give me broadband and a nice view and I can adapt.
8.24.2005 7:03pm
goldsmith (mail):
Or what Chris Lansdown said while I was wrenching out that paragraph. Anyway, I think we have all used up our week's "scare quote" quota.
8.24.2005 7:05pm
Meredith (mail):
Actually, anonymous coward, bigot means discriminating against people because of their political position/interest be it due to their race or sex or anything else.

Recent times have led people to only use the term bigot to describe people who discriminate based on race or sex or orientation (etc) but really, bigot speaks to that slightly facist desire many extremists have (on either side) to hate people who disagree about politics.

As far as this being a fabrication, it's not like there aren't people who have this problem, is it? Read free republic or Democratic underground for a taste of people who cannot stand, and do not try to understand their political opposites. It's a huge problem in this country! Why does it sound fabricated to Anon1ms? Because it can't imagine any democrat thinking this? Open your eyes, it's a problem on both sides in our country. You're the one making the accusation without evidence.
8.24.2005 7:17pm
Midwest boy:
I've lived on both the East Coast and in the Midwest, in big cities in the former, and in both big cities and small towns in the latter, and have decided, tentatively, to raise the kids in the Midwest, and maybe go East as an empty-nester (esp. if the kids are in college in the region).

Here, I get a bigger house, more cheaply, less crime, etc. If you pick a college town, like a big Midwest state-school town, you'll get enough bohmeia for amusement, if that's what you like.

Also, I find that the things I like about this town are the things that involve daily life, e.g., big yard for the kids. And the things I like about the Big Blue cities are, in large measure, doable in weeklong stints, e.g., shows.

And on that latter point, I can't count the times I've had this identical exchange with NYC pals, esp. in the big-firm law grind:

NYC pal: But we have cultural points like [MOMA, Broadway, whatever he/she likes]. You don't.

me: And the last time you went to any of those places was . . .?

NYC pal: Um, I get there about once a year.

me: Is that when your Midwest/Southern sibling/parent visits?

NYC pal: Yeah, how did you guess?

In the end, I like that we all can find a place that suits us. I don't begrudge anyone their preference, and I'm glad that enough people stay in other places to keep my town a little cheaper and less congested (though that's changing . . . sigh.)

More important -- I can live anywhere on the planet with Net access, and still live in the Volokh world. How cool is that? :-)
8.24.2005 7:22pm
Goober (mail):
Just because it isn't the same culture as Manhattan doesn't mean there isn't any.

Meredith, I didn't mean to imply there isn't any. There's not as much, and it's not as good, for my money (and that's why my money gets spent in New York). Certainly country music in TX/TN is worth consideration. And I forgot New Orleans---I forget if that's "red" or "blue" these days.

More centrally, is it really elitism to say that the big uninhabited states that vote Republican simply don't have as much, or as good, culture as New England? Or that whatever its peculiar charms, Texas simply doesn't really rival New York City? We have MoMA and the Met; NYC just has more culture than Houston.

Igglephan---

Feh. Everyone knows Manhattan is the new Brooklyn.

Goldsmith---

And, Boston is the center of academic culture? That's humorous though, if true, a little frightening.

Feh. Harvard. MIT. The New York metro area, if defined as including Princeton as well as Columbia, is a rival. But come on; is there any mystery that the administration, in praising John Roberts, notes his Cambridge pedigree? If you don't like Massachusetts, you're entitled to that opinion. But pretending that the epicenter of American higher education is really in Texas is one of those "lady doth protest too much" moments.
8.24.2005 7:35pm
Jimbeaux (mail):
"is it really elitism to say that the big uninhabited states that vote Republican simply don't have as much, or as good, culture as New England?"

Like Quahog, RI?
8.24.2005 7:45pm
Goober (mail):
Jimbeaux---

Precisely, giggity giggity.
8.24.2005 7:51pm
goldsmith (mail):
Goober: Well, I like many parts of Massachusetts. But i'm afraid that, because of my educational background, I will have to scoff at Boston and suggest New Haven, CT as the center of all knowledge in the known universe.

As for Brooklyn, I have one argument against its greatness: Williamsburg. It's like a petri dish containing scrapings of every college town boho main drag in the country, sans classes and books and the comfort in knowing they'll rotate out every 4 years. Visit sometime. Get knocked over by an unwashed 32 year old man in tight jeans with an ironic moustache whose graduate degree in advanced liberal arts included a final paper on Foucault and his influence on East Coast Punk. Look bewildered when he doesn't help you up. Pine for Duluth.
8.24.2005 8:19pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):


Heh, I wonder what it will be like if this fellow gets a job* and has to deal with a student who asks him in class about this restriction?

* I take it as a given that eventually this person's identity will be revealed and if he gets a teaching job his students WILL look him up on the internet.
8.24.2005 8:30pm
Bob Flynn (mail):
Man, there are a lot of young egg-heads who read this blog!
How about a nice family town, where you can get a nice big house, on an acre of land, with plenty of space for the kids and dog to play, rolling hills, green pastures, summer-time rain....that's what folks need!
8.24.2005 8:31pm
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
I have to take issue with the rather odd ranking of Texas cities by "Sophocles."

First, let's forget San Antonio. People work in San Antonio and commute 1 1/2 hours from Austin, where they choose to live. No one does it in reverse: not one soul! On every dimension of culture (sports don't count), San Antonio isn't on the map.

Second, for the arts, Houston and Dallas-Forth Worth are clearly better than Austin (indeed, both are extraordinarily good), but Austin, largely due to the University's collections, is surprisingly good.

Third, Sophocles is correct that for all kinds of popular music (from country to jazz), Austin is best, indeed, better than most of the cities on the two coasts (this is what my friends who follow this stuff tell me). But it's preposterous to say that San Antonio is above Austin for other kinds of music; again, the University makes a huge difference, in terms of the musical offerings the city attracts. Houston and Dallas-Forth Worth have better and deeper offerings.

For cuisine, only Houston is better than Austin. San Antonio isn't on the map.

All of the preceding are objective facts, soon to be confirmed in a definitive ranking. Sophocles should stick to play-writing!


Dallas-Fort Worth has some nice cuisine vis a vis Austin.

San Antonio has an interesting Tejano music scene.

But, all in all, Texas is a great state.
8.24.2005 8:34pm
Goober (mail):
Goldsmith---

Feh, again. The East Side of Providence, RI, perhaps. And I think our football team may have been better than Yale's in... one or two of the last ten years, maybe? Brook-burg, indeed, is largely obnoxious, although still home to a wonderful Orthodox community. And the homeless street cat I adopted a year ago. (Whom I named Palsgraf. Natch.)
8.24.2005 8:45pm
Rob Lyman (mail):
I just love the thought of this guy getting a UVA job: at one of the nation's "conservative" law schools, in a tiny, very very blue island completely surrounded by deep red.

As for culture, I have deer in my back yard and public hunting land less than 30 minutes from home (just south of Charlottesville). Fishing closer. Doesn't get any better than that.

I think the guy who didn't want WA state was probably reacting to I-200 (the anti-racial-preferences iniative from some years ago). In the immediate aftermath of that, a bunch of people refused to come to WA to do their lectures, concerts, whatever. CA did something similar but I take it Boalt is more appealing than UW.
8.24.2005 9:16pm
Anonymous:
JNV —

Have you noticed Brian Leiter's law school blog, where he refers to the same story and attributes it to an unnamed "colleague elsewhere"? How petty not to give you or Glenn Reynolds the credit.
8.24.2005 9:17pm
KW (mail):
Anonymous,

I'll agree that _if_ Leiter is deliberately obscuring his source rather than give credit to Reynolds, that would be rather petty. But there's no evidence that that is in fact taking place, is there?

JNV lists his source as Instapundit, and Instapundit lists _his_ source as (gasp!) "a colleague at another school." Which is exactly how Leiter lists it.

Perhaps Leiter can clarify, but just based on the record, it looks like the most likely chain of events is that the same unnamed colleague e-mailed both Reynolds and Leiter, who happen to be two widely read bloggers.
8.24.2005 9:32pm
TJIT (mail):
I would not hire this person as a law professor on a bet. Not because of his regional selections but because of the clumsy, awkward, and open ended way he put it. It does not indicate an attention to detail and good writing I would expect from someone who wanted to be a law prof. How does he define a blue state? Any state that voted for Kerry or some other criteria?

TJIT
8.24.2005 9:50pm
Andy Morriss (mail):
Lost in all this commentary is the incredible stupidity of limiting one's job search based on geographic criteria generally. Sure, some people may not have much flexibility because of a partner/spouse or other considerations. But outside that, it is just plain dumb to limit yourself. There are hundreds (600+ in the first wave of the AALS this year) of job candidates and many, many fewer jobs. The problem for appointments committees is how to cut that larger number down to a manageable number of interviewees. Geographic restrictions are a great way to eliminate candidates.

So, if you want to be a law professor, you need to be flexible. Don't limit your job search by geography unless you must. Keep an open mind and you might like a place you hadn't considered before.
8.24.2005 10:07pm
Red state refugee:
As a humanities prof in Northern Virginia, let me just say that what is bothersome about this individual and the majority of my colleagues in humanities academia is that most who cry "woe is me" if forced to live outside the coasts simply don't give life elsewhere a chance. "Flyover country", books like "What's the Matter with Kansas?", a general elitist acceptance that what the coasts have is "culture" and what everyone else has is not...these are the things that make it exceedingly difficult for me not to bristle when my colleagues talk about areas that are my hometown. It is perfectly acceptable to prefer Manhattan. And in my experience, that is a place so different from every other big city that New Yorkers can quite rightly cast a sneering glance down upon even their coastal colleagues. (And can I just say that I would never want to live there. Much too big for this small town kid.) But it is the level of condescension in that preference for Manhattan or for the coasts that drives me and others up a wall.

Enjoy what you enjoy, but don't tear down my home in doing so. Otherwise, I'll have to start telling you how rude, how self-absorbed, how "whatever" all those coastal people are. I'll explain how coastals prefer "culture" while flyovers prefer "people."
8.24.2005 10:11pm
anonymous for future-market purposes:
Oh for heaven's sake. Let's face it, shall we? For most young educated people, flyover territory simply sucks.

I'm speaking from personal experience now. My identity is obscured because I truly don't want these remarks held against me somewhere by some vengeful rural-ite, but I lived in flyover territory for several years as a young intelligent educated person, for terribly misguidedly idealistic reasons, and I want to paint a little picture of the experience. The following is all true.

The town had ten thousand people. It was the largest town for about a 45 min/1 hour drive, at the end of which was a "city" in the sense of "city" that includes Billings, Roanoke, Salt Lake, Omaha, etc.

The town's economy was based in agriculture and things secondary to agriculture, like factory food processing.

The town had a community college as its sole representative of higher education (which I realize makes it worse that what the idiot with the blue state application could have expected, but this is about elitism here.)

There were there bookstores: two "Christian" stores and one very small general-interest bookstore on the order of B Dalton in civilization. The secular bookstore went out of business during my tenure there from lack of custom.

There were, in addition to "diners," several Mexican restaurants (decent, thanks to migrant farmworkers), a couple of truly abominable Chinese cat-traps, and one surprisingly good Thai place. The Thai place too went out of business during my tenure there.

There was a "super" wal-Mart sitting right at the edge of a sales tax border. That may well have been responsible for most of the non-agricultural employment in that town by the time I fled.

There was no museum of any kind. I met not a single artist in my time there.

Crop dusters routinely sprayed poison upwind from my apartment.

My next-door neighbors on one side were an alcoholic couple whose relationship was, I strongly suspect, frequently abusive. Unfortunately, I never had enough to go on to intervene.

There was not a single healthy tree within a mile of my apartment, save surrounding a farmer's house or two. The entire town was encased in concrete with no thought whatsoever given to greenery, architecture, or anything else that might contribute to anything resembling beauty or simple joy.

The town government was completely unresponsive to the needs of the people. At one point, it randomly decided to tinker with the water-billing schedule and cause a huge chunk of the poor to just lose service.

There were, however, several head shops. The major pastimes of the town were, in rough order of priority:
Booze
Sex
Weed
As those were, quite literally the only things in town to do. As I don't indulge in the last, rarely indulge in the first, and could find no acceptable partner for the second in that hellhole, things were a mite boring.

Do you get the picture yet?? Should I go on??? Rural life is hell!
8.24.2005 11:17pm
Goober (mail):
AFF-MP:

I enjoyed reading that. But I must make a disappointing concession: Here in Manhattan, our list of pastimes is strikingly similar to that you encounted and so lamented. Sorry!
8.25.2005 12:05am
goldsmith (mail):
Sounds like you picked a bad town, pardner. For a swingin', young educated cat like yourself, you maybe should have done a little research.

I think another factor is how married/partnered people with families experience things as opposed to swingin' young singles. For a single person, a rural life in a place with no opportunities to meet others might not be a good choice. But for the settled who might like a quiet life with family, it's perfect. New York gets to be every bit as provincial, unpleasant and boring as anywhere else.
8.25.2005 12:07am
SydneyCarton (mail):
One thing about living in Manhattan: if you're middle-class, have a family, and try to live a decent life free of temptation, then you'll be on the perimeter of the "culture" here.
8.25.2005 12:16am
goldsmith (mail):
You also need to be rich if you want to live in Manhattan and have a family, nevermind the temptation factor. Is good sushi and an infrequent trip to the theatre worth the aggravation, hassle and ugliness of (some) city life? Is it worth the expense? Maybe for some. But I can't really imagine why.
8.25.2005 12:24am
anonymous coward:
Cranks Meredith: "Actually, anonymous coward, bigot means discriminating against people because of their political position/interest be it due to their race or sex or anything else." Hate to nitpick, but no person is being "discriminated against." Clearly the lawprof wannabe is discriminating among the states, but we all have our geographic preferences. Mine may not be yours. That is fine: life goes on.

Unsurprisingly, those with the luxury to choose their geography (not most of us) segregate based on how they want to live. Why these ways of living correlate with politics I'm not sure.
8.25.2005 12:29am
=0=:
As for Brooklyn, I have one argument against its greatness: Williamsburg.

Oh, you have to live here for a while to understand places like Williamsburg. See, there's always a hip place, and the rest of us just quarantine it, and wait until the infestation blights some other area. Repeat. When you get a population like ours, it is something to regret, but not fight. Just write it off, and after the yuppies have chased the hipsters off, just move the barriers, and wait for the yuppies to move to the burbs. (Hint: modulo other cyclic issues, buy property just before the hipsters are chased out. I don't think this applies in Williamsburg this time, due to the general nuttiness.)
8.25.2005 12:31am
Jimbeaux (mail):
Ya know, I don't wanna cast any aspersions, especially since I don't know anyone here personally (and it would be retarded to assume things), but. . .

When I have this kind of discussion face-to-face, the oh-the-northeast-has-so-much-better-culture-etc people are invariably the ones who don't ever go to museums and know even less about opera, and can't tell the difference between Mahler and Monteverdi. So, to those people, just shut up already. I'm quite happy in my medium-sized "flyover" city, paying reasonable (i.e., non-Met prices)for great opera tickets on Sunday afternoon, then I can get home in seven minutes, lounge by the swimming pool, and cook on an outdoor grill. It's hard to live that way in the supposed culture-meccas.

But seriously, don't kvetch to me about how Manhattan has much better museums if the last time you went was on a GD field trip!
8.25.2005 2:53am
Meredith (mail):
AC, what do you suppose discriminated against means?

If a white guy says he hates all black people, he's a bigot. He's discriminating against them in a benign way, though probably his preferences could lead to more substantial problems.

Anyway, if the guy can't stand living around people he doesn't agree with, he probably is not very well cultured at all.

Manhattan can be a bubble. Further, I never stated my personal preference. I have lived in Washignton DC and I have lived in a small town in Kansas. I preferred DC, but Kansas had very interesting stuff going on.

Goober, you say, for your money, one culture is better than another. Perhaps you perfer one to another, and no one really cares about that, but obviously you can't credibly claim one is better.

Is Paris's culture better than Tegucigalpa's culture? You would say yes if you applied the standard you hold. In reality, you are just being insular...afraid of the unfamiliar. Go to a pie making contest, a demolition derby, or a good old witch burnin'. It's good to have a home culture that you relate most to. yours in Manhattan (or something like that) and that's fine. Manhattan is a wonderful place, though it has some real problems, and one, to my view, is that it is disney-fied and has lost a lot of its culture. I still appreciate it. It's stupid to say that's the best one, because everybody feels that way, to some extent, about their own culture.
8.25.2005 3:00am
Phil (mail):
Jimbeaux
I agree with you to a great extent. Having lived in several of the "great" cities (San Francisco, Vancouver, etc.) and currently livng in Europe, I realize that Vienna (Austria not Virginia) would crush any of them head-to-head. However, I lived in Bloomington, Indiana (extremely red state) for four years and I would take a teaching job at its law school at the drop of a hat. Shakespeare in the park in the summer, broadway shows in the winter, Gutenburg Bible at the museum, etc. If I really missed seeing people dumb enough to be obsessed with the big city in the blue state, I could drive to Chicago and warn my children of the dangers of placing moronic constraints on one's life planning.
In fact, based on my own experience, I think it may be best to live in a somewhat blue area of a red state.
8.25.2005 5:49am
Rob Lyman:
I met not a single artist in my time there.

I must say I fail to see how this can be regarded as a disadvantage.

I was born and raised in the Seattle suburbs, and lived in the city proper for 3 years after college. The only artists I met were the ones they brought to my high school to give talks, classes, etc. Don't particularly miss them.

This past summer I worked at a fancy DC law firm. I met not a single gunsmith--or, indeed, a single wild turkey hunter--my entire time there. This does not lead me to regard DC as a wasteland unfit for human habitation.
8.25.2005 10:03am
WB:
Leiter nails it here

Nothing more need be said about it.
8.25.2005 10:54am
JoeSlater (mail):
I still think this is much ado about nothing (although this is my second post on this thread). Thanks to Rob L. for the theory about the no-Washington person, although that still strikes me as odder than the person this thread is about. And yes, this is a real person, I've seen the application. And no, I actually doubt students will find out who this person is, or will care much if they do.

Here's the more important point. Of the (minority) of folks that put geographic restrictions on there applications, the vast majority say something like, "only the east coast" or "only the west coast" or "only the east coast, west coast, or Chicago." Is that really so different from saying, "only blue states plus 1 or 2 red ones"? Should we folks in flyover country get upset about that? Life's too short.

Again, I'm a hiring committee chair, so I will add this: Excellent folks of all political stripes should apply to Toledo: a blue city in a red state--we have everything!
8.25.2005 10:59am
Taimyoboi:
"We have MoMA and the Met; NYC just has more culture than Houston." -- Goober

I live in New York City Goober, and MoMA is not proof positive of culture above and beyond any other locale in the country.

If I were to take a collection of art work done by second graders and replace the existing MoMA collections with them, no one would know that any change had taken place.
8.25.2005 12:34pm
JoeSlater (mail):
"Their applications," not "there applications," of course.
8.25.2005 12:40pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
On another blog, a commenter said that, upon graduating from college, he asked a couple of buddies where the highest concentration of pretty girls was. Downtown Chicago was the answer, where he duly settled. Having married one of the pretty girls, he lammed out of town on the next train to a place he could feel was a good place to raise a family.

I've been to a good many museums, including the modern art museum in Madrid. Turns out that one of our party got sick--not surprising--and I had an excuse to leave early to escort her to a garden where she could recover her equilibrium. Fresh air, the blue sky of Castile, a fountain, plants, no "the masturbator" or eviscerated horses.
With the exception of modern art museums whose purpose seems to be to promote nausea, I don't see the point. A museum exhibition is to the subject matter as a book jacket is to the book. What's the point?

Spent about fifty bucks early this year to go to the local symphony. By accident, my wife and I had seats letting us look up Pepe Romero's right nostril as he strummed away at Aranjuez, then the New World Symphony had extra brass, or so it seemed. Then twenty minutes to our pleasant small town.

Although, by the efforts of the UAW, we are in a blue state, it remains fly-over country. Among other things, we have more riflemen, 750,000, in the woods during deer season than there were on the Eastern Front.

As a grateful resident of fly-over country, let me restate our motto:

Keep flying. Our airport's broken.
8.25.2005 1:36pm
Rob Lyman:
If I were to take a collection of art work done by second graders and replace the existing MoMA collections with them, no one would know that any change had taken place.

What, you let your second graders work with human feces?

Is that really so different from saying, "only blue states plus 1 or 2 red ones"?

Sure. By putting it in explicitly political terms, you show that your adgenda is politics, not geography. Why not take the request at face value? If you want to live on the coast, why not say "the coast"? Why use a weird proxy of dubious value (Minnesota and Wisconsin are blue, but somehow not "flyover," states?) I could say "I prefer neighbors who share my belief God" or I could say "I prefer to live next to Republicans." Are these statements not obviously different?
8.25.2005 2:12pm
Goober (mail):
Class-sy, Mr. Lyman. Clap. Clap.
8.25.2005 2:23pm
Rob Lyman:
Hey, I'm not the one who paid more for an artist's feces than for the same weight of gold, and then, in what might be a really terrible pun, called it a "seminal work."

Read to the bottom of the article and you'll see that MoMA owns some of this guy's canned excrement. And I'd bet they own an Ofili or two.

Who's classy?
8.25.2005 2:47pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Part of the point of the original post is that many of the law schools in red states are in their blue areas (Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, etc.), while a significant number of the law schools in blue states are in their red areas. Consider it this way: that applicant has indicated he would accept Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa (Orange County), California, but not Duke Law School. It's exceedingly sloppy thinking, to say the least.

Nick
8.25.2005 2:55pm
Matt Barr (mail) (www):
I did try to read every word of all 77 comments, but I may have missed this: If the academic world, including in law school, is as liberal as we're led to believe, isn't this applicant sort of very smart? The answer "blue states only" to the question "where do you prefer to work?" will get a lot of attention, most of it favorable, which is what they say you should try to do on a resume.

Now, sure, there's got to be TONS of deans at law schools who will read "blue states only" and believe, like some commenters, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with politics, only means urban, or coastal, or "cultural," or whatever. But still.

Guy (or gal) will probably even get some calls from impressed law school hiring people at Cleveland State and Mizzou trying to talk the person INTO their school. It's a stroke of genius.
8.25.2005 3:03pm
JoeSlater (mail):
I stand correctedy by R. Lyman's point about "blue" states not equalling coastal states: having grown up in Michigan, I should definitely have known better (and apologies to Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin).

My only other thought of how this limitation might be relevant to a job search involves state funding for public schools and/or domestic partner benefit rules. As a gross generalization, it's probably true that state legislatures controlled by Republicans (which may often reflect the red/blue split) are more frequently skeptical on both those issues. Of course that's likely to primarily if not exclusively matter to public law schools, and it's just speculation on my part.

Beyond that, I'll just that I strongly doubt this is going to have any effect on the person's job chances, because my (limited) experience in this sort of thing is that traditional qualifications are what counts in hiring, not the occasional quirk.
8.25.2005 3:10pm
TomH (mail):
Being more of a "red" guy in a "blue" state (NYC area and a blue county at that), I must say that the applicant is a coward. Particularly if he is too afraid to deal with people of a different political persuation, as if he would find many in an academic town anyway.
8.25.2005 4:48pm
Keith L. (mail):
To most commenters: oh, come on now!

This is a typical expression of left-wing intolerance by the type of person who believes political opponents are not merely mistaken or misguided but awful people. As for why the person is willing to live in Virginia and Florida, it seems safe to assume that the former is acceptable for its proximity to D.C., and the latter is acceptable because the person is still in that stage of reality-denial of believing that Bush stole the election and Florida is really a blue state.
8.25.2005 5:14pm
markm (mail):
Sounds like just another leftist professor that supports racial quotas affirmative action to achieve "diversity" in color only, but yet doesn't want political diversity in the university.
8.25.2005 6:56pm
Paul Gowder (mail):
Keith L.: are you still in that stage of reality-denial of believing that Bush did not steal Florida in 2000? What a joke. 2004 is debatable (and probably weighs toward the right), but 2000 and Florida?!

As for the not-very-swift person who put out the FAR, well, just consider the alternative positions. Dan Savage has expressed the feelings of a lot of us urban liberals, after all. Some choice excerpts:


When it comes to the environment, our new policy is this: Let the heartland live with the consequences of handing the national government to the rape-and-pillage party. The only time urbanists should concern themselves with the environment is when we are impacted--directly, not spiritually (the depressing awareness that there is no unspoiled wilderness out there doesn't count). Air pollution, for instance: We should be aggressive. If coal is to be burned, it has to be burned as cleanly as possible so as not to foul the air we all have to breathe. But if West Virginia wants to elect politicians who allow mining companies to lop off the tops off mountains and dump the waste into valleys and streams, thus causing floods that destroy the homes of the yokels who vote for those politicians, it no longer matters to us. Fuck the mountains in West Virginia--send us the power generated by cleanly burned coal, you rubes, and be sure to wear lifejackets to bed.
* * *
Neither is gun control. Our new position: We'll fight to keep guns off the streets of our cities, but the more guns lying around out there in the heartland, the better. Most cities have strong gun-control laws--laws that are, of course, undermined by the fact that our cities aren't walled. Yet. But why should liberals in cities fund organizations that attempt, to take one example, to get trigger locks onto the handguns of NRA members out there in red states? If red-state dads aren't concerned enough about their own children to put trigger locks on their own guns, it's not our problem. If a kid in a red state finds his daddy's handgun and blows his head off, we'll feel terrible (we're like that), but we'll try to look on the bright side: At least he won't grow up to vote like his dad.
* * *
Conservatives have vilified liberals for decades, and the new urban identity politics gives the Democratic Party its own partisan villains. The truth is that rural states--the same red states that vote reflexively Republican in national elections--are welfare states. While red-state voters like to complain about "tax-and-spend liberals," red states are hopelessly dependent on the largess of the federal government to prop up their dwindling rural population. Red states like North Dakota, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Alabama, South Dakota, and Arkansas top the list of federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid. And who's paying the most? Blue states. Cities--and states dominated by their cities. Welfare states, in contrast, demand federal money to fund wasteful roads to nowhere. Welfare states guzzle barrel upon barrel of oil so their rural residents can sputter along on ribbons of asphalt.


In the immortal words of Glenn Reynolds: "Indeed." The next time you get all into a tizzy about someone -- gasp -- expressing a preference for living in places where the policies and the lifestyles will be to their liking, read the Savage Sage and get some perspective.
8.25.2005 6:59pm
Texican (mail):
Paul Gowder:


Went to the link. When can we start!!!!!

What this person doesn't really get is about red stater's is:

WE DON'T CARE

Go ahead. Look after your own house. It's what we have wanted all along. And if the consequence of that is fewer arrogant big city snobs...... so be it.

Reminds me of the old joke.

Lady from Texas is at a dinner party in NYC. She sees a woman with hors douvres and asks "Excuse me, do y'all know where the hors douvres are at?"

Appalled, the NY sociallite reprimands the lady. "I don't know about where you're from, but here, we never end a sentance with a preposition."

The lady from Texas immdeiately apologizes. "You're right, I'm sorry. What I meant to say was 'Do you know where the hors douvres are at, bitch?'"
8.25.2005 8:37pm
Jessica:
Is there more "high culture" in Maine or Spokane, Washington (both blue)


Of course, Spokane is a red city in a blue state. Washington is blue because of the Seattle metropolitan area. Oregon is a blue state as well, but even Lane County, the home of the University of Oregon, passed the anti-gay marriage measure last November. Blue state/red state is an inadequate measure of whether someone will find politically like-minded in his neighborhood or workplace.
8.25.2005 10:11pm
Paul Gowder (mail):
Texican: So why don't we just divide the U.S. into two countries then? You can have your God and your Guns, and we'll have our Genes and our Gays. We'll go 20 years and see which society is still functioning at the end...
8.26.2005 1:28am
Rob Lyman:
Or, Paul, we could keep it one country and just stop sticking our noses in each other's business, as Savage quite rightly (if ignorantly and offensively) suggests, and with which Texican concurs. It's called "federalism." Nice to see liberals rediscovering it! (And not a moment too soon, as conservatives seem to be forgetting about it).

Although I'll admit I would enjoy the spectacle of blue-staters attemting to field an army.
8.26.2005 9:46am
Paul Gowder (mail):
Rob, when conservatives stop sending our folks off to die in foreign wars, or imposing stupid terrorist-creating foreign policies on the world in our name, we'll talk about "stop sticking our noses in each other's business." Conservatives indeed are "forgetting about it."

Blue-staters would have one significant advantage over the red-staters in attempting to field an army, one that would certainly obviate all the population problems: we have all the technology. Apart from the fact that all the scientists want to live somewhere where they might not get burned at the stake (and where there's a nice well-tax-funded government to give them research grants), the inerrancy of the bible could pose some problems in weapons production. Go ahead, just try to make a modern gun with a barrel based on pi=3 like the bible says. Good luck...
8.26.2005 9:55am
Rob Lyman:
Wow Paul, great job changing the subject! Savage talks about environmentalism and gun control (two good areas for federalism) and you talk about foreign wars (which the most ardent state's-righter will admit is a national, not a state or local, issue).

We HAVE to argue about wars at a national level, but there's no reason the Feds need to be in my bedroom, either to check on the location of my genitals or to see if my guns have trigger locks.

I'll leave the ignorance and bigotry of the rest of your comment untouched except to comment that I could make a modern gun with 19th-century tools without once using pi for anything.
8.26.2005 10:35am
Paul Gowder (mail):
Oooooh, I get it. "Good areas for federalism" are our issues, but "national, not a state or local," issues are yours. Funny how that works out, eh?

Now admittedly, we do have to argue about wars at a national level, but you don't seem to hesistate much about recruiting your troops from OUR locales, rather than exclusively your own.

And that doesn't even mean that things like the national supply of clean water, national biodiversity, etc. are local issues, alas.
8.26.2005 10:45am
Rob Lyman:
Paul, that makes no sense. The enviornment and gun control are not "your issues," the war is not "my issue."

The US Armed Forces are not "my troops," and urban blue areas are not "your locales."

Do you happen to know where I have lived over the course of my life? What my education is? What my position on stem cells, Intellegent Design in the classroom, or logging in national forests might be? By what right to you lay claim to the "blue" parts of the country and purport to exclude me, even if only rhetorically?

Such language makes it difficult to understand what, exactly, you are talking about. I do not object to urban liberals choosing military service, although few of them do. Do you object to their making that free choice, and if so, why? I support less Federal involvement in my bedroom, which happens to contain handguns. Mr. Savage and Texican seem to agree with me. Do you? I doubt whether the municipal water supply of Los Angeles or the status of a hill in West Virginia is properly the concern of residents of Miami, although I certainly concede that rivers, lakes, wildlife, and air are properly national concerns in at least some cases. Am I "outside of the mainstream" yet?
8.26.2005 11:25am
Paul Gowder (mail):
Rob:

Do you happen to know where I have lived over the course of my life? What my education is? What my position on stem cells, Intellegent Design in the classroom, or logging in national forests might be? By what right to you lay claim to the "blue" parts of the country and purport to exclude me, even if only rhetorically?

In a .. ahem .. national political discourse people are, I'm afraid, chained to their allies. If you join an alliance with Pat Robertson to put Bush into office, and if your politicians attempt to ram the rightist position in all "culture wars" issues down the rest of our throats, as seems to be the case, I'm entitled to lay claim to the opposition.

If I'm mistaken: if you really didn't contribute with your vote or your money or your support to the installation of George W. Bush, or if you really wouldn't choose to live in Texas, rather than Massachusetts, if given those two choices, then I apologize but wonder why you appear to disagree with me. If I'm not mistaken, however, then you can be held to account for those politicians and those allies whom you support. A vote for Bush is, I'm afraid, a vote for intelligent design, strip mining, clear cutting, stem cell research bans, wars of whimsy, pi=3, etc. etc. If that's a problem to you, clean up your own damn party. Until then, the U.S. Armed Forces, whom Bush is using as his personal G.I. Joe dolls, are indeed "your troops," and the urban blue areas, whom Bush is dilligently ignoring when he's not busy screwing, are indeed "my locales."

I actually quite like most intelligent libertarian-types, on an individual basis. Sadly, y'all have the corporate plutocrats on one side (whom you seem to support) and the bible-thumpers on the other (whom you at least make common cause with). When you put that baby in such nasty, sticky bathwater, expect to get it thrown out.

Oh, and I don't object to the "free choice" to join the military (such a free choice for poor kids coming out of the public school system who can't get a job or a college education) at all, but I don't think it should carry a death sentence without good reason. Sadly, your president seems to disagree. Nor do I object to your bedroom containing handguns, though I do object if you put others at risk with those handguns, and it's rather difficult not to. I also think your parceling out of water supplies etc. is rather, shall we say, short-sighted and simplistic? For one thing, Los Angeles gets most of its water from huge swathes the surrounding region. The power generated in West Virginia by blowing up hills is used in Miami and many other places and the people of Miami have an ethical obligation to see that it's done non-exploitatively, etc..
8.26.2005 12:18pm
Vargas (mail) (www):
To Paul Gowder:

About that article you posted by Dan Savage (I happen to live in the same city he lives in)

Right on, man! That article rocks!! I've felt that way for quite some time! Thanks for posting it.
9.5.2005 7:02am