For the last year or so, I’ve been seeing this Delta flight attendant who lives across the street from me. We never advanced our relationship to a full one, in part because her time in New York was limited. She moved to Atlanta today to be based out of there.
Rachel is from Lumberton, Texas, a small town north of Beaumont where Romney won over 80% of the vote in the last election. Even Rick Perry took 75% here in 2010.
On her last day in New York, we watched Fox News for a bit and laughed at the ridiculousness. She commented.
“It’s funny, but this is exactly how everyone at home thinks.”
Mentioned Maureen Dowd’s columns about how Obama needs to just fight, and by fight she means ask Tom Coburn to nicely vote for gun control, Rachel shook her head.
There is nothing, she told me, nothing Obama can do to win over her neighbors. And it’s not simply because they disagree.
“It doesn’t matter if 90% support background checks. If Obama and liberals are happy, that number may as well be 5%,” she explained. “It’s not that my neighbors disagree with liberals, they agree on pretty much everything. They just hate the people proposing it.”
Her friends back home agree on background checks for guns, she told me, but every time it’s brought up, they comment on how awful Obama is for “using Newtown families as props.” Or they try to explain that background checks are only the beginning “and they will dismantle the entire 2nd Amendment if we give in on this”
Rachel explains that most of her friends and neighbors don’t care about what gay people do, “they’re just so arrogant about getting their way.”
Everyone back home thinks banks have run amok and there should be more regulation. But Obama ‘just wants to control people.”
Universal healthcare, yes, high taxes on the rich, definitely, but these “northern liberals,” she explains “They just don’t trust them, they just don’t like them. You’re using these issues to control us!”
Rachel also explained that people matter. Her town voted for Ann Richards in 1990 and also elected a Democrat to the state house a few years ago.
“They were Texans. They looked like us, sounded like us, knew where to eat, where to shop, whose mother had beat cancer, whose brother had kicked their drug habit,” she said to me. “that matters. So when they said ‘we need to pay teachers more’ or ‘we need to make sure everyone gets healthcare,’ my neighbors nodded and agreed. You can put Obama or Pelosi in my town and they can say the sky is blue, most people there will say it’s green.”
Her suggestion- “Find John Wayne who thinks like Elizabeth Warren.”
But she doesn’t think liberals will ever do that- “Because northern liberals who inherently distrust that person as much as southerners distrust Obama. He’s just not one of them.”
Food for thought.