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May 09, 2005
I THINK THIS THEORY actually originated with Jim Henley, but it's probably right:
Since last November, there's been plenty of speculation about a vast disconnect between Red and Blue America. Here's a new theory: Many urbane blue-staters are actually refugees from the red-state heartland, where they were once picked on as kids.
On the other hand, perhaps there's a certain lack of social skills involved:
Jones, who grew up in Tennessee, told the crowd that he'd felt out of place as a kid -- like many of them probably did -- and moved away. But over the years spent in more liberal places like the Bay Area, he somehow forgot how to talk to folks from his old hometown. He said that when he goes back to Tennessee for Thanksgiving and launches into a 10-minute monologue about politics, he's met by embarrassed silences from his relatives, the very kindest response being: "Well, that was a mouthful."
Most people don't really want to hear 10-minute monologues about anything at Thanksgiving dinner, and I doubt that making the monologue about politics makes it more appealing. This isn't how most people act, which -- to be fair -- is precisely his point.
UPDATE: Reader Anthony Calabrese emails:
As a native New Yorker, living in Chicago (with a stop off in DC), I think that is on the money. For a while I lived in a very artsy neighborhood of Brooklyn, and it seemed to me that the real deep blue types were originally from Iowa or something.
They complained of the local church bells as the old Italian ladies went to Mass.
It seems that way to me.