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November 07, 2004

MARK STEYN writes that it wasn't just rednecks voting for Bush:

The great European thinkers have decided that instead of doing another four years of lame Bush-is-a-moron cracks they're going to do four years of lame Americans-are-morons cracks. Inaugurating the new second-term outreach was Brian Reade in the Daily Mirror, who attributed the President's victory to: "The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport-ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong'."

Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 59,459,765. Forty five per cent of Hispanics voted for the President, as did 25 per cent of Jews, and 23 per cent of gays. And this coalition of common-or-garden rednecks, Hispanic rednecks, sinister Zionist rednecks, and lesbian rednecks who enjoy hitting on their gay-loathin' sisters expanded its share of the vote across the entire country - not just in the Bush states but in the Kerry states, too.

Read the whole thing, which is Steyn at his most amusing. ("You can drive from coast to coast across the middle of the country and never pass through a single county that voted for John Kerry: it's one continuous cascade of self-righteous urine from sea to shining sea.") I've been reading James Webb's new book, Born Fighting : How the Scots-Irish Shaped America and it's amazing to note how the comments Steyn quotes above match up with things that English writers were saying about the Scots-Irish two or three centuries ago, now turned into a view of Americans in general. This supports Webb's thesis that Scots-Irish culture has become the strongest thread of American culture, I suppose. If you've already read David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, there's not a whole lot that's new in Webb's book, but Webb's book is much more digestible for the casual reader than Fischer's rather lengthy book. And as you might expect, it's well-written. If you want just the gist, though, you might want to read this column by Webb, or this piece by a somewhat less impressive author.