Um, hello? Are you people paying attention to what’s going on in your camp? Do you read your own newspapers? The Mark Foley scandal? Rush Limbaugh, with his three failed marriages and drug addiction? The Sara Evans divorce announcement? Who, by the way I love – but she’s included here because of her husband and his touting of family values, marriage vows and Christianity as reasons for keeping his family together and his life clean. I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy.
In an article I was recently reading, it opened with, “If the blue states are sinkholes of moral decay, as right-wing pundits insist, how come red states lead the nation in violent crime, divorce, illegitimacy, and incarceration, among other evils?” Hmmm. Interesting.
Imagine our surprise when Ed and I, after spending some time in Indiana (red state) searching for a home and/or property to buy, found out that the town we were looking at, according to our research and the help of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, produced 136 registered sex offenders. In one zip code. I can only imagine where all the unregistered ones are hiding.
In addition to that, after talking with the waitress at the local “kountry kitchen” type dining establishment, we found out not much was being done about it. She said that she waits on the local cops daily and the most they do, when finding these pedophiles and sex offenders hanging out at the local park “watching” the kids, is pick them up and take them right back to their homes, which doesn’t seem to do much good since they wind up back at the park within hours.
And this is in America’s heartland, in the center of the pool of righteous red that covers our nation. I did another search, compiling the zip codes I lived in while residing in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles and came up with only 71 hits. In five different zip codes. In towns surrounding metro urban areas, one of which was Hollywood. So it’s extremely unsettling to think that the town with the beautiful, tree lined streets in the heartland of America didn’t measure up in that very important respect.
Although I am extremely critical and just as opinionated, I really don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home or in your life. I have no problem with gay people (getting married or otherwise), I don’t care if you want to dress up in costumes and role play, I couldn't care less if you suck oxygen from tanks for health reasons, don’t eat pork for religious reasons or practice Wicca for personal reasons; I might think it’s strange, but ultimately I do not care.
But when it comes to children (even though I don’t have any) being hunted by sexual predators, I have a problem. With all the random crime people are subject to these days, where they fear going to the post office, grocery store or school, adding sexual (or any other) crimes against children or teens and worrying about whether I'm going to be abducted and raped going out to get the mail, is not something I really want to deal with.
So when I hear a hypocritical political figure telling me that the place I choose to live or the choices I make aren’t morally upstanding or in some way show that liberal, Democratic people are the cause of the fall of a society, I first laugh and second, wish they would do more research before letting the lies spew from their mouths.
Here are some of the statistics the article produced. I’ve highlighted the red and blue states respectively:
10 states with the highest incarceration rates in 2003:
LA, MS, TX, OK, AL, SC, GA, MO, AZ, DE
10 states with the highest female incarceration rates in 2003:
MS, OK, LA, TX, MT, ID, AZ, AL, NV, CO
10 states with the highest number of executions in 2004:
TX, OH, OK, VA, NC, SC, AL, FL, GA, NV
15 states with the highest rates of death by firearms in 2003:
AK, LA, NM, WY, NV, AL, MS, MT, AZ, AR, SC, TN, WV, GA, KY
15 states with the highest rates of suicide in 2003:
WY, AK, NV, MT, NM, ID, OR, CO, UT, AZ, WV, OK, AR, SD, KY
11 states with the highest grossing gamily markets:
NV, NJ, MS, IN, LA, IL, MO, MI, IA, CO, SD
10 states with the highest divorce rates in 2004:
NV, AR, WY, ID, WV, AL, KY, OK, TN, FL
10 states with the highest illegitimacy rates in 2003:
NM, LA, MS, DE, AZ, SC, FL, NV, GA, AR
15 states with the highest percentage of obesity:
MS, AL, WV, TN, LA, AR, KY, TX, IN, MI, OH, SC, MO, OK, GA
10 “smartest” states 2004-05:
VT, CT, MA, NJ, ME, MN, VA, WI, MT, NY
Obviously, people with different ways of thinking reside in all of these states, but when an entire region seems to go in one direction, and it's a direction people were steered into by "twenty-plus years of conservative propoganda" as the article states, you start to wonder.
Perhaps there is a good reason the color red typically signifies danger.