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ZOMFG! There’s black people in Appalachia?

An essay on a recurring theme here at SayUncle: Why won’t those dumb, cousin-humping rednecks vote for Obama?

Is it the racism? The elitism. Who knows, really?

Personally, I think the answer is much simpler than all the pixel-waxing done these days over such a question: we don’t like him.

43 Responses to “ZOMFG! There’s black people in Appalachia?”

  1. bridgett Says:

    Yeah, well, you’re not voting for Homecoming King. If you don’t like him for substantive reasons, then good on ya, but since it’s unlikely that you or I will be hobnobbing with him personally, who gives a shit if he’s likeable?

  2. SayUncle Says:

    As to my substantive reasons, I’m not voting for him because he’s a socialist.

  3. Ron W Says:

    I voted for Alan Keyes for Prez in the 2000 primary, but I ain’t votin’ for Obama because he be a CFR globalist, socialist, gun-grabbin’ tyrant…and what I really think is…

  4. Nomen Nescio Says:

    I’m not voting for him because he’s a socialist.

    you wingnuts are so cute when you start talking about stuff you know fuck all about.

    (there might — might — be three or four genuine, honest-to-ghu socialists in this country. two of ’em are immigrants like me, and none of us are running for so much as dog-catcher. Obama? is a center-rightist in any country that’s got a real socialist party.)

  5. SayUncle Says:

    Obama? is a center-rightist in any country that’s got a real socialist party

    But we’re here. And he’s closer to socialist than anyone who’s ever had a shot at being president.

  6. dolphin Says:

    he’s closer to socialist than

    -“The sky is falling!!!!!”
    -“No it’s not.”
    -“Well, it’s raining, that’s closer to the sky falling than sunshine.”

  7. SayUncle Says:

    Would you have felt better if I had said closer to socialist than center-rightist?

  8. Nomen Nescio Says:

    “closer than some random bunch of others to” != “actually is”.

    words like “socialist” actually mean shit. they’re not relative terms; to be a socialist you actually must hold some socialist opinions, not just be closer to holding them than somebody else’s cousin twice removed. talking about well-defined, objective categories as if they were just fuzzy comparatives is sloppy thinking and will lead you wrong.

  9. Nomen Nescio Says:

    i’d’ve felt better, but i wouldn’t have felt good, since you’d still have been mischaracterizing a dude who actually is some sort of center-right populist (oxymoronic as that category may be).

    (and hell yeah it’s an oxymoron. he’s running all like he’s all for the people and shit, gonna change the country to be all better for the rest of us, but hey? he’s a center-rightist heavily beholden to big business, who’s never bothered to clearly explain just what he’s gonna do for the rest of us. how’s a dude like that get off acting all populist?)

    (i’m gonna have a quandary come November. i’ll be allowed to vote then, first election since i’ve lived here, and but nobody running fit to deserve my vote. i’ll most likely cast ballots in local races and maybe state races, but ignore the whole federal level for lack of decency and competence both. blech.)

  10. SayUncle Says:

    Well, let’s look at his socialist health care plan, then. Or his socialist economic policies. Or a few other of his solutions at his website. They tend to fit the community/.gov control of property definition of socialism.

    Just saying.

    He’s not all hard core Marx or anything.

    Speaking of words meaning things, didn’t you just call me a wingnut, which I most definitely am not. however, i can see why you would if taken to a logical extreme.

  11. SayUncle Says:

    i’ll be allowed to vote then, first election since i’ve lived here,

    Congrats!!

  12. mike w. Says:

    He’s a socialist. He may not be a hardcore Marx-lover, but he’s the furthest left of anyone running. His substantive policies (which he barely talks about) certainly reek of socialism.

  13. dolphin Says:

    Would you have felt better if I had said closer to socialist than center-rightist?

    If you’d said it in your first comment. My contention wasn’t with your use of the relative term, but rather with your use of the absolute term. Obama either is or isn’t a socialist (and in fact, he isn’t a socialist). Whether he is more like a socialist than another doesn’t validate the sensationalist and false statement “he’s a socialist” you made in your first comment.

    And for the record, (unlike socialist) “wingnut” is a largely subjective term.

  14. Nomen Nescio Says:

    what dolphin just said. and, for the record, socialists are not “hardcore Marx-lovers”; those would be out-and-out communists, who in fact are a quite different lot with different political goals entirely. (also, unlike socialists, communists are largely extinct these days. fortunately.)

  15. Dan Says:

    Regardless, Obama is still a hard-left loon. Socialist, communist, left-wing, all lead to the same path of being garbage.

  16. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Hillary: We will have to take some things away from you on behalf of the common good.

    Socialism: To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability.

    Seems like they line up pretty dog-gone well to me. And Obama is to the left of Hillary.

  17. Ron W Says:

    Whatever Obama or anybody else is labeled politically, only your enemey wants you disarmed and disarming you for your own self-defense makes you a slave. But massah will allow the quaint little peasants to keep their hunting guns…for now.

    FEAR THE GOVERNMENT THAT FEARS YOUR GUNS

  18. Gregg Says:

    Nomen,
    Why did you move here if you are a socialist? Why not move to a true socialist nation?

  19. Nomen Nescio Says:

    Gregg, i’m not rich enough to be able to decide where to live (or work) solely on what the politics of some area is at the time, nor is politics the only thing that matters to me.

    i moved here because my S.O. was from here; i spoke English; she didn’t speak any of the major languages in my native country; and the USA — while it’s got plenty of flaws, including much of its politics — truly isn’t all that bad. sure, it could stand improvement, but any country could — no place is perfect. this place will do well enough for me, although i’ll reserve the right to complain about the details.

  20. straightarrow Says:

    I don’t mind you complaining Nomen, everybody here does at some point. What perturbs me is that your complaints are mostly idiotic and irrelevant to anything approaching reality.

    I will pay you to serve me as slave, since you have stated that you are for sell. I will feed you, house you, and protect you from all others. Are you “not rich enough” to accept that? You must be, your advocacy would put all of us there. You first!

    My offer holds, I will buy you. er, uh, I mean contract you.

  21. gemini Says:

    The spouse is a Democratic Socialist (and yes, there is such a thing. Use the google.) Obama’s not even close.

  22. Justthisguy Says:

    Doc Russia’s wife claims that Obama is a stone Communist. She oughta know, having been born in the former SovUnion, and had half of her family murdered by Communists.

    Nomen, Communism = Mass Murder and Tyranny, and Socialism always tries to bring about Communism.

    We need to expel you from what’s left of our republic, or at least make sure you’re not allowed to vote. I’m not kidding.

    If I knew you, and knew that you lived in my voting precinct, I’d risk arrest and imprisonment to keep you away from the polling place.

    You have no right to live in this country, judging by what you’ve written just above, and need to be deported right back to whatever tranzi hellhole you came from.

  23. Nomen Nescio Says:

    What perturbs me is that your complaints are mostly idiotic and irrelevant to anything approaching reality.

    see, from somebody else that kind of comment might worry me. for the sake of peace, though, i’ll keep my opinion about your connectedness to reality to myself. suffice it to say, i’ve been trying to write in English, but you appear to have been reading in Martian or somesuch.

    that’s a common problem with a lot of y’all here, in fact. anybody who’d mistake socialism for communism, or Obama for either one of those, is looking at the world through some weird funhouse mirror. trying to set the misconceptions straight would likely be tilting at windmills, and might piss Uncle off if i did it at his blog, so…

    (FWIW, i’m pretty much a plain-jane euro-style social democrat. folks like George Orwell figure highly in my esteem. that’s actually not quite the same thing as a socialist — i’m a sliver further to the right than that — but through your funhouse mirrors, you’d not be able to tell the difference i don’t think.)

  24. Kris Says:

    Nomen Nescio — I’ll pay for your plane ticket to leave. You can hob nob with your Euro-weenie friends all you want, then.

  25. Nomen Nescio Says:

    i should probably stop poking at this anthill, but you guys are bugfuck nuts in such a hilarious way i can’t help myself. little wannabe Joe McCarthies, except you don’t even have as much decency as that crazy mofo did.

    see, the problem with a democracy (and that’s what you have, when the public elects the lawmakers — you can call it a “republic” if you please, but so long as the most important positions are up for public vote, a democracy is what it is) is that you don’t get to always have everything your way, and there’s gonna be people voting who you don’t agree with — and you don’t get to kick them out of the treehouse just because of that. grow up and deal with it. the rest of the world by and large manages to, so you can, too.

  26. SayUncle Says:

    Heh. I just had the same thought.

  27. Roberta X Says:

    What, we’ve not been so doing for the last 200-plus years? Puh-leeze.

    In a vigourous republic (and the States comprise one, at least compared to classical democracies like Athens) with strong traditions of and legal support for freedom of expression, you’re going to encounter spirited debate, deep disagreement. –And a system that keep stumbling on. None of those disagreeing with you, Nomen, have the power to send you back to Wherever. “Grow up and deal with it” is a blade with two edges.

    As for Joe McCarthy, exactly how many people did his committee send to death camps? Zero. To prison? None. Did he exaggerate? Oh, hells yes; but he wasn’t entirely wrong, either. Do you understand how rare the actual outcome of the McCarthy Hearsings is in this world? Most other countries, the last chapter would have been hangings and plenty of ’em; as it was, the last chapter found Joe reduced to sputtering incoherence.

    Socialism has a long tradition in the US; it’s not the same as the Euro. and elsewhere versions and has here long been associated with “Progressives.” Senator Obama certainly flirts with the rhetoric of American socialism; he’s known to associate with persons active in socialist organizations. Like all such zero-sum, redistributionist poltical philosophies, it sounds nice but does not actually work. It punishes success and rewards failure. Gradually imposed on a functioning economy, it will appear to work for a good long time but eventually bottoms out.

  28. Boyd Says:

    Nomen, where did you get the idea that “republic” and “democracy” are mutually exclusive terms?

  29. Nomen Nescio Says:

    Boyd, from reading any number of generally right-leaning blogs (browse Uncle’s blogroll, for instance) where folks will occasionally insist that “this is a republic, not a democracy”. personally i never thought it made much difference, but i’ve learned there are folks out there who think it really matters, so…

  30. SayUncle Says:

    Well, as you said, words mean things. And in a democracy if 50.01% of us decide that people named Nomen should be shot then people named Nomen get shot.

    So, it is a valid contention, I think.

  31. Boyd Says:

    We’re a democratic republic. You could look it up. If you cared. Since you’re becoming a citizen and all.

  32. Nomen Nescio Says:

    in a democracy if 50.01% of us decide that people named Nomen should be shot then people named Nomen get shot.

    but that’s not how most of the modern-day “democracies” actually work. perhaps the word started out meaning places that work that way — ancient Athens certainly seems to have — but if so, i think the meaning has since shifted. countries that proudly call themselves “democratic” these days (and get taken seriously as such by anybody else) tend to have parliamentary and constitutional systems not too very different from what the U.S. runs.

    if a Frenchman, or a German, or a Spaniard, calls America “democratic”, they mean it as a compliment and a simple description of the system that we’ve got here. fifty percent plus one won’t suffice to deprive anybody of life in those countries, because they’ve got human rights documents at a level comparable to the U.S. constitution that’d override any such votes, similarly to our bill of rights.

    Boyd, since i think we might be using different dictionaries: what makes a democratic republic different from a democratic not-a-republic, in your eyes? how many modern countries fall in the latter category, anyway?

  33. Dan Says:

    Let’s go back to the textbook definition-socialism means “government ownership of the means of production.” There’d be a continuum there-the USSR wasn’t pure collectivist, there was a money form. Likewise if regulation implies ownership, most countries are at least slightly socialist in that they regulate business.

    To draw a line that’s crossed is difficult, although I think Hayek did well in The Road to Surfdom. I think for readers of this blog, the issue would be what DIRECTION a belief, policy or issue position moves us toward. Quick example would be health care-government single payer health care nationalizes the whole industry. Any movement in that direction is socialism defined.

    I think Europeans are inclined to argue that there’s a middle ground that isn’t socialism, but only because of the extremes they’ve seen to the left. Perhaps the clearer term, used among Austrian economists, would be “statist”. This would be the belief that a problem’s solution does not involve innovation or free exchange of goods or services, but can only be addressed with the government, and use of force.

  34. Matt Says:

    While I disagree with Nomen, he is entitled to his views. That free speech thing and all that we have here. I’m not a citizen of this country and I’m sure folks here disagree with me from time to time. Would you call for me to go back to my socialist homeland of Canada if I suddenly said that certain things are done better there than here? There are a couple things I do think Canada does do better than the USA but on the whole, the USA is a better place. Does that view on my part suddenly invalidate my commitment to this country and Nomen’s by extension and require us to have plane tickets to get out? Great way to encourage dutiful, thoughtful and responsible citizenship.

    Just because Nomen disagrees with certain aspects of the Republic and would like to change them, that is not grounds for trying expedite his departure because his view of the Republic differs from yours. He chose to become a citizen of this country. That, at a minimum, tells me he agrees with the majority of what the USA stands for. When he stands in that swearing in ceremony, he swears an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. An oath, I might add, that is not required of those born here and simply implied.

    He’s earned the right to vote his views, even if they differ. The fact he is a foreigner at the moment makes him no less a citizen than someone with the good fortune to have received it by mere accident of birth.

    With that said, I do disagree with you, Nomen. Obama is hard-left socialist. His writings and speeches make that clear. Since we are on a gun board, study the absence of his gun control positions from his other published policies. That isn’t an accident. He in no way falls into a centrist or right leaning camp. On the point of him being beholden to big business, find me a politician that isn’t somehow? The only difference the name on the business that happens to do the lobbying. If it was the money of big business on the right versus the collective good on the left, there’d be no collective good politicians in office because at the end of the day, that is not where the money comes from. And too many so-called “progressives” can be amazingly tight fisted, almost Conservative even, when it comes to giving up THEIR money versus YOUR money.

    And on this:

    if a Frenchman, or a German, or a Spaniard, calls America “democratic”, they mean it as a compliment and a simple description of the system that we’ve got here. fifty percent plus one won’t suffice to deprive anybody of life in those countries, because they’ve got human rights documents at a level comparable to the U.S. constitution that’d override any such votes, similarly to our bill of rights.

    Are these human rights documents binding or merely suggestions? If a country can simply ignore them and decide a new order is needed for whatever reason, what’s to stop them? The Constitution here is binding on the Government. It is a limit on the Government. All too often, human rights documents are used to define the rights granted to the people at the whim of the Government rather than protect them from them. There is a big difference between the two.

    This country is not a democracy. You should know that. It is at the lower levels of Government. It is not where it matters: where power is concentrated. This is a good thing.

  35. Nomen Nescio Says:

    Are these human rights documents binding or merely suggestions?

    in every country i’m aware of that has them, they’re certainly as binding as any law, and usually as binding as that country’s version of a constitution. that is, they could be changed (what law can’t be?) but not without considerable political effort. for one example, the various E.U. directives that speak of human rights get so entangled in multilateral treaties they couldn’t be changed without a years-long effort, and there’s an E.U. court system with well-accepted and respected jurisdiction, so the treaties are not just dead letters. i understand Canada has something similar in its constitution-analog also?

    that said, i’m not a scholar of comparative international law. if i’m mistaken, i’d welcome corrections.

    however… if you’d call the legislative branch of the federal government a “lower level of government”, a part which by implication doesn’t matter, then i’d say i’m not the only one here who could stand to brush up on my civics! power might be at present concentrated in the executive branch, but if you’d argue that it was originally meant to be so (to the current degree) or that this is a good idea, then i would urge you to reconsider those famous checks and balances!

  36. Linoge Says:

    You know, I find it interesting how someone can seem to be of the opinion that words like “democracy” change meanings over time and locations (and insists in misusing it, but that is neither here nor there), but, simultaneously, adamantly, vociviferously, and crudely maintains that words like “socialist” cannot.

    As he demonstrated and indicated before, the use and meaning of words matter, and interesting opinions aside, a little consistency would be nice.

  37. Boyd Says:

    Boyd, since i think we might be using different dictionaries: what makes a democratic republic different from a democratic not-a-republic, in your eyes?

    Of course, these things are not hard-and-fast terms, just as is the case with socialism (and I’m staying out of that particular debate). I would say that the United States, at its founding, was a republic-not-a-democracy. Sure, the Founding Fathers thought it was democratic, but I believe they were wrong, since some citizens of various classes weren’t allowed to have any impact on government. My definition of a republic is that some part of the citizenry elects representatives, who then conduct the business of government.

    I don’t know of any national government that would be a democracy-not-a-republic, but I believe that there are some local governments that are. Small towns, for instance, where the residents vote directly on legislation rather than electing legislators (city council members, for instance) to do that for them. You often see flavors of it in the state of California with all their Propositions, although they both legislate directly and through their representatives.

    To my mind, the defining characteristic of republic is its representational nature. For democracy, universal suffrage. So it seems to me that they don’t compete with each other.

    BTW, all of this is why I think it’s a mistake to call this area of study “social science.” There ain’t nuthin’ scientific about it, since we’re continually making it up as we go along. I prefer my science to be a tad more precise.

  38. Roberta X Says:

    In a general, sloppy sort of way, in a “democracy,” matters of pubic policy are subject to popular vote; in a “republic,” elected representatives decide matters of public policy.

    Athens was often cited as a warning example of the dangers of democracy; we need look no farther than the death of Socrates to grasp why.

    In a Constitutionally-limited government, some generally-inflexible set of rules sets limits on the power of the government. Where no such written limits exist — the UK is an example — all that’s left is tradition and the supposedly good sense of the elected representatives. Lucky Brits, they had a long tradition of commonsense and a House of Lords to support tradition. Things have changed.

    All governments seek to increase their own power, either directly or by legalistic end-runs around whatever limitations have been imposed upon them. Meddling, do-gooder governments are even more highly motivated to “get around” their legal limitations.

  39. Nomen Nescio Says:

    Linoge, all words change meaning gradually over time; that’s the nature of language. that doesn’t stop words, such as “socialist”, from having specific meanings at a given point in time, such as “now”, which exclude specific people, such as “Barack Obama”, from their domain of meaning.

    sure, the word “democracy” might not mean today what it meant when it was coined — or even when some of the founding fathers cautioned against democracy. (i think they were needlessly afeared of it, myself.) maybe two hundred years from now “socialist” will mean something different, too — in fact, i bet it will. but we live now. “democracy” has a meaning, now, that just about everybody will agree includes the U.S. along with western europe and pretty much the whole industrialized world; if anybody’s misusing the word, i suspect it isn’t me. (language is a pretty democratic, mob-rule phenomenon, by its nature. you don’t get to be a “language conservative” forever, not if you want to make yourself understood.)

    Boyd:

    My definition of a republic is that some part of the citizenry elects representatives, who then conduct the business of government.

    perfectly fine definition. most everybody else would call that a “representative democracy”, but “republic” will do. by this definition, pretty much every country out there that calls itself “democratic” would qualify as a republic, so we’re likely talking about the same thing using different words.

    (some might argue that the Swiss cantons are direct democracies, or as you might say, not-republic democracies. i’m no expert on Switzerland, though, and there are an awful lot of cantons in it, so they might not all be.)

    …i forget who it was that said any field of study that needs to include the word “science” in its name, probably isn’t scientific…

  40. Boyd Says:

    Nomen, I’ll agree that what I call a republic could also, in most circumstance, be called a representative democracy. But if a republic is different from that, what would it be? It has to have some meaning.

  41. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Boyd, a Republic is a form of gov’t where one group of citizens conduct gov’t duties on behalf of others.

    There is nothing in the definition of Republic that requires that group to be elected by the citizenry. Iran is a good example. The “Representatives” there are essentially appointed by the thugocracy.

  42. Linoge Says:

    Sorry, Nomen, but just because “everbody” (whatever that word may mean in this particular instance) is undereducated on the finer aspects of the different forms of government out there and the nuances and details that separate them from one another, that does not, at all, make the uneducated folks correct. If “everybody” (good to know you have your own collective you can speak for, though) started referring to the color green as “pink”, that will not make them correct, or that use of the word “pink” correct either. Mob rule or not, some words have meanings that carry throughout their entire existences, whether the lemmings want to admit it or not. Regardless, Roberta beat me to an adequate definition of the two, and they stand as blissfully short, but accurate.

    By the same token, Obama has decidedly socialistic tendencies, even by the dictionary definitions of the word. Whether he is a pure socialist or not, I have no way of knowing, but his actions more than sufficiently demonstrate what direction he tends.

  43. straightarrow Says:

    Nomen, I don’t mind you ridiculing me or my opinion. It only reinforces my suspicion that you have no concept of reality.

    What I do want though is an answer to my offer. We can use your template for your enslavement er, uh, conditions of servitude. I don’t think you will choose them, but that begs the question of why you would advocate them for others.

    Just to be “correct” we will give you an important sounding title and call the system banana. Now we have avoided using the real word and my hope is that will make you happy. Please hurry with your acceptance, I have fence for you to build, and mowing to be done and some timbering.

    Of course, I will pay you. Just not enough to cover your expenses after remittinng a large portionm to others less fortunate.