Monday, October 02, 2006

Hangin' In Flyover Country

Randall Warner,a Lebanon, Kansas farmer, is concerned that this is the last generation of independent farmers, before the corporate farms take over everything. His son is about to enter college for a different career path. But it's Mr.Randall's views of contemporary politics that are most interesting.

Here's how he feels about the two dominant political parties:

No political party seems to care much about the working man’s life, Mr. Warner feels. Stick a Republican and a Democrat in a sack, shake it up, pour it out, and the same rapacious thing crawls out. Creatures from a smoke-filled room.

That is hardly a revelation but stay with me.

Mr.Randall has voted Republican but is apparently less than satisfied.

Mr. Warner, a Pentecostal Christian, believes in miracles. He believes in speaking in tongues. He believes that abortion is taking a life and that gay marriage is an abomination. So he voted Republican.

Sounds like my kind of guy. He's probably a lot of fun at parties. But wait a minute, what's this?

What crumbs do the Democrats offer him? Two men in tuxedos on the steps of City Hall with a marriage license in hand? Handouts for those who won’t work? Mr. Warner says he could be peeled away from the conservatives if the liberals would talk to him about his values: “God. Family. Work,” he counts them on his fingertips and adds them up. “Heritage.”

I'm not aware that Democrats have acted against the pursuit of "heritage". But can our tent be that big? Wouldn't marriage for everyone create more families?

But read on.

Do something to stop the corporate takeover of farm country. Give his son a reason to stay and you could have his vote. “F.D.R. was the greatest president this country ever had,” Mr. Warner says. “He provided security for the farmer.”

So it's okay to provide security for farmers but not for "handouts for those who won’t work"? Hmm.


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