Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Deeply red Montana prepares to turn blue. Can other Republican strongholds be too far behind?

Courtesy of the New York Times:

This funky college town, nestled along two rivers where five mountain ranges converge, has long been a liberal pocket, an isolated speck of blue in a deeply red state. Now Montana is electing more politicians who lean that way, thanks to a different-minded generation of young voters animated by the recession and social issues. 

It is no secret that young voters tilt left on social issues like immigration and gay rights. But these students, and dozens of other young people interviewed here last week, give voice to a trend that is surprising pollsters and jangling the nerves of Republicans. On a central philosophical question of the day — the size and scope of the federal government — a clear majority of young people embraces President Obama’s notion that it can be a constructive force, a point he intends to make in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. 

“Young people absolutely believe that there’s a role for government,” said Matt Singer, a founder of Forward Montana, a left-leaning though officially nonpartisan group that seeks to engage young people in politics. “At the same time, this is not a generation of socialists. They are highly entrepreneurial, and know that some of what it takes to create an environment where they can do their own exciting, creative things is having basic systems that work.” 

Here in Montana, a state that backed John McCain in 2008 and Mr. Romney last year, voters under 30 have helped elect two Democratic senators and a new Democratic governor. Nationally, young voters have since 2004 been casting their ballots for Democrats by far wider margins than previous young generations — a shift that could reshape American politics for decades.

You know WHENEVER I read about a red state becoming purple, or that it is on the fast track to embracing progressive ideals wholeheartedly, I always get very excited about the future of the country and cannot help but imagine a time where the divisive issues of abortion, gay rights, and immigration are no longer considered appropriate issues to use in order to get political leverage. by EITHER side.

Wouldn't that be wonderful? To have actual grownup conversations about which direction to take the country without politicians feeling the need to frighten people into supporting them with talk of "the end of traditional values," or  "killing babies," or"keeping those Mexicans from taking jobs away from hard working Americans?" I don't know about you but I can hardly wait.

Hell if Montana is ready to turn blue can Alaska be far behind?

Not according to Nate Silver it's not!

Can I just say again how great it is to be a liberal in 2013?

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:50 AM

    I do get a sense of relief that as my parents generation dies off, this country will behave more reasonably.

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    1. I am of your parents generation and I believe that you and your generation are our last best hope for the future of not only America but of the world. I have been a 'tree hugging' liberal for most of my life and I am so glad to hand the baton off to another generation of logical, empathetic activists. I am very tired but very hopeful. Hooooooray!!!!!!!

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    2. In the interest of maintaining the upbeat theme of this thread, I won't get in an uproar about what I perceived as a bit of ageism in your comment. But many of you younguns' have fallen into the trap of believing that all us old folks are crazy right-wingers. Nope. Sorry. As long as there are humans walking this earth there will be conflicts among its inhabitants -- of any given age group. Whatever generation you are in has its own share of narrow minded supporters of the right-wing agenda. I see them every day and they have children who will be like that and raise their children like that and so on. See how this 'generation' thing works.

      Many in your parent's generation worked and walked for peace, for civil rights, for human rights, for freedom..... What we didn't have was an internet, or twitter or a cell phone to get our message out to a wider audience and quickly. So, sadly, you didn't inherit a perfect world. Alas, happened to our generation too and worse for the generations that came before us. My parent's generation couldn't even take electricity, transportation or running water for granted. We've come a long way and we will keep coming. At least I hope so. We have to trust that there is some positive societal change on the horizon and further we, all, have to work toward it. It's a non-ending cycle. Look at the Heath/Palin clan. RWNJ's from 8 to 80 right there! Some of that bunch has to be in YOUR generation right? lol

      It's easy to take what one sees as average life for granted. To believe that 40 hour work weeks always existed, that women were always welcome and treated fairly in the workplace, that public schools for the masses always existed, that your employer had to provide you a safe working place. So many of those things and more came out of efforts of those cranky old coots in the older generation.

      I'm not sure of the age of your parents but I bet if you took an age survey around some of these more reasonable blogs you'd find that many of us fall into that category or even older. I'm betting that if and when the relief from that die-off you wish for comes, you might just find you'll be missing a few of us after all.

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  2. Cracklin Charlie5:49 AM

    I am feelin' the love too, G! There were some long, lonely years at the turn of the century for liberals, but things do seem to be slowly returning to the side of rationality.

    It's amazing what people can do with a little knowledge. But, of course, there is always plenty more work to do.

    March On, Democrats!
    Hope On!

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  3. Yeah to those young people in Missoula!

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  4. Missoula ROCKS!!!! I miss it so much sometimes.....

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  5. Anonymous5:07 PM

    Oh joy, going from clinging to mommy and daddy to hoping big government will take care of them cradle to grave. More moochers..... joy.

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