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Thursday, August 05, 2004

According to the NY Times,
Morgan County WVA is a "19th-century GOP bastion"

The underlying message? Only rednecks could support the president.
Now how often does my home state get mentioned in the New York Times? Usually it's not even given credit for existing on the same planet as Manhattan. Thus it was with great skepticism that I encountered this.

A 19th-Century G.O.P. Bastion Holds Firm
by Elisabeth Rosenthal

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - It has been a rough year for the Bush administration by some measures, with criticism from the Sept. 11 commission, prison scandals in Iraq and a flat economy at home. But here in the remote hills of northeastern West Virginia, most people have a hard time imagining a candidate better than the incumbent, who they say shares their values in a way no Democrat ever could. . . .

"Sure, I'm voting for Bush; I feel much more secure about terrorism with George Bush around," said Richard Jenkinson Jr., a retired Vietnam veteran who works in a junk store in this Civil War town that has not changed much in the last 100 years.

As Mr. Jenkinson offers a tour of his issues, it is easy to see why George Bush is his man. He believes that invading Iraq was a wise move, because "Saddam Hussein was a Hitler-type character, who needed to be taken out." He is opposed to abortion, except to save a woman's life. A gun owner and National Rifle Association member, like almost everyone else here, Mr. Jenkinson considers owning guns a civil right and "part of home protection."

On weekends, he and his friends shoot at pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. "It's a way of handling hostility, I guess," Mr. Jenkinson said, with a shrug. . .

People in this part of the country like and respect George Bush. Although a record percentage of Americans now say the country is moving in the wrong direction, and Mr. Bush is being lampooned in "Fahrenheit 9/11," here he is still regarded as a hero and a statesman.

That's of course because WVA is way behind the times, as the article goes out of its way to show, and not at all the superior "urban" territory of the Times.

I can only say it is offensively idiotic to describe Berkeley WVA as a "civil war town" (1860s) which "has not changed much in the last 100 years" ( since 1904). Surely Ms. Rosenthal does not mean to infer that Berkeley Springs WVA has no television, no computers, no microwaves, no central heating, no electricity. Perhaps the police there arrest women for smoking in public? Or maybe the speed limit is 20 mph. Surely you can find an ice cream cone in Berkeley Springs, even though they weren't invented until 1904.

Michael Moore calls his lampoon of Pres. Bush a "documentary" and the New York Times calls this lampooning of West Virginians "news." Both are deceitful and manipulative in order to assert their power over public opinion, i.e their power over what you think.

A pox on both their houses.