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The Voters of Appalachia
Newsweek ^ | July 7-14, 2008 | Steve Tuttle

Posted on 07/03/2008 2:19:08 PM PDT by forkinsocket

"Hick." "Hillbilly." "Redneck." "Inbred." "Cracker." "Ridge Runner." I heard and self-effacingly used them all when I left the mountains of Appalachia to attend college in the great metropolis of Williamsburg, Va., in the '80s. I was mercilessly ribbed as a rube when I brought along my sky-blue JCPenney suit—with reversible vest—and my stack of Willie and Waylon albums, and entered a world that was as foreign to me as I must have seemed to my fancy William & Mary roommates from the private schools. Imagine my surprise at their surprise when, thinking nothing of it, I casually mentioned that I missed my mom's home-cooked squirrel.

Well, look who's laughing now. In this strangest of political seasons, Appalachia, the last forgotten place in America, suddenly matters. Never mind Florida and Michigan. In a close election come November, the difference between President McCain and President Obama could come down to me and my people: a bunch of ornery, racist, coal-minin', banjo-pickin', Scots-Irish hillbillies clinging to our guns and religion on the side of some Godforsaken, moonshine-soaked ridge in West Virginia. The Democrats comically pandered to all these stereotypes during this spring's primaries, when the 23 million people of Appalachia—that 1,000-mile mountainous stretch from southern New York to the middle of Alabama—briefly hijacked the presidential race. Scrounging for every last vote, the candidates went out of their way to look country. Hillary got all twangy. Barack tasted beer.

It was fun to watch them make fools of themselves. It was also a little depressing. Taking in the coverage, I was struck by how clueless people still are—and this goes double for presidential contenders—about this vast chunk of the country. If they think about it at all, it's not as a real place where actual people live actual lives.

(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2008; appalachia; elections; mccain; obama; ruralvote
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1 posted on 07/03/2008 2:19:08 PM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: All

bookmarking for reading


2 posted on 07/03/2008 2:22:29 PM PDT by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: forkinsocket
Then there's Cletus Del Roy Spuckler, arguably the stupidest of all the characters on "The Simpsons." He eats skunk, makes moonshine and, in a running gag, may or not be married to a close relative.

That character is annoying. One of the many reasons why the show should have been canceled a while ago.

But how current a problem is this kind of prejudice? There's always a city vs. country split and there always will be one, but does the country even think about "hillbillies" as much as it did thirty or forty years ago?

3 posted on 07/03/2008 2:30:10 PM PDT by x
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To: forkinsocket

“Scots-Irish hillbillies”

Well, none of the hillbillies I grew up with were Scots-Irish. They were mostly English (surnames) but really had no idea where their ancestors were from. I miss a fine roast squirrel and snapping turtle soup. Good eatin’.


4 posted on 07/03/2008 2:30:25 PM PDT by Varda
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To: forkinsocket

Stereotypes die hard.

The real racists are in New York City and they are Democrats.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KACQuZVAE3s


5 posted on 07/03/2008 2:30:46 PM PDT by eleni121 (EN TOUTO NIKA!! +)
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To: PreviouslyA-Lurker

read later


6 posted on 07/03/2008 2:32:34 PM PDT by PreviouslyA-Lurker (...where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty... 2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
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To: forkinsocket

“Hillary got all twangy.”

This is something liberals do. They seem to have no idea how idiotic they sound.


7 posted on 07/03/2008 2:32:57 PM PDT by Varda
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To: forkinsocket

I think W Va is one of the most beautiful places this girl has ever been.


8 posted on 07/03/2008 2:33:08 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: Varda

Other so-called forgotten places are the ‘hood, the barrio, and Indian reservations. I’m sure all of these places are actually different than the stereotypes about them.


9 posted on 07/03/2008 2:33:30 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: forkinsocket

Well. That was a waste of five perfectly good minutes. Thanks for nothing.


10 posted on 07/03/2008 2:35:27 PM PDT by don-o (Have you donated to FR? If not, why not?)
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To: yldstrk

Me too.


11 posted on 07/03/2008 2:36:13 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Varda

And remember the time Hillary drawled : “Aaahh don’t feeel nooo waaaays tard” Can you imagine if a Republican had mocked a black person’s accent that way?

Liberals can say idiotic things too. Remember the time Hillary spoke to largely black group and said that the Republicans ran Congress like a plantation? Yep, I’m sure all those black city folks in the audience immediately could identify with the cotton plantations of the old South. Why else would she describe it as a plantation? Why not as a dictatorship or monarchy or some other term suggesting that the Dems. in Congress felt like they were ignored?


12 posted on 07/03/2008 2:37:17 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego

NO doubt. There is always the attempt to define people without getting to know them, especially poor people and their snotty nose kids.


13 posted on 07/03/2008 2:42:09 PM PDT by Varda
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To: yldstrk

Appalachia is a wonderful place to live. the people are great. This is my home. Where ever I go. This will always be my home.


14 posted on 07/03/2008 2:45:59 PM PDT by se_ohio_young_conservative (Dont stop believin... John McCain in 08 !)
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To: Varda

Well, none of the hillbillies I grew up with were Scots-Irish. They were mostly English (surnames) but really had no idea where their ancestors were from. I miss a fine roast squirrel and snapping turtle soup. Good eatin’.

___________________________________

My husband’s family grew up on squirrel and snapping turtle. They lived near the Mississippi and my husband’s father hunted and traded to feed his family. I find when I visit with people who the elite look down upon, a wisdom filled with common sense. It’s a quality sadly lacking in arrogant elites.


15 posted on 07/03/2008 2:47:32 PM PDT by navymom1 (I support Free Speech. Defeat the Fairness Doctrine.)
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To: Varda
I miss a fine roast squirrel and snapping turtle soup. Good eatin’.

I miss my Mammaw's beans and cornbread, and her chicken n' dumplin's were to die for! She always had a big, ripe sliced tomato fresh out of her garden too. Sunday dinners at her house were a real treat.

A few things I inherited from my Appalachian ancestors; being too proud to ask for help, too hard-headed to take to authority very well and a determination to survive no matter what comes my way. I thank God for them each and every day.

I also inherited a healthy suspicion of strangers and people who will say anything to get my vote!

16 posted on 07/03/2008 2:48:12 PM PDT by alicewonders (I'm a conservative, and I'm hated by the GOP & the Dems - I must be doing something right!)
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To: forkinsocket

IF it appears in Newsweek it’s hype.


17 posted on 07/03/2008 2:55:03 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (the media vs. the people.)
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To: forkinsocket
Re: And no one in West Virginia thinks Obama actually kicks back with a bottle of Bud.

Yeah, Steve, but the voters of West Virginia still keep sending Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller back to DC, so they must have a very large suspension of belief factor back in them hills and hollows!

18 posted on 07/03/2008 2:58:40 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: navymom1

I’d guess squirrels and Snapping turtles provided food for country folk where ever they were. I like the general friendly attitude. People would wave as you went by just because you were human. If you acted like a friend, you were a friend. It’s a simple way of judging people and things.


19 posted on 07/03/2008 3:14:46 PM PDT by Varda
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To: forkinsocket

> Scots-Irish hillbillies
Even that is too PC. Those of us that are prefer the Scotch-Irish hillbilly designation.


20 posted on 07/03/2008 3:15:42 PM PDT by BuffaloJack
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