I was looking through some archives and I found this blog post which I wrote in 2010 about the upcoming (then) elections. I think a lot of it rings true still, in light of the political climate, as well as how the media manipulates the populace–either conservative or liberal.
We are being played, people.
It’s nearly November, and so far, the phone has been ringing non-stop with every Colorado candidate hoping to have a shot at the mid-term election. I absolutely loathe this time of year. Where are my commercials? I want to see something funny, or sexy, or learn about all the painful side effects I can get from a medication designed to help me with my chronic pain. Instead, I get all these “I’m Dewey Cheatam, and I approve this message” then with the ominous music and the accusatory voice over about Dewey’s opponent. Lame.
In Colorado, we have a Gubernatorial election (I just love that word, Gubernatorial. It makes me think of putting Goobers in RC Cola). Goobernatorial. 🙂 Our candidates include a Republican who got his party nomination before they realized he was a total nebbish. The Republican he was running against is now a third party candidate, basically running on a Republican party line. The Democratic candidate is the mayor of Denver. He appears in ads where he is wearing a cowboy hat and riding a horse. It’s painful to watch. Very much cliched by Colorado standards. Colorado, don’tchaknow, is where people strut around in cowboy gear and ride horses down the dirt streets of Denver. But the strike against the democratic candidate, is going to be this chestnut:
“I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico…”.
Um. Okay. See, a couple of things here. First of all, Matthew Shepard died as a result of a hate crime, not “backward thinking.” But I lived in the town where Shepard died just a year after his death. I can firmly attest that he died at the hands of some evil sons-a-bitches. He was killed by those pieces of shit because he was different, and not even necessarily because he was gay. Seriously, there are some fucked up people in that town. And I would say that Laramie, WY, at that time, was a cesspit. But there were a GREAT DEAL of people in Laramie who were appalled at what was done to Shepard. “Backward thinking” would be a general consensus that he had it coming. Not so.
However. One guy I saw there used to drive around with a bunch of dead rabbits plastered all over his truck. Yes, bloody, rotting rabbit carcasses. But that’s not “backward thinking” that’s WTF?!?!! Are there assholes like that in places like Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, etc? Yes. Are there assholes like that who would kill someone like Matthew Shepard? Apparently so. Are there assholes like that in every major city in America. Yes. Seriously dangerous assholes. Serial killery assholes too. The world is a dangerous, scary place sometimes.
Here’s some stats.
In 2007, there were 156 total hate crimes, 32 involving sexual orientation, in Colorado.*
Denver – 5.
Boulder – 3
Arvada – 2
Aurora – 1
Castle Rock – 1
Colorado Springs – 3
Commerce City – 1
Craig – 1
Fort Collins – 2
Fort Lupton – 1
Greeley – 1
Lafayette – 1
Loveland – 1
Sterling – 1
Telluride – 1
Walsenburg – 1
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hate Crime Statistics 2007, reported in October 2008.
* I don’t know what happened to the other 6 on this report. I pulled this from the Greeley Tribune.
My point of contention on this is how does the candidate know that it’s the rurals that are the backwards thinkers? Boulder, one of the most liberal cities in Colorado, has as much gender-biased hate crime reported as Colorado Springs, a city four times its size . Of that list, only 4 of those locations would be would most Coloradans would consider to be “rural.”
Trinidad, CO, performs more gender reassignment surgeries than anywhere else in the country. Trinidad is very much rural. And surprisingly enough, very conservative. In his comments, the candidate just alienated pretty much the entire state that isn’t Denver, Boulder, or Colorado Springs. The numbers alone could still win him the election, but what a bad foot to get off on with everywhere that isn’t the 60 square mile area of Denver. In my opinion, the candidate just said “I am smart, and you are stupid and hateful. You need me to save you from yourselves.” That’s a little arrogant and very ignorant.
Even if you walk into a cafe in a rural Colorado town, and everyone swivels in their chair to stare at you as you walk in, it doesn’t mean they are backward people who are just waiting with baited breath to murder another Matthew Shepard. They just don’t know you. And even if you were from that town, they would still swivel in their chairs and give you the once over. The difference being that when they know you, they will wave and say something. Until then, you are just someone passing through their town, probably stopped for lunch or to use their restroom.
They swivel back and return to their bitching and moaning…er, conversations. In rural towns, people come, people go, and the people eking out a living in those places figure they matter less to you that the paper towels you dry your hands on once you are done doing your business. As a person who spent 20 years living in the rurals, I can say that folks there don’t want to be saved. They are just tired of being exploited by tourists.
Dwelling on a sore spot too long. Onward! A candidate for Senate, Ken Buck, has been caught on the record saying he opposes abortion in all cases including rape and incest. O_0. Another comment he made when facing a woman in a primary debate was “Why should you vote for me? Because I don’t wear high heels.” *How do I make a really baffled face icon here?* Now, I know what you are thinking, I’ve just contradicted myself on the Backward Thinking Rural thing. But this candidate is an Ivy League graduate from New York. Of course, it got him through the primary for his party, so, there’s always that. Dude apparently got his start from Dick Cheney. An asshole from Wyoming.
His opponent is running on the platform that he is not Ken Buck. It might just win him the election.
I’m not sure what’s going on with the rest of the elections. Honestly, I don’t really care. I’ll just be happy after November 2nd, when the phone calls stop, when the slanderous, doom and gloom tv spots are silenced, and when all the signs and bumper stickers are pulled from front yards and Volvos and tossed into the tragic heap of political yesterdays and hauled away by the garbage collectors.
The jackass in the cowboy costume won the election for Governor. John Hickenlooper. And this year, he put his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for President. He hasn’t been doing all that great. His achievements in Colorado have been to facilitate the legalization of marijuana, which is now heavily taxed for schools, yet the schools cannot use the money without violating Federal law and jeopardizing their funding. Downtown Denver now smells worse than Greeley. Oh, and he had a lot of trains built in Denver.
So like Mussolini, at least Hickenlooper got the trains to run on time.