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The land of Bibles and bigots

Robin Meyers November 21st, 2012

Pulling up behind an enormous red pickup truck a few weeks before the election, I couldn’t help but notice a huge portrait of President Obama that covered most of the tailgate, and just beneath this unflattering image, in big block letters, was this question: “Does this ass make my truck look big?” Coming closer, I saw that the driver was a Marine, and these were his sentiments about his commander in chief.

I saw a highway billboard in Colorado Springs, Colo. (an extremely Christian area), showing Obama in knickers and holding a golf club (elite snob) beside this caption: “Obama holds key to your next colonoscopy! Grab your gators!” Next to this warning was a pair of Americans who are shown bending over to receive their “reward” should the president be re-elected

I’m a little tired of hearing people say this has nothing to do with race. Look at the election results. For all practical pur poses, the country was divided between candidates like it was during the Civil War, and Oklahoma voted with the Confederacy. We proudly maintained our race with Utah to be the reddest of the red states while eliminating the last remaining Democrat to represent us in Washington. State government now can operate without opposition, and the march to lower taxes and “drill, baby, drill” will continue, oblivious to what is happening in the rest of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party proved once again that it is the party of the Christian White Male, and did everything possible to alienate African- Americans, women and Hispanics — and then wondered why so many of them voted Democratic.

Ask the Fox News pundits who used fear tactics to galvanize support for the white candidate none of them really liked to begin with. Ask the elected officials who were so obsessed with the idea that women will lie about being raped to get an abortion that they pretended eggs know the difference between the sperm of a rapist and the sperm of a husband.

Ask the fastest-growing segment of the population, Hispanics — without whom no Oklahoma roofing or lawn care company could survive — what it feels like to have a candidate tell you to “self-deport.” Ask those Republicans who clobbered John Kerry for being a flip-flopper to name another presidential candidate who has changed his position more times than Mitt Romney.

I know this commentary might bring more letters asking me to leave the state, but really, what are we so proud of? Gay-bashing? Insulting women? Making ridiculous charges of “socialism” to smear one of the most moderate (some would say conservative) Democratic presidents of all time?

America is no longer the land of Father Knows Best and Bonanza. The marketplace cannot solve all the problems of life, and sometimes, raising taxes is patriotic. The next generation wants answers, not ideology. They have accepted the ethnic and racial diversity of America, believe in the separation of church and state, and are smart enough to know that corporations are not people. The future belongs to them, not to us.

The question for Oklahoma is simple: Are we the land of the free and the brave, or just the oblivious?

Meyers is senior minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ, and professor of rhetoric at Oklahoma City University.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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