I never saw a purple person,
Never hoped to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow,
It might be nice to be one.
— With apologies to Gelett Burgess,
American humorist, 1866-1951
We should all move on now, but I've been reading columns, watching talking heads and listening to liberal radio and it's very clear: the anti-Bush forces are not about to do that "one nation under God" thing anytime soon.
Personally I am delighted that the color red, which when I was growing up stood for communist, now represents me and my political friends.
I must admit that despite the dismal legislative election results in Massachusetts, I can't help smiling as I listen to the blue meanies wailing and gnashing their teeth about the presidential election.
On "progressive" talk radio, callers insist that there's a conspiracy theory having something to do with "Manchurian Candidate" voting machines. On The Chris Matthews Show last weekend, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd looked as if sour-pickle-based Botox had been injected into her face. When Matthews ended his program with his usual exhortation to his panel, "Tell me something I don't know," she predicted that she was going to join "The Rapture" and be lifted into the heavens just like people in the red states. Good grief!
Because I am very fond of some clueless blues, I shall try to explain the election to them: 1.) Very literally, you can't beat somebody with nobody. Your next candidate must be a man with his own real convictions, his own center. 2.) In mathematical logic, a equals b but b is not necessarily a. This means that religious fundamentalists equal Bush voters, but not all Bush voters are religious fundamentalists.
Along with more casual churchgoers, there are people who do not attend church, don't care one way or the other if gays marry, find the theory of evolution exciting, are generally pro-choice and support stem cell research but do not think either one should be funded by taxpayers who oppose them, and are not waiting around on a hillside for "The Rapture." They, too, voted for George Bush. Think about it.
Quasi-libertarians like me may not be comfortable with American religious fundamentalists, but we do not, as one liberal columnist did last weekend, equate them with Islamic fundamentalists who want to destroy us. I don't care if some people think I am going to hell when I die; I fear those who are aiming for hell on earth and briefly achieved bringing a taste of it to New York City three years ago.
Taxes may not be a defining issue here in Massachusetts, but many people in the rest of the country appreciate their share of the Bush tax cuts. And while all of us can be concerned about the economy and our future in it, Bush voters either noted that it has been slowly improving, or recognize that a president, despite John Kerry's promises, can't guarantee them a job.
Some of the blue voters are talking about moving to Canada, Europe or Australia. Since those countries probably don't want them, here's a better plan — a huge national home swap. Some enterprising real estate agency could set up a Web site at which blues in red states could find homes, and even jobs, in blue states; and vice versa.
Any liberal would find Massachusetts a veritable heaven on earth, with its high per-capita taxes, social liberalism, and educated elite. Not only could they elect John Kerry to something every six years, they would have Ted Kennedy, too, and an 85 percent Democratic legislature which, were they to apply themselves, they could make 100 percent in a few years.
As trade, one five-room cottage in Marblehead. Will exchange for small cabin in northern, no-income-tax, citizen-legislature, red Nevada. My only concern is that when I get there, I'll find that my blue son and daughter-in-law just swapped their ranch house for a cape and moved my grandchildren to Massachusetts.
Maybe I'll stay put and invite them to "Come East, young family." A few years of paying our taxes and observing a full-time legislature in action might turn their blue to red, or at least purple.
The color purple: The goal for a blended America. George Bush is our elected president and commander-in-chief for the next four years. It would be great if we could spend his second term supporting or opposing his policies through our elected representatives in Congress while wishing him personally well.
Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem
News and Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Providence
Journal and other newspapers.