Reality Bites
To:        The Red States
From:    The Center of the Universe…uh, that would be The Center of the BLUE States
Re:         Welcome to Reality!

In keeping with our recently re-elected President’s appeal that we strive to unite with our Red State neighbors, I would like to extend a formal welcome to those of you who are joining us here in the Reality-Based Community.

What? I hear you scoff. What are you talking about? In case you didn’t notice, we WON! You’re the ones who are going to have to come over to OUR side! You know, the Faith-Based Side! Heh, heh, heh.

Well, I hate to rain on your little victory parade, but you are in for a very rude introduction to the harsh, cold REAL world the rest of us have been living in for the past four years. You see, now that W and Co don’t have to pander to your delusion that they actually give two shits about you, you’re about to get a crash course in reality-based living. And it's going to hit you hard. It will hit you when your Social Security account vanishes out from under you, swept up into a privatization pyramid scheme and pissed away by the same big money interests who brought us Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco. It will hit you again when your daughter is raped and forced to bear her rapist’s child because you live in South Dakota, whose archaic antiabortion laws are allowed to stand by the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade and kicked choice issues back to the states. It will hit you a third time when your mother dies of Alzheimer’s in her own filth because the substandard nursing home – the only one you could afford to place her in due to the replacement of the traditional Medicare she had counted on with underfunded “health savings accounts” that don’t even begin to cover the escalating costs of an unregulated health care industry – was impermeable to lawsuits due to the draconian tort reform bills signed into law during Bush’s second term. And it will hit you when your children come home to you in body bags after the lengthy, drawn out, highly unnecessary conflict in the middle east expands to Syria, Iran, and maybe even Pakistan and proves to be unsustainable with an all-volunteer army and an icy cold draft sweeps through our nation.

Want me to keep going? I can do this all day if you want.

But I can see you are upset. And I understand. I know how hurt and offended you are by all the elitist, latte-swilling Blue Staters who look down our overeducated noses at you and think you are stupid hicks who don’t know any better. So I won’t bring up the fact that the Blue Staters are, on average, more educated and better informed than the average Red Stater. I won’t remind you that, despite what 75% of you believe, Saddam Hussein was not providing direct, substantial support to Al Quaeda, and that 20% of you still believe he was the evil mastermind behind 9/11 despite all evidence to the contrary. I won’t burst your bubble by telling you that the majority of the rest of the world do NOT support our little boondoggle into Iraq, and that they are horrified that you re-elected Bush to a second term. And I won’t even question you as to why you think the major qualification for electing someone to be the leader of the (not much longer) free world is whether or not you’d want to have a beer with him.

I do, however, consider it my solemn duty to inform you at this time that evolution is not merely a dubious “theory” that has yet to be proven, but a pretty solid scientific fact.

Sorry about that.

I have to wonder, though, why you claim to be so afraid of terrorism (or, as our fearless leader calls it, “terrism”). I mean, trust me, Red Staters, Osama bin Laden isn’t interested in blowing up you or your local Wal Mart. It’s those of us in the densely populated urban centers – not coincidentally, the ones who voted against George Bush in the largest numbers – who remain his most likely targets, and are even more so now that W’s policies have done more to enhance recruiting for Al Quaeda than Tom Cruise did for Navy pilots. So, hey – thanks for casting your vote for W! I’ll remember you fondly as I lie dying in a cloud of anthrax spores.

While we’re at it, I believe it’s high time you step up and take responsibility - you know, all that “personal responsibility” your leader likes to talk about – for the rest of it as well. All of it. Because, whether you realize it or not, by casting your vote for George Bush you have given your tacit approval to the whole shebang. With your vote, you have condoned the torture of Iraqi civilians in Abu Ghraib – the same prison we so deplored when it was run by Saddam Hussein. You have endorsed the needless deaths of 100,000 Iraqi civilians and the tens of thousands more deaths to come. You have sanctioned an unnecessary war so ineptly planned and poorly managed that American troops are being dismembered on a daily basis for lack of the basic protective gear that was forgotten or discarded in the administration’s haste to launch an invasion before momentum and public opinion began to flag. You have given your electoral blessing to the upcoming systematic rollback of hard-won civil rights legislation, environmental protections, and privacy guarantees – all in the name of “national security.” And, thanks to your vote and the resulting right-wing dominance in the presidency, the Congress, the Supreme Court , and the media, you have done your part to usher in the same type of repressive theocracy we claimed to abhor in places like Afghanistan.

From here on, Red Staters, it’s all on you. You own it. You told George W. Bush and the rest of the world, “Hey, dude! Great job! Give us some more, and this time Supersize It!” and that’s what we’re all going to get.

The good news for us Blue Staters, though, is that we can still get out. We have the knowledge, mobility, and flexibility to abandon the stinking, rotten backwater you seem intent on turning this nation into, leaving you without the contributions to business, science, and education you have come to depend on us for. Does the phrase “brain drain” ring any bells in that rusted-out shell doubling as your skull?

But look on the bright side. When the country lies in tatters at your feet, at least you can still take comfort in your faith. And you’re going to need it. Because if you’re right about there being a God, and if the two of you ever do come face to face on that Day of Reckoning...

…you’re gonna have some ‘splaining to do.