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Red State Moral Values (from 2004)

After the election our nation is more divided than ever.
We are constantly swimming in a media barrage of colored maps and pontification
of the red state versus blue state rift in America. We’re told it has
been an election about "moral values", as if somehow we blue
state voters on the losing side are somehow supporting an immoral cause.

As a Positive Christian Atheist, I am always striving to be a paragon
of moral virtue. Therefore, I decided to do a little reality-based research
into just what kind of moral example I should be following. Since the
voters in the red states have a lock on morality, maybe it is time to
look at just how well their morals have been working for them. I combed
through some state-by-state statistics compiled from the US census, searching
for the true effect of red state moral values. Here’s what I learned:

Marxist style "from each according to ability, to each according
to need" welfare socialism is a good thing.

The blue states have an enormous tax base and pay disproportionately
high taxes into the government compared to the money they receive from
the government. The red states pay very little in taxes and receive disproportionately
high returns from the government. "Paying your own way" is for
losers; red states believe in sharing the wealth.

For every dollar paid in taxes, red state North Dakota gets $2.03 back
from the government. The rest of the Top Ten Federal Welfare Queens
are New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana, Alabama,
South Dakota, Arkansas, and Virginia, all red states, all receiving between
$1.89 to $1.47 back for every dollar. (To be fair, the District of Columbia
is the biggest welfare queen, at $6.17 on the dollar, but it’s not really
a state, so I’m not going to consider it in my research.)

By contrast, eight of the Top Ten Federal Sugar Daddies (states
that get less back in federal money than taxes paid) are blue states.
New Jersey only gets 62¢ back on its one dollar investment. Connecticut,
New Hampshire, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, California, and New
York all receive 64¢ to 81¢ back for each dollar taxed. Nevada
and Colorado, both red states, fall into this category as well, though
I’m not sure states that contain Las Vegas and Aspen are true representatives
of red states.

Marriage "until death do us part" is a sacred union
before God, unless it becomes a pain in the ass.

The blue states, those hotbeds of gay marriage and "living in sin",
also seem to be the places where couples are least likely to get divorced.
Massachusetts – the only state to sanction gay marriage –
has the lowest rate of divorce per capita. The Top Ten ‘Til Death
Do Us Part
states with the lowest divorce rate include the blue states
of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin,
Maryland, and Minnesota, with North Dakota being the only red state to
make the list.

By contrast, all of states with the highest divorce rates are red states.
Of the Top Ten Irreconcilable Differences states, Nevada, unsurprisingly,
leads the pack, followed by Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming, Indiana,
Alabama, Idaho, New Mexico, and Florida.

Maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider the example
of the pundits and leaders that are so beloved in the red states: Ronald
Reagan (divorced), Bob Dole (divorced), Newt Gingrich (divorced his wife
while she was in the hospital dying of cancer), George Will (divorced),
Rush Limbaugh (divorced three times!), and John McCain (divorced). To
be fair, John Kerry and many other Democrats have gotten divorced, too,
but they never used "sanctity of marriage" as a political wedge
issue.

If grandma and grandpa have to choose between rent and prescriptions,
it’s only because they were too stupid or lazy to plan ahead for old age.

When you check the statistics of elderly persons living below the poverty
level, it is not so good to be a senior citizen in a red state. The Top
Ten Eating Cat Food to Survive
states are all red, led by Mississippi
with almost 19% of its seniors in poverty, followed by Louisiana, Alabama,
Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina,
and New Mexico.

The Top Ten Living the Golden Years states do provide a surprise
with the reddest state, Utah, leading the pack with only a little less
than 6% of its seniors living below the poverty level, followed by Alaska.
However, six of the ten states are blue (Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Wisconsin,
New Hampshire, and Connecticut). Colorado and Nevada round out this Top
Ten.

Growing up without decent housing, clothing, healthcare, and
food builds character.

The percentage of children living in poverty shows that it’s better to
be a kid in a blue state. Nine of the Top Ten No New School Clothes
This Year, Either
states are red, led by Mississippi with almost
27% of their kids living in poverty, followed by Louisiana, New Mexico,
West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, and Oklahoma. The only
blue state in the Top Ten was New York, coming in ninth.

The blue states comprise seven out of the Top Ten New Hundred Dollar
Athletic Shoes Every School Year
states, topped by New Hampshire
at 7.3% of their kids in poverty, followed by Minnesota, Connecticut,
Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. Only Utah, Iowa, and Colorado
did as well at keeping their kids out of poverty.

God loves poor people so much that he made a whole lot of ’em.

The red state love of poverty hits more than just children and the elderly.
Mississippi hits the poverty trifecta, leading the pack with almost 20%
of all their citizens in poverty. The rest of the Top Ten Living from
Paycheck to Paycheck
states are all red, which includes Louisiana,
New Mexico, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma,
and Montana.

On the other side, the eight of the Top Ten Taking The Family On
A Real Vacation
states are blue, beginning with New Hampshire’s rate
of 6.5% of people in poverty, followed by Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland,
New Jersey, Wisconsin, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Only the red states
Iowa and Colorado bucked the trend.

Sometimes, though, God makes a few too many poor people and has
to take some back.

When you’re born in a red state, there’s about a 1-in-5 chance of ending
up in poverty. So it’s better for these kids to not survive infancy at
all. Of the Top Ten Good Luck Seeing A Birthday Cake states,
nine of them are the red states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, South
Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Arkansas,
with infant mortality rates that range as high as 10.5 deaths per 1,000
live births. Surprisingly, blue Delaware tops them all at 10.7, which
just shows that there is some hope for morality in the blue states.

When you look at the Top Ten Likely to Eat Solid Food Someday
states, once again it’s good to be in New Hampshire, where only 3.8 out
of 1,000 babies die, followed by six more blue states (New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington).
Your kid is also likely to eventually take baby steps in the red states
of Utah, Iowa, and Nevada.

The best kind of housing is made in a factory.

Being poor in a red state means that you have the freedom to hook up
a big truck to your house and tow it to another place. Home ownership
is for leftists; real freedom means living in a trailer house… I
mean "mobile home"… no, make that "manufactured home".
The Top Ten Houses Likely To Be Wiped Out By God’s Wrath During Tornado
Season
states are all red, led by South Carolina, where one out of
five houses are delivered, not built. Rounding out the Top Ten are New
Mexico, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, Wyoming,
Arkansas, Montana, and Kentucky.

Compare that to the Top Ten Houses without Wheels states, which
are all blue, led by Hawaii, where only two-tenths of a percent of the
homes are mobile. I suppose being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean also
has something to do with this. The other nine states in this list are
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, New York,
Illinois, California, and Wisconsin.

You can do everything you need to do in this world with a high
school edumacation.

Everyone knows that the only thing college will do for our youth is indoctrinate
them into wicked liberal philosophy and immoral behavior. That’s why the
red states feel it is so important to keep their kids out of these bastions
of depravity. The Top Ten We Don’t Need No Education states are
all red, led by West Virginia, where only a little less than 16% of people
age 25 or older have a Bachelor’s Degree or more, followed by Arkansas,
Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana,
and Nevada.

By contrast, the Top Ten I’ve Got An Alma Mater states are dominated
by blue states, starting with Maryland at over 37%, followed by Virginia,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire,
and Rhode Island. Only red Colorado managed to crack this list.

Traffic fatalities just weed out the weak and ineffective drivers.

Have you ever driven around the congested traffic of a blue state and
longed for the wide-open road of the American heartland? Well, forget
about it, commie, because out in the red states they don’t concern themselves
with such nanny-state concepts as safety. When you compare traffic fatalities
per 100,000,000 miles driven, only the strong survive in "flyover
country". The Top Ten Mad Max beyond Thunderdome states
are all red, with Louisiana knocking off 2.32 drivers, followed by Montana,
South Carolina, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, Arizona, South Dakota,
New Mexico, and Florida.

If you don’t feel like driving like a real man, consider the Top
Ten Sitting Like A Dolt in a Traffic Jam
states, nine of which are
baby blue, led by Massachusetts with only 0.9 dead drivers per 100,000,000
miles, followed by Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New
Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington. Only Utah made it into
this list, just creeping in at 10th place.

The so-called "energy crisis" is just a myth made up
by a vast left-wing conspiracy.

Don’t let anyone fool you with talk of conservation of finite precious
natural resources or the pending ecological disaster of global warming.
God gave us everything on earth to use up just as fast as we possibly
can. Of the Top Ten I Got Yer Greenhouse Gases Right Here, Pal
states, nine of them are red, led by Alaska’s use of over one billion
BTU’s per person per year. (I suppose that’s understandable; it is cold
up there.) The other red states in the list include Louisiana, Wyoming,
Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama. The only
blue state to make the list, coming in 10th, was Maine (and it’s pretty
cold in Maine, too.)

On the opposite end, eight of the Top Ten Look I’m a Tree-Hugging
Enviro-Fairy
states are blue, starting with Hawaii, where they only
consume 219 million BTU’s per person per year. This list also includes
Rhode Island, New York, California, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont,
and Massachusetts. Two red states, Arizona and Florida, also made the
list, but I understand it’s pretty warm there.

So take heart, blue states. We’ve got the sage wisdom of poor divorced
high school graduates in trailer houses choosing the people who will provide
us clear moral leadership on the economy, marriage, education, and housing.
The states that take the most federal welfare, yet still can’t adequately
provide for their very old or very young, will control the tough decisions
about health care and Social Security. The places consuming the most energy
will direct our policy on the environment. Now, just stay out of their
way or they’ll run you over in their pickup truck.

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