I’ve been taking advantage of my blogging semi-sabbatical to read a little more. About a week ago I completed Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War, an intriguing look at blue collar Scots-Irish America.
Bageant paints a colorful picture of rural western Virginia, and provides some compelling reasons for why so many blue collar workers vote for Republicans despite the fact that Republican policies continue to make their situations worse. Unfortunately, the image he paints does not lend itself to easy solutions for America’s problems. At times, it’s absolutely terrifying when trying to think of ways to better everyone’s lot in the face of such culturally ingrained stubbornness, proclivity towards Bush’s in-your-face style and willingness to believe that desire and bootstraps are all it takes to succeed in America… despite the fact that virtually all of the people in blue collar America are not achieving the “American dream” of success and prosperity.
It’s a book about rednecks, written by a very clever and funny redneck, and I heartily recommend it.