Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seeing red

Arizona is a red state. Michael Gawenda, Heraldc orrespondent, reports from Tucson:
"We are in Republican country, the home of the late Barry Goldwater, beaten in a landslide by Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential election, but the godfather of the new conservatism that was to sweep Ronald Reagan to power in 1980 and to which President George Bush swore allegiance.

Mr Bush carried Arizona easily in 2000 and again in 2004, though out here in the south-west Republican ideology is based on a deep distrust of Washington, a commitment to small government (which means cutting most government programs), tax cuts and the free market. But throughout the state, there is now an almost universal dislike and distrust of George Bush. There is a sense that America is not what it used to be, that Mr Bush has become just another Washington big spender and that Iraq has become his Vietnam.

There are people like Kate Polly, who works in a hotel in Phoenix and who voted for Mr Bush but no longer trusts him, who thinks America is in decline and that the Federal Government has been captured by lobbyists and moneymen and that everything is now about money. "We are hated everywhere," she says. "We are spending all this money and blood in Iraq and they despise us. And Bush couldn't even get it together to help the victims of Katrina, our own people."

There is perhaps one generalisation that can be made about Americans: they want to be liked and their country to be liked. They want the US to be seen as a force for the good, and almost everyone in Arizona is angry that Bush, in their view, has allowed the US to be seen as a bully that wants to dominate the world."
Read all about it.

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