One of the things you can count on as a West Virginian is this: being the butt of jokes. You know the ones... inbreeding, lack of education, lack of shoes, lack of teeth. And now, thanks to 42.7% of so-called progressive West Virginians, we can add voting for a Texas inmate in the 2012 presidential election to that list.
It gets better. Said inmate actually won the Democratic primary in nine counties. Just for kicks, here are the nine counties which thought Texas inmate Keith Judd would be a better Democratic Presidential candidate than Barack Obama:
Let me tell you something. As an educated, fully-toothed, and except on some summer evenings, shoed resident of this state, I think all 42.7% of you should exchange your blue card for a red card, embrace what you are, be done with it, and quit kidding yourselves. Seriously. Don't help further the national embarrassment this state endures. For all the hard work some people do to build this state up, stunts like this make it all for nothing. If you really want to send a message to Obama, please change parties and vote Republican.
One theory about the protest vote is that Obama is "anti-coal", thus, anyone else has got to be a better choice for those super precious mining jobs, right? Including, it seems, a prisoner. Looking at the list of counties which picked the prisoner, a good number of them are indeed deep in coal country. An equal number of them are not, though, so this theory doesn't hold water. The theory I subscribe to is that a certain percentage of this state (I'd wager higher than 42.7%) really doesn't like having a black man in the White House. And regardless of whether you carry a red card or a blue card (or some other color, like yours truly), I think in 2012, that is a shame.
Speaking of Obama — I was glad to see him openly give his support to same-sex marriage. Whether or not Biden forced his hand a little, whether or not the North Carolina buzz forced his hand a little, whether or not it was an election year stunt and/or a "safe" position to take at this time — it was said, and needed to be. On the flip side, I am sorely disappointed in the North Carolina decision. Overall I think it's high time we the people started acting like we actually support the ideals we claim (all men created equal, for example). Didn't we already go through something like this about fifty, sixty years ago?
Which brings me back to my original point. For all the discrimination we've put up with as residents of West Virginia, I'd like to think we are a little sensitive to that kind of thing, would recognize it when it happens, and — it being humanity, after all; all men created equal and all that — would rail against it. It seems, however, we're not too far removed from the days of separate drinking fountains and separate schools and separate everything. (That applies as much to you folks in North Carolina who opposed same-sex marriage in your election, by the way. It's all discrimination no matter how you look at it and regardless of which group is being discriminated against.)
If you hoped to send a message to the White House (and the nation), you certainly succeeded. However, I don't think the message you ended up sending was the one you had in mind.