My city: 209,000 people - median age, 29.5, median income $31k. Evenly divided male/female. A whopping 73% white. Voted 31% for Obama, 68% for McCain. Just to set the stage...so you know where I come from...whacko-world, if you will...
That 68% isn't giving up either. In the lunch room I am forced to consume Faux News with my left-overs; at parties, people shake their heads in disgust about "socialized medicine". My Facebook friends either pointedly ignore my liberal-leaning link postings or verbally pat me on my little head and send me on my way with words of wisdom from Rush et al.
How people could so blindly vote for and ardently believe against anything that could be good for them provides recurring jolts of amazement in everyday life here. Recently, in a poll about Universal Healthcare, an acquaintance of mine whose seven children are all on Medicaid voted "no" we shouldn't have socialized medicine. Yes. Seven.
Speaking of the health care debate, have you found yourself dragged thoroughly off-point while "discussing" health care with more conservative friends? I have. I spent three hours this weekend debating the Canadian health care system. Which makes no sense, given that nothing our trepidatious legislators are contemplating even approaches the universality of the Canadian system.
My husband and I have a child who was born quite early. It made such an impression on me to discuss my experience with moms from around the world on preemie-parent web boards. Only we parents from the United States were worried about losing our homes due to the Herculean bills our progeny were generating. Parents from Canada, among other places, could focus solely on getting their precious little ones healthy enough to get out of the NICU. I think that might be the point at which the political beliefs I've held most of my life, courtesy of my depression-surviving, Roosevelt-idolizing Mom and Dad became something more than an abstraction.
Our Red state, Texas, is truly the place to force this type of realization. The hospital where we had our child charges $1.00 for every $.23 of cost. We rank as the absolute worst state in the nation for numbers of people uninsured, period, per the US Census. It's truly enough to make one blue.