For those who don't know, I come from a very conservative family. The mention of Hillary Clinton at the dinner table will send my grandfather on such a tirade, the plates shake. My brother moved back to Nebraska from Seattle because the liberals were too annoying. And my mother voted for Bush because she hated the fact that the teachers union told her she should vote for Kerry.
They are the core of the conservative movement, they assume that whatever they don't like in the party isn't going to happen, and that the only good democrats are Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, because they understand "bipartisanship."
And this weekend I learned that the Republicans are losing these people in Nebraska.
It started with Social Security. They can remember first hand or from their parents what things were like during the Depression. They believe that the Social Security changes being proposed are going to put retirees out on the street, and the more Bush and his helpers run around talking about "the plan," the less they believe in it.
Then there was Schiavo. Too many people have had to deal with end of life issues. They should be private. There is nothing a Nebraskan hates more than someone pulling the curtains back so the whole world can watch a private show on their tv screens. They are Republicans because they don't trust the government, and the government in now in their hospital beds. They want them to get out, and are willing to switch their vote if necessary.
But oddly enough, the ID Creationists are what may finally push them over the edge. Said my mother the school teacher, "Why can't science be science? I teach in a school, not a church, although maybe a church would get more funding."
My mother voted for Bush thinking he'd never really rip apart the educational system the way he has with No Child Left Behind. Now her school has become the dumping ground for other schools who are afraid of their high-risk students. And she has been pulled off of teaching summer school, even though she has the most experience in her department, because they can't afford to hire a teacher with that much tenure. Instead, they are filling the slots with new teachers and out of district teachers to keep the costs down.
The heartland is losing its faith in the Republicans. Can it be too long before "What's Right with Nebraska?" comes out at the bookstores?