15 December 2005

Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Jindal (and not Blanco)

I have yet to see one myself out on the road, but I understand that there are "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Jindal" bumperstickers making their appearances. Instead of the spirit of working together and trying to rectify the daunting sets of issues within New Orleans and Louisiana post-KTMB, its just easier to point the blame elsewhere and wipe the hands clean of it. Its not that surprising, really. Its just easier to have that mindset than to confront the unpleasant realities. Do these people honestly believe that had Jindal been Governor instead of Blanco things would have gone down any differently?

To those that support the above slogan and the crappy attitude that goes along with it (and place such a sticker on their car), I have something to tell you that is the dead-honest truth. Your own political base is the reason Bobby Jindal lost the last Governor's election to Kathleen Blanco--and you know it.

Sure, sure--the educated, professional, country club Republicans in the urban and suburban areas of New Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and in Baton Rouge all voted for Bobby Jindal, the new, young shining star of the Republican Party. The wonderboy . . .

And you know who else voted for Jindal? People like me, moderates--and absolutely not Republican. Why? Because to me he (not his party affiliation) represented a new type of person in a statewide political office in Louisiana. He was young, and obviously a brilliant mind based on his past experiences and educational attainment. Bobby Jindal as Governor of Louisiana would send a positive, progressive message to the rest of the country. (Quite honestly, I thought that the Jindal/Blanco choice was a win-win because either way the Governor-elect would be non-traditional in the realm of Louisiana politics.)

But guess who didn't vote for him? The racist, intolerant, religion-on-the-sleeve Republican-base of the rural "just like the rest of the South" areas of Louisiana.

But why didn't Jindal's base party voters in the rural parishes vote for him? Hes a Republican--just like them. Maybe they didn't like his stand on this issue or that issue? Maybe in their eyes Jindal didn't have enough political experience to be the Governor of a state just yet? Just too young, perhaps? Was that it?

No, no. The reality is they only saw one thing about him: he wasn't white. He was some dark black-like color. Thats all it took. To me, his Indian ancestry was an asset in that it could send the message that we were absolutely not consumed with one's race--that it was irrelevant. But instead, his race single-handedly prevented him from being elected. So to the bumpersticker crowd, cram it. This is the truth and you know it.


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