Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Future of a Republican America

Can be found today in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is Reagan Country. In 2008, El Paso County gave John McCain a 59%-40% edge. Twenty-two percent of the region believes that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (or the planet Zork). It is 80% white with a lot of those retired military. There are five military bases surrounding Colorado Springs including the Cheyenne Mountain headquarters of Stargate Command. The economy is based on military spending ("War...War...War...Doesn't matter what it's for") and tourism.

And Colorado Springites believe that taxes are the Devil's dues. Last years they rejected by a 2-1 margin a tax increase necessary to prevent a wholesale shutdown of city services. The result is:
  • Citizens are being urged to mow public parks with their own lawn mowers as the city can't afford to.
  • They won't need to mow the grass for long because park irrigation is ending and the city's green spaces will quickly turn brown.
  • Trash collection is ending in the parks too so the long, brown grass won't be visible beneath the piles of garbage.
  • But with the street lights turned out it is going to be hard to find the brown, trash strewn parks.
  • With cuts in police services no one but fools or criminals will be going to those dark parks anyhow.
  • The street repair budget is being zeroed out meaning an economic boon for local tire shops.
  • Museums, rec centers, and swimming pools are all being closed giving tourists no places to go except the aforementioned parks.
This is just the top of a long spiral down. The city relies on sales taxes for most of its revenue and tourists for the sales taxes. What sort of tourists will be attracted to brownscaped parks, shuttered museums, and third-world sized potholes?

Colorado Springs is not some Rust Belt town trying to survive a decades-long depression. It is a well-off ($80,000 median household income) community of Republicans who brag about having the "largest independent gun dealer in Colorado." It is the evangelical mega-church capital of the world (James Dobson and Ted Haggard). The area is chock-a-block with gated communities that don't give a fuck about their neighbors.

The four things (guns, evangelical Christians, Republicans, and gated communities) fit together to form a city that is a blueprint for post-Tea Party America.

Hat tip to Sadly No.

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