Red State Values

Abraham Epton

Republicans have spent a lot of time over the last four years crowing about the superiority of red-state "values", some nebulous set of ideals supposedly shared by Americans from Tennessee but not Americans from Massachusetts. Well, a cursory look at some national statistics puts the lie to the argument that red-staters are more "values-oriented" than blue-staters; indeed, someone concerned with the sanctity of marriage would probably find Massachusetts, with the lowest divorce rate in the nation, the best state in the Union to live. Let's begin with divorce rates, where of the top 15 states with the lowest rate of divorce in the country, only 3 (North Dakota, Louisiana and Nebraska) are reliably red. The top five are dominated by the godless sodomites of, in order, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. (Iowa makes the list, too, but that state went red by less than 1 percentage point.) States topping the charts in number of births out of wedlock include Arizona (39%), Louisiana (43%), Mississippi (45%), Nevada (43%) and New Mexico (42%). The only blue states with numbers at or above 40% are DC (topping the list at 66%) and New York (40%). Life is apparently valued more in blue states, as well. Of the states with the top 10 murder rates, only 3 blue states (Maryland, at number 2; Illinois, at number 8; and California, at number 9) make the cut, and all are dramatically outperformed by Louisiana (a rate almost 25% higher than the number 2 Maryland.) The last "value" we'll take a look at is self-sufficiency. Of the states that give more to the Federal Government in taxes than they receive in the form of aid, subsidies and other benefits, Colorado and Nevada are the only red states represented (with the possible exception of New Hampshire, normally crimson but Kerry-blue this time around.) The ten that receive more than they give include Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia. That's right: nine of the ten states that receive more from the government than they put in voted for the guy who talks about how taxes are too much of a burden.

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