Monday, November 22, 2004

On Monday, November 8, I blogged about the results of some comparisons that I made of the "smartest" and "dumbest" states in the US and the way that they voted in the last presidential election. You can look to see which was which if you haven't yet in the charts below.

A gentleman named Lee Davis was kind enough to reply to the posting in the following way.

You forget to point out that about a quarter of Kerry's electoral college total came from "dumb state" #43 California! I think your "trend" fits very well into the mindset of many other elitists who haven't been able to figure out that you don't win friends and influence people by telling them how smart you are and how dumb they are.

This is just how elitist I am. I grew up in West Virginia during the Viet Nam War years in Morgantown, a university town. I saw lots of locals go off to war and some not come back. I went to grad school with some of the vets of that war, and listening to what they had to say, it became clear that the poor went and died in Vietnam in greater numbers than the wealthy. Take our current president for example.

So today I went a looked up some numbers. What were the numbers of US deaths in Vietnam by state, which I found already calculated in a usable form here. And how would that look if I plugged that into the rubric that I used before, the list of "smart" and "dumb" states.

Here are the results.

Smartest 10 Deaths Per 100,000 Population
1. Massachusetts, Kerry, 62% 23.2
2. Connecticut, Kerry, 54% 20.1
3. Vermont, Kerry, 59% 22.4
4. New Jersey, Kerry, 53% 20.6
5. Wisconsin, Kerry, 50% (bush 49%) 26.2
6. New York, Kerry, 58% 22.5
7. Minnesota, Kerry, 51% 28.1
8. Iowa, Bush, 50% (Kerry 49%) 30.1
9. Pennsylvania, Kerry, 51% 26.6
10. Montana, Bush, 59% 38.7
Average 25.85

Dumbest 10
41. Tennessee, bush, 57% 32.8
42. Hawaii, Kerry, 54% 35.8
43. California, Kerry, 55% 27.9
44. Alabama, bush, 63% 34.9
45. Alaska, bush, 62% 18.8
46. Louisiana, bush, 57% 24.1
47. Mississippi, bush, 60% 28.7
48. Arizona, bush, 55% 35.0
49. Nevada, bush, 51% 30.6
50. New Mexico, bush, 50% (Kerry 49%) 39.2
Average 30.78

And just for an added extra bit of data, my home state of WV (who went with Bush in the last election) was #33 in the education rankings, tied with Texas, our new president's home state. But in the Vietnam War, WV lost 41.9/100,000 people, while Texas lost 30.4.

I am bumbfounded by the election results. Why would these people, the people with the greatest need for education, be misled by the lies of the current administration? Because they promised them there would be, "No child left behind?" No, our armed services are great at bringing our dead home for a proper burial. We leave very few fallen Americans behind on the battlefield, which is a tribute to the bravery and honor of our military.

What do they see in it for themselves? A brighter future? Only for those higher up the earnings ladder, sorry. A British friend expressed to me his bewilderment at the situation, but said that it was similar to the Thatcher years, when the poor voted in great numbers for a power base that had nothing to offer them but more of the same.

My point here is that education is important to survival. Education, controlled by the rich to maintain the status quo, puts the poorest and most in need in uniform and sends them to war easier than the rich. That's just how elitist I am.

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