Wednesday, July 28, 2004
• The number of Mississippians between 18 and 35: approx. 692,500
• The number of Mississippians who voted in the 2000 election: 993, 571
• The number of eligible Mississippi voters who did not vote in 2000: 1,074,495
• The margin of Mississippi voters between Bush and Gore in 2000: 168,230
• The number of Florida ballots that gave the 2000 election to George W. Bush: 537
• The number of votes separating Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour in 2003: 60,617
• Number of Mississippians being dropped from Medicaid: 65,000
Source: U.S. Census, Mississippi Secretary of State's office, Federal election data
ï The number of votes separating Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour in 2003: 60,617 ï Number of Mississippians being dropped from Medicaid: 65,000 Hmmmm.....did y'all put those two numbers next to one another purposely?
We'll never tell. ;-) We're just sharing the various possibilities, so Mississippians stop feeling so damned powerless when it comes to voting.
One of the things that frustrates me the most about my home state is how easily people give up on the possibilities. I think many of us are raised to think small and be powerless; it's the cycle of being from the most downtrodden (and trodden down by ourselves) state. It drives me crazy every time I hear someone here (or elsewhere) saying that there's no way Mississippians would vote a certain way (like, against Bush). Duh: That kind of talk is self-perpetuating. Say it enough, and everyone believes it, so they don't bother going to the polls, and our cycle of being the dumbasses on the bottom of the barrel propping up a few rich people, while everyone else suffers (including the middle class), continues. We need to change our attitude, y'all. Anything is possible if we do. Remember the little caboose: "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." ;-D A bit of optimism and belief in ourselves is going to go a lot further than this bullshit acceptance of Mississsippi bringing up the rear on all the indicators. We just have to look around us for what we can do that needs to be done, and then do our own job, place our own piece of the puzzle. To me, that's what's so great about America: the sheer possibilities. And we sure as hell don't have to put up with rhetorical demagogues who send our jobs offshore and kick our grandmommas off Medicaid and embarass us to the rest of the country and the world. After all, it's a small state. If everyone of us talks to our friends and family about what really matters in today's world, it can and will be fixed. It's the American way.