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California dreaming (South Park style)

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This is also posted at my blog site.

Is Stephen W. Stanton a prophet? My clairvoyant skills are not what they should be, so I cannot predict today’s California election results.

But I am pretty good at predicting retrospectively, and I think I can fairly state that if Schwarzenegger wins, his victory will be in no small measure a result of the influx of “South Park Republicans” into the electorate.

When he used the term — exactly one year ago today — Stephen W. Stanton offered this uncannily prescient definition:

South Park Republicans are true Republicans, though they do not look or act like Pat Robertson. They believe in liberty, not conformity. They can enjoy watching The Sopranos even if they are New Jersey Italians. They can appreciate the tight abs of Britney Spears or Brad Pitt without worrying about the nation’s decaying moral fiber. They strongly believe in liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, and free markets. However, they do not live by the edicts of political correctness.

The South Park Republicans are an incredibly diverse group encompassing a variety of nontraditional conservatives, such as the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bruce Willis supported Republicans because of their commitment to lower taxes and fiscal discipline. Rap artist and movie actor LL Cool J recently endorsed NY governor George Pataki.

(And here’s a more recent look at the phenomenon, also at Tech Central Station. Link thanks to Instapundit.)

Might the California election spell an emergence of a new generation gap? Back in the 1960s, when the term was coined, it referred to the “60s generation” and their slogan “Never trust anyone over 30!”

Well, now that 60s generation has hit their 60s, is there a new generation gap?

Never trust anyone under 30?

Looking for clues in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, I found two articles.

Here’s the 60s perspective:

John Hanley, head of the San Francisco Local 798 firefighters union, drew cheers as he shouted: “So help me, you touch my daughter, and you are in deep trouble, young man.”

Hey, what would Cartman say?

“The fireman is very magical. Rub his helmut and he spits in your eye.”
–Eric Cartman

And here’s the Chronicle again, with a fretful appraisal of the growing “South Park” threat:

The estimated turnout — including 2.1 million absentee voters who already have cast their ballots — would be 30 percent higher than the 7.7 million who voted 11 months ago in the 2002 election, when Davis was re-elected, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. Field issued the projection Monday.

The boost in participation is likely to come from younger, occasional voters drawn to the polls by Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that could mean trouble for Davis, said DiCamillo.

So, what will happen?

Let me return once again to the prediction of the prophet, one year ago today:

Hopefully, the South Park Republicans will shatter the unfair stereotype and set the record straight. As Cartman would say, “That would be pretty sweet.”

Yeah, it would. Or, to quote Cartman directly,

“Follow your dreams. You can meet your goals. I am living proof. Beefcake! BEEFCAKE!!!”

Hey, this South Park stuff is almost Jeffersonian!

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About Eric Scheie

  • Eric Olsen

    Truly fascinating Eric, thanks and welcome!