This November, for the first time since Bill Clinton's 1992 victory, I experienced affinity with my fellow members of the electorate, as all but one of my favored candidates won, and every one of the ballot items I voted for passed. From Barack Obama for president down to a yes for a proposition funding public transit improvements, my affinity with Seattle voters is sealed.
I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for just six years. Either I'm in the right place at the right time, or, as some might argue, I'm now living in the wrong place. Judging by the ballot results, too many of my brethren agree with me here in liberal la-la land. The reason the results of this year's presidential election were surprising to Seattleites despite poll indications that Obama would win is because 2004 was so upsetting. If you live in the liberal cocoon that is Seattle and are quite shocked when your fellow countrymen re-elect George W. Bush.
It's fashionable to criticize people like me, who were drawn to Seattle in part because of the liberal political scene. Shortly after moving here, I told an acquaintance it was comforting to see that my neighbors had a "No Iraq War" sign in their front yard; whereas, in slightly more conservative Tacoma, Wash., our "John Kerry" sign had twice been destroyed. The acquaintance then lectured me on the importance of being a voice of dissent in a conservative climate. Easy for her to say. She grew up in the socialist state of Vermont and lived in New York City prior to Seattle.
Apparently, what I should do is go back to one of the red states (by 2004 definitions, anyway) I've previously called home: Missouri, Florida, Texas, or Arizona. Except for a handful of years in California (one being the year of my birth) and about six years downstate in the red area of otherwise blue Illinois, I've spent the bulk of my life in the reds. And another thing: I'm a military brat, so you might say I grew up in the most conservative communities within those red states.