Communist Country, USA

28Nov08
The always patriotic John Douglas Brown House in Old Town Alexandria.

The always patriotic John Douglas Brown House in Old Town Alexandria.

Probably the most ridiculous comment during the recent presidential campaign came courtesy of John Sydney McCain III’s brother, Joe McCain:

“‘I’ve lived here for at least 10 years and before that about every third duty I was in either Arlington or Alexandria, up in communist country.'”

It’s true. Alexandria and Arlington, the one-time home of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, are now decidedly blue. Obama won almost 72% of the city of Alexandria’s vote. He won the same percentage in Arlington County.

The “communist” claim was just a degree or two away from McCain’s official campaign line of Obama being a socialist, put forth most ardently by Ms. Sarah Palin.

With no issues to run on and a poorly organized campaign, Republicans were left with nothing but the bottom of the barrel. “Socialized medicine” was also popular.

So, for Joe McCain, “communist” was probably pretty close to “Democrat.” And Virginia is a Democratic place. Obama carried the state; the first Democrat to do so since LBJ in 1964. Democrats now control both Senate seats, the governorship, and just gained control of the state’s congressional delegation – winning three seats to take a 6 to 5 edge.

But how does Northern Virginia stack up against America’s most liberal places?

A small sampling of Obama’s percentage in America’s most liberal places:

Alameda County (Oakland and Berkley, CA): 79%

San Francisco County: 84%

New York County (Manhattan): 85%

City of Boston: 79%

King County (Seattle): 70%

Multnomah County (Portland, OR): 77%

Conclusion: While Alexandria has Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, coffee shops, and bookstores (my criteria of liberalness), it still has a ways to go.

There is no bohemian vibe, no critiquing of mass American culture. On the whole, Old Town Alexandria is a cute, squeaky clean place. The epitome of the values of Middle America.

Left of center, yes. But very American.

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