Yes, I live in Texas… And yes, I know a redneck or two… or 600. But it is a unique joy that almost has to be shared to be believed. They do not think like I do. To them, I am just a commie, liberal, tree-huggin’ atheist with very bad hippie-hair. But not all of them are automatically unkind to me for who I am… in fact, some of them are my friends.
Now, I have to say that, being a Texan is not an advantage for making friends with rednecks. The home-grown brand of Texas Mexican-hating, gun-loving redneck are suspicious of me because I was a gol’ dang Texas edjumacator for so many years. You gotta be suspicious of anybody who teaches, cuz they want to make our children smarter than us. That’s a gol’ dang liberal trick from way-back-when. Who knows what kind of communist liberal ideas a communist liberal college edjumacated idiot wants to plant in the heads of our kids? Oh, and people who are smarter than us are all idiots, because they have all them new-fangled ideas and facts and some-such, but we got common sense. That makes us better’n them no matter how gol’ dang smart they are… gol’ dang ’em! (I can’t even write these words without hearing that South-Texas Winchuk-family-from-the-Brush-Country accent in my head.) Texas rednecks are hard to warm up to unless they’ve already reached the stage of wanting to grill your ass on the Winchuk family barbecue pit. Then it is entirely the wrong part of you that gets warmed up because they don’t accept that the word “ass” is the Biblical word for donkey.
The majority of my redneck friends are actually from Iowa. They are the people that I grew up with who knew me as a boy. They know I am intelligent all the way to insane levels of intelligence. And while they also believe their common sense trumps my intelligence, they have a soft spot in their hearts for the old egghead Superchicken they used to know in high school. They mistakenly believe I am still a Republican by nature and probably support Ted Cruz for President, because he seems like a good Christian conservative fellow. They argue with me about why they have a right to keep their guns and refuse all background checks or gun registration or licensing of guns because, sure you have to have a license to drive a car and get married because those are seriously important and potentially dangerous things, but we are talking about guns here. They argue about why I should not be offended by their Confederate flags and why I really ought to listen to Fox News because they don’t lie to you like the rest of the liberal media. And how did they get to be so sunburned on their backs of their necks and all over their political ideologies? There was a time I voted for Charles Grassley. But Republican Iowa… the Iowa of Republican Governor Robert Ray in the 70’s and President Eisenhower supporters in the 50’s… has changed right along with the entire Republican party. They are now goose-stepping along to the conservative beat of drums worthy of Hitler and Goebbels politically. But they don’t identify with fascism. They believe conservative means good and liberal means bad… so Hitler was a liberal, right? They vote in a way that allows racist-fascists like Iowa Congressman Steve King to goosestep all around the country saying ignorant and destructive things, and think that General Eisenhower wouldn’t shoot King as if the Iowa Congressman were one of the enemy were he to hear some of King’s rants in favor of the military industrial complex that Ike himself warned us against. You can’t convince them that they’re wrong. They are louder than you, and that makes them right. But I love them. I grew up with them. And I know they are too Iowa-stubborn to ever change their Iowegian minds in a direction that might actually make their lives better. So bless them and take care of them for me, Lord, because they have common sense… which makes them better than me.