So will they win? Is health care dead? That depends on political will. Some encouragement for Obama comes from Joe Bageant's entertaining and bitterly angry book about redneck society, Deer Hunting with Jesus. Bageant writes about working class life in Winchester, Virginia, a home town he left physically and intellectually. It is a flawed account but doesn't fall into the apologist trap of saying that there might be a rational basis for prejudice. Instead he argues that there is a huge, systemic failure of education that, conveniently for the powerful, weds the working class to doctrines that are tailor made for its vicious exploitation. But even inside the Rapture-ready, Bible-bashing, Republican-voting heartlands, people can spot their real interests.
Bageant interviews Dottie, 59 years old, 300 lbs, started work at 13, married at 15 and now incapable of working, but can still belt out Patsy Kline covers in clubs and bars. He writes,
Although it might seem that my people use the voting booth as an instrument of self-flagellation, the truth is that Dottie would vote for any candidate - black, white, crippled, blind or crazy - who she thought would actually help her. I know because I have asked her if she would vote for a candidate who wanted a national health care program. "Vote for him? I'd go down on him!" Voter approval does not get much stronger than that.The support is there if Obama has the courage to face down the corporate terrorists and the media poison merchants with their British collaborators. His actions could define his presidency. Though if he wins, I suggest that he gives Dottie a miss.