12 October 2006

You Can Take The Girl Out Of Tennessee...

Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Nancy French, author of Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle:

Lopez: What’s the biggest difference between NYC and Paris, Tennessee?

French: Dolly Parton put it best. In the south, we sleep several to a bed because we ain’t got no money. In the north, they do it because they ain’t got no morals.

. . .

Lopez: Why do “Conservatives living in blue cities have to blend in, be extremely kind, and have the wisdom to know when to keep their mouths shut”?

French: When we lived just a few blocks from the Liberty Bell, we sent our kids to public school, played at the park every afternoon, and had play dates with neighborhood kids. For many months, I kept my conservatism “in the closet,” lest I alienate all possible playmates for the kids. (When we lived in Ithaca, New York, parents asked if we were gun owners or allowed “pretend gun play” in the house. That eliminated quite a few pals right off the bat.) So, I tried to blend in — not wanting to fight the culture war every time some one criticized President Bush. Eventually I realized this wasn’t quite possible, the Left being more evangelistic than Billy Graham on speed. On the day of the 2004 election, someone with a Mothers Opposing Bush (“MOB”) button asked me if I’d voted. Then, she narrowed her eyes at me and asked, “Who are you voting for?” She must’ve detected something in my eyes — sanity, perhaps. Finally, I started writing for the City Paper, feeling that if was going to be defending myself, I might as well have a larger audience than just the moms and nannies at Three Bears Park.



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