I have been admonished by friends who live in Madison, Wisconsin and Albuquerque, NM, and even Los Angeles, California - all true blue parts of the country, that I should leave Oklahoma and escape the oppresive atomosphere that surely hangs over each day I spend in this backwater state. But as Margaret Cho wrote after Bush was elected for the second time by the very same mentality that has kept Oklahoma so very red, "I have chosen to stay and fight."
I have a great job in which I work with fellow progressives who all cast thier votes (I am sure) for Barack Obama. I live in a part of the country that has a rich Native heritage (there are 38 Federally-Recognized Tribal Nations in Oklahoma). I live in a city that has two superb art museums (the Philbrook and the Gilcrease Museums) and a very cool movie theater (Circle Cinema) that brings plenty of independent and foreign films to town. Within a five mile radius of my house I can have any kind of food (Indian, Greek, Mexican, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai) I desire and most of it is close to authentic if not the real McCoy.
On one hand, I am ashamed that my fellow Oklahomans went into the voting booth last Tuesday and by an overwhelming majority (65.4% to 34.6%) cast their votes for McPalin, but I also know that if the 34.6% of us up and left the state, then Oklahoma would be forever lost to the dark forces that promote hate, fear and intolerance. And the land of Oklahoma, that began its life in this country as the Indian Territory, and boasts the last patch of natural tall grass prairie in the country, is better than the redneck image the rest of the nation has of it. Plus never forget that Oklahoma is also home to the Radical Militant Librarian of the Stephanie Miller Show and that's gotta count for something - Rock on Steph, Chris, Jim and Rebekah - please don't forget that you have a fan and a friend in Oklahoma (and I'm not talking about the ghost of Will Rogers or the very much alive Mary Kay Place). So please don't write us off completely...Oklahoma may one day be okay.