A little over nine years ago, we chose to leave the home we loved in Southern California to settle in an area we found to be even more desirable, Southwest Washington. Specifically, we moved to Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia River, north of Portland, OR. Our home in SoCal was in Orange County, known politically as Red County. Since Portland is notoriously Blue, one of the biggest adjustments we found ourselves making in moving to this area was due to its very different political environment. An aspect of this that continues to elude my acclimation, however, is the prevailing attitude of intolerance by liberals towards conservatives.


One of the most blatant examples of this prejudice has been hearing liberals call our selected home, Vancouver, Vantucky. Recently, I’ve also heard the county we live in, Clark County, referred to as Clarkabama. Of course, I have no way of knowing all the intended implications by users of these terms but it seems pretty clear the general aim is to disparage. That sense is reinforced by the fact that these terms are typically used in phrases like “… the morons in Clarkabama.” Some may view this as being amusing or, at least, as being relatively harmless. I don’t. In fact, I see this sort of sophomoric denigration as being quite harmful.

I’m always bewildered that those who consider themselves intellectually and morally superior and oh so tolerant, can’t see or don’t care how personally hurtful these comments can be. Continuing with myself as an example; in addition to the fact that I’m a conservative who chose Clark County’s Vancouver as my home, Kentucky was my Dad’s birthplace and in June, I attended my big Brother’s funeral near his Home in Alabama. So, both Vantucky and Clarkabama are especially offensive terms to me. I wonder how liberals who have chosen to make the Vancouver (a/k/a The Couve)/Portland area their home would appreciate hearing conservatives call it something like Couvom and Gomorrah.


Americas StrengthAlthough I find this sort of thing to be hurtful personally, you may think I’m just being overly sensitive. You may even think it’s somewhat silly. More important than any personal harm done by these insults, though, is the damage they do through increasing the polarization between Americans holding to conservative values and those espousing liberal views. In an article entitled Rediscovering America’s Strength, published December 10, 2007, I stated “the strength that made America great in the first place (was) the synergy of the best of our differing ideas.” If we hope to recover that strength, not just rediscover it, it will require showing respect to those who hold opposing views and sincerely listening to their ideas, rather than belittling them by using terms like Vantucky and Clarkabama in order to invalidate their position.


Filed under Stones of Help

6 Responses to Vantucky?!

  1. I have heard both of these discriptors applied to Vancouver. But never until now did I associate the disparaging remarks with conservatives. It’s funny to me how different perceptions can be.

  2. Al

    I think Clark County and Vancouver have a nice balance of Christian and Conservative residents with some liberal Portland business employees and some liberal transplants living in their midst. As a matter of fact, I know more conservative church-going people in the Vancouver area than any other city in SW Washington. I don’t live in Clark County, but often admire your city’s fire and rescue department and it’s SW region’s WA Emergency Management Center resources. Your people are better trained than ours and have more budget for first responder resources and experienced incident response operatives (hardly a “back woods” infrastructure, by any national standards.)

    People in the suburbs of King County have always been made fun of by the Seattle snobs and Progressives (communists with a small “c”.) It’s almost a NW tradition, Gary, to make fun of I-5 corridor communities in Washington. I would not take political sarcasm “slams” around here too seriously.

    I have been to Kentucky on business and road trips through the South. It is a beautiful state, for the most part. Now if someone called your city “VanDubyaDC”, it might be a REAL insult to all of the honest working folks in Clark County (LOL!).

    Voting in Jamie Herrera to the House is hardly indicative of a Blue County profile to me! And SW Washington has a few moderate Dems in the state legislative districts here that don’t exist anywhere else in the State of Washington. Didn’t Dino Rossi come from SW Washington?

    The people saying these disparaging and sarcastic remarks are just envious that Vancouver doesn’t need to be “Weird” like downtown Portland to draw honest working folks to live there. I saw a big black GM HumVee last year that had a bumper sticker that said: “Keep Vancouver NOT Weird!” (kinda thought it was right on the mark.) Cheers.

  3. Aj, I’ve used the name “Vantucky” because of its “good ‘ol boys/back room dealers” mentality that has spread since we moved out here in ’79 from the Chicago area. But, more recently, I’ve been referring to it as “Vancago”….coincidently, Luigi Brancaccio grew up in Chi-town. Also coincidently, The Vancago Gazette has turned into hostile territory for anybody who doesn’t march lockstep with Luigi’s views. I’ve been banned from the Gazette for about 3 or 4 years now. The Liberal Regressives robots are getting downright ugly, they can be quite threatening. And, these new “mega-bluies” are very arrogant…Timmy Boy is a good example of that. It’s really quite sad because Vancouver was such a great place with many festivals and community activities. Not these events that are fenced off, physically and politically.

    • Jj

      Your chicago bunch are chasing the fed transportation dollars, with 200 million now gone for defective drawings alone. Nothing new, as Rome’s last days were similar. They shall have a rough go of it when performance again counts for something.

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