A good combination of realism and idealism.
I was out to dinner last week with a friend, and, as it often does 'round here, the talk got to be about politics. (Go back to that point...how did it happen? Oh yes! We were talking about being artistically literate and about people's lack of the basic knowledge of such things nowadays. Whatever happened to the days when people would get passionate about, say, music, for example? You know, like back in the day when the audience rioted at the opening performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring? My maintenance is that since, oh, maybe 1968, when all this sort of stuff was considered elitist and music education started lagging, we ended up with a generation of people who, well, didn't have the understanding or interest in the discipline. The passion's still there, by the way, just in other realms: just walk into any public area in Cambridge/Somerville and say something like, "GWB isn't so bad" and watch them go after you like a pack of wild shih-tsus.
The conversation stopped there: my dining partner shook his head. "How could anyone vote for Bush? How could they?" (Mind you, admitting that you voted for a (fanning myself) Republican is harder than coming out as being gay. People are at least forced to be tolerant of the latter preference, so there are many who don't know that I have here. Heck, I never asked my boyfriend about voting until maybe a couple weeks ago.) He could not wrap his mind around the possibility of anyone save for folks who had lots of rusty cars on their lawns, who wore Dale Earnhart caps, who thumped bibles and who had few if any teeth voting for the man who is currently President.
Last night's SOTU address was a good reminder, as were the Democrats' rebuttals. (I'll go looking for an actual transcript of this later. I have to get to work and the girl cat's, well, acting up.)