So, everyone knows that Buzzfeed is this ridiculous site where they have lists of gifs of ‘the cutest puppies in America’, and ‘reasons why Beyonce is the super-coolest’ and whatever random bullshit their writers can come up with as clickbait. I, for one, cannot get enough; I visit the site at least once a day, and click through all the stupid lists, which only leads to more stupid lists, all in the name of, hopefully, good fun, if not, wasting half an hour or so.
What I didn’t know, is that supposedly Buzzfeed is a political site, with a former Politico guy at the top (Ben Smith? Ben Something). I learned that this week, and clicked through the politics section, seeing that, yeah, I can see this is like Politico Lite. Which, not to get too into it, isn’t a compliment. But I did find something interesting.
Apparently, America has a ‘sadness belt’, like its ‘bible best’, ‘sunshine belt’, or ‘rust belt’. Lots of belts, lots of belts. Anyway, the sadness belt is comprised of the 10 least happy states, which, sort of surprisingly cohere and form a ‘belt’ that runs up through the middle of the country, from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in the south up to Indiana and Ohio up north. Are all those right-to-work states? I wonder. Let’s see, no, Ohio, W. Virginia, and Kentucky are not, according to the internet. Still, all but Ohio are solidly republican on the state and federal levels.
More interesting tidbits; five of the next ten ‘least happy states’ are in the southeast, plus Missouri, and Alaska. Those are republican states. In the north, the only two states in the two bottom quintiles are Michigan and New Jersey (both run at the state level by republicans). Rounding out the bottom 20 least happy, Nevada is run by republicans, too. So, make of all that what you will.
What I make of it: 9 out of the ‘top ten’, and 18 of the ‘top twenty’ least-happy states are run, at least on the state level, by republicans, and most are republican on the federal level, too. And the solid concentration of states that are ‘the bible belt’ and ‘the South’ all fall in the bottom two quintiles. Every one. For freedom.