Southern Whites’ Loyalty to G.O.P. Nearing That of Blacks to Democrats
We Southerners have been saying for some time that we're culturally and politically distinct from our Yankee neighbors. Empire worshippers from both the left and right have retorted that we're doomed to assimilation, and might as well surrender. But that didn't happen. Here's Nate Cohn of the New York Times agreeing with (but not liking!) our conclusions:
From the high plains of West Texas to the Atlantic Coast of Georgia, white voters opposed Mr. Obama’s re-election in overwhelming numbers. In many counties 90 percent of white voters chose Mitt Romney, nearly the reversal of the margin by which black voters supported Mr. Obama. While white Southerners have been voting Republican for decades, the hugeness of the gap was new. Mr. Obama often lost more than 40 percent of Al Gore’s support among white voters south of the historically significant line of the Missouri Compromise. Two centuries later, Southern politics are deeply polarized along racial lines. It is no exaggeration to suggest that in these states the Democrats have become the party of African Americans and that the Republicans are the party of whites. ... But the South remains culturally distinct. It’s the nation’s most religious and evangelical region. And the so-called culture wars have polarized American politics along religious lines, often pitting the South against the rest of the country. Despite the South’s continued economic and population growth, there’s not much sign that the gap between the South and the rest of the country is poised to narrow. Young voters have moved the rest of the country abruptly to the left on issues like gay marriage and immigration, but young Southern whites are just as conservative as their parents and grandparents. If they remain so, the gap between the South and the rest of the country could grow further.No argument so far. In fact, we'd like to take this fact of political life to the next level. Just as folks in Scotland, Catalonia, Venice, Crimea, and Flanders are calling for self-government, we have the right to do the same. Who could argue with that?