Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Accounting for the South

Peter Lawler noted one view of Southern politics, which suggested, implausibly (in his view and mine) that it’s all about race. The NYT Mag points to another view--that it’s all about class. I’ll see your reductionism and raise you a different one. And no one has mentioned religion yet.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Why can’t it be about race and class and Nascar and the SEC and immigration and the military and traditional values and hunting wild boar with dogs, catfishing out of barrels, bacon fried chicken and church and NAFTA and Katrina and Wal-Mart and Indian Casinos, Coca Cola and Collared greens? Why is there a need to explain southern politics or any politics for that matter as if there was a single polarizing issue that kept everyone up at night...the understanding of which would illuminate everything and lead to certain victory? Not that those northern economists aren’t on to something but the idea that there is a single cause should be discarded. Give the stage to someone who is comming out with a super complex econometric model... Of course I guess it makes it easier on the experts to preserve job security...since you can just write a book debunking the previous theory as incomplete, or overly focused upon a non-essential aspect.

"I’ll see your reductionism and raise you a different one." - the immortal JK.
Joe, I’m printing the bumper stickers as I type.......LOL!

I wonder to what extent there is a lingering nationalism (i.e., Confederate nationalism) in the South, much like there seems to be for Texas Republicanism. Could it be that total war and a century of subjugation didn’t kill that spark?

I know a lot of "southern" Republicans who moved to the region from elsewhere. Some are Nixonian, others Reaganite, others evangelical. I even know some southern Jewish Republicans, also from elsewhere.

Bottom line: the South grew a lot from migration, which means that attempts to explain the region’s Republicanism in terms of its past, whether "confederate" or "racist," are problematical.

How long before someone writes the article that will complete the modern university’s Holy Trinity and say it’s all about...gender?

I have been reading James Gregory’s "The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America" (UNC Press). Interesting read, despite certain stylistic "tics." A subtheme is, naturally, the transformation of the South. North to South migrations are noted, but not really part of the analysis.

Have others read this? If so, what do you make of it?

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