Same Shit, Different Century

Last political post for a while. I promise.

Check these maps out:

There’s your division….the same divide that has existed for 150+ years.

5 Replies to “Same Shit, Different Century”

  1. That is actually very striking. You know, I have detected an undercurrent of "how dare you people tell us what to do" in conservative politics. I have found it kind of strange, given that the conservatives currently seem to be the ones intent on preventing other people from behaving as they wish…but when you think about it, those states have been forced to really swallow policies that they don’t like more often than not. And at gunpoint, to boot. Personally, I think that some principles (civil rights, for example!) are sufficiently vital to a decent society that they really shouldn’t be left up to the states to decide…but I can see how getting repeatedly smacked down and told how to behave properly by the federal government would be galling, even if I happen to strongly agree with the fed’s definition of "properly."

    I’ll bet that drives a lot of what we’re seeing now. I’ll bet that’s why people are so intent on changing the constitution and stacking the Supreme Court…they feel like it’s the only way to get it "off their backs." And I’m sure that the echoes of the Civil War play into this sentiment to a considerable degree. I wonder if a lot of people hate "liberal values" more because they subconsciously associate them with powerlessness in the face of the federal government than because of anything intrinsic to those values. It would certainly explain a lot of side comments I’ve read in conservative screeds and not really understood.

    My wife once told me about some study that claimed the #1 factor that causes people in the Middle East to become terrorists is not poverty, or lack of education, but feeling that they have been humiliated and left powerless by a more powerful party. Obviously, the situation here is not nearly so dramatic, but I wonder if that explains why there’s such a driving need for some states to not only assert their independence, but also to lash out and dominate the others by attacking their values. There is a history of coastal values eventually becoming the law of the land, so I guess they figure the only way to stem the tide is to pull the reverse.

    Of course, I find that a rather disturbing prospect. Maybe Democrats need to make it a point to give the red states a sense of empowerment without letting them actually run roughshod over everyone. Too bad I have no fucking clue how to do that…especially if it’s been simmering for 150+ years.

  2. The problem is that the civil war didn’t end truly until the 1960s. This is when it was no longer legal to treat people like second class citizens.

    Just a thought.

  3. Some people seem to have latched onto the idea that "being forced not to treat people like second-class citizens" is somehow a huge imposition on the part of a tyrannical government. I find this attitude bizarre, myself (if it is an imposition, it’s an extremely small one…certainly less so than, y’know, being treated like a second-class citizen), but there it is.

    (And it is unfortunately still legal to treat some people like second-class citizens. Without even going into the marriage issue, IIRC it’s still widely legal to discriminate against people in the workplace solely because of their sexual orientation, because it’s not a "protected class" like race or religion. At least, that’s what I remember reading.)

    I guess it comes down to that some people think of their ability to discriminate as a vital component of their sovereignty as individuals and/or their property rights. I happen to think that it is not at all vital…certainly less vital than the right of minorities to fully participate in society. But for whatever wacked reason they consider it a form of unbearable oppression.

  4. Except you would have to reverse the colors. Everybody seems to “forget” that the republicans were voting anti-slavery and the democrats were pro-slavery (in general, of course). It wasn’t until the “hippy revolution” of the 60’s & 70’s that the democrats became the liberal group that they are today. Even up until the late 90’s one could expect that the “deep south” would vote mostly democratic, altho that has been bleeding away for almost two decades…. Ain’t a PoliSci minor great?

  5. It’s not a party thing, it’s a cultural thing.

    The South/Red State thing started up with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”, and was further concreted by the successful Republican efforts from then and on into the 80s to cast themselves as the party of “traditional values”.

    However, the “Southern Strategy” appears to have backfired, leading to a near-complete takeover of the party by neo-confederate “values” candidates over fiscal and small-government conservatives.

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