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I see folks on here a LOT, say we need liberal ..REAL progressives in places like Florida,
Georgia, North Carolina, etc.   The culture in these more red than blue areas will not and I repeat..will never elect liberal, progressive  leaders as would California, Massachussetts, or New York.  It just will not happen.  

I see people complain and just do not understand the culture down here.  It is backwards compared to our northern and western population and no amount of formal education is going to change that.  Joe Scarborough is a real liberal to most of the natives in these states.  I wish I could really explain it but as a native southern person, I blame the bible belt and the extensive  roots go back as far as the civil war which many are still fighting.

We have had democrats in leadership.  I have heard that said.  We may have had democratic labels on people who held office but let me name a few.   How about that progressive Governor Wallace?   Who remembers Axe handle Lester Maddox?  These folks were Dixiecrats and they no more wanted equal rights than Rick Perry.   In recent times we had Zell Miller..Wow ..what a progressive he was !!!

The last real progressive Georgia had as a governor was Jimmy Carter and he was laughed at and made fun of and hated by most of the country.  He was considered a country bumpkin.  We have had pockets of progressives but they are most definately in the minority.   People like John Lewis of Georgia and Alan Grayson of Florida gets elected by pockets of progressives.  

Jump  below the fold and I will try and explain this idea of why a REAL progressive in ways many describe just won't fly in most southern states,

We were very fortunate to get folks like Sam Nunn, Max Cleland, and folks like this,
This is not huge progressive types.  They were actually considered too liberal for southern states because they did believe in equality for the masses.   They did believe in equal rights and taxing the welathy.   They were both hawks and bible believers which got them the vote.   We idololize JFK and FDR but these folks were really politicians to the bone and knew how to sway the voters but the southern states still did not warm up to JFK.  FDR would be considered a right winger by many on the left.

From the cradle to the grave, wrong as it is, southern folks had rather vote with their Bible marker than in their best interest.  They fear Hell more than homelessness and hunger.   Many natives of southern states have never traveled any further than three counties over for any culture awareness.  The baby boomers in the south grew up with the stories of how the African American really LIKED being servants.  Yes I have heard this in topics of conversation since I could walk.  They liked having their own schools.
They liked being separate but equal... Yes... I heard that BS most of my life from different people or heard silence when these true believers spouted this olff.  I rememeber judgemental people saying things like , " Those Hollywierd people try to make folks forget their roots and religion by pushing God in the toilet with their filth on the screen but rest assured , they were right there buying tickets to Valley of the Dolls and Midnight Cowboy and Scarface.   True.. Every word I am giving you is true.

Come sunday morning the preacher and folks would pound their bible and say things that make Michelle Bachman look tame and push an idealogy right down the throats of the ignorant, not traveled, cultural inept southern folks throats who were too lazy to look up spcripture and accept the fact that the end was in sight and those crazy yankees and California folks were trying to cause them to backslide into Fire and Brimstone,

The people who served in Vietnam were for the most part trying to justify their role in that very wrong war.   The hippies like OPOL or Meteor Blades were jailed as they were considered trouble makers just like MLK and never quite fit in.   Of course they are on the right side of history but not accepted in their home areas.  Big business erupted in large city areas and more money influenced the ignorant via Fox news and the Rush Limbaughs.   We then had  Good ole boys dumber than them or as dumb liked George W and his lying ways of cutting trees and being just a regular guy.  IMO, most of the southern folks are afraid of change as change means having to admit most of their lives has been lived in ignorance and lies.
George Wallace had a time of self examaination of his wrong way thinking and then that came only after being shot and from a wheelchair.

Most schools in the south STILL have corporal punishment.   They still have prayer in school and the electorate HATE the ACLU.   There are progressives in southern states but if they are natives of this area they know what I am saying is the truth.  The democrats in these states for the most part ARE not liberal.  They are moderate and still attend church, do not speak up against racial or income inequality and can be wishy washy regarding war.   This is the south.  This is how I see it.   The natives of southern states are very tribal.  So very many still go to their Aunt Jane's family reunion where they hear of the changes in America from Obamacare to DOMA being the cause of all the world's ills.   They  feel President Obama has brought the country down and it is his fault not their useless obstructionist legislator who is to blame for their joblessness.

A new generation is less strong in the ideaology but still being influenced.  The Left Behind movies and books along with old King Ronnie and his smooth tongue has convinced the southern boomers, generation x, and their dependency on the Boomers by living in their homes during this economic depression (and I won't call it a recession), is reinforcing those beliefs of old ways of hatred.

Guns, God and Glory.  This is the southern mantra,  This is the torch the southern folks believe in,  The president hit that nail on the head in 08 when speaking of this mindset in rural areas of Pa., but the democratic party as a whole has failed to reach out and try to educate the populus in the south, maybe because they know it is futile.  Maybe not.  I have tried to reach people and I am definately in the minority.  I have traveled and have reached out to people stuck in the past but get along better with folks who are the DFH or the Yankees who are hated so by the Rebels in the south.  I am not accepted in the south or even among my own classmates and some family but guess what I am strong enough to not give a ratt's butt but many are not and go along to get along.
Remember Irishwitch's rants?  She was spot on of how uncomfortable and pushy for the most part of the south was treating her.  She was angry and could not wait to leave and never return.  We needed Irish witch's vote for a dem.

The next time some folks start pushing more progressives in the south for governor or leadership roles need to know the area and mindset.  The south has NEVER been liberal and extremely hypocritical.  This I do not see changing until some generations die off.
It may change eventually when the middle class is restored, jobs are available and more teleevangelicals get busted but in the meantime, the rest of the country needs to understand most of we progressives are happy to get a D in our state that many of you just do not understand and call RINO's.  We get it. We just can't change it right now.

 We fight the extreme left as hard as we fight the extreme right because we DO want to eventually get to a progressive state of affairs....The time has not come. The southern strategy fueled by money and racism is coming to northern and western cities and has already made a dent, if the extreme left is not real careful   I am not saying this to start pie throwing.. I am firing off a warning that we can lose good dems in 2014 if the extreme left keeps trying to sway folks to vote very progressive in these backwards states rather than voting for actual people who can win against the crazy...  

If you are a white southern woman.. you are in the majority if your conversation is like this...

http://www.youtube.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipped and recced (27+ / 0-)

    but then contra this point, there's this wonderful (and unforgettable) post by Ta-Nieshi Coates.

    Theodore Bilbo worked to block funding for Howard University, tried to initiate a "Back to Africa" campaign for colonizing black citizens, attempted to segregate the national parks, dismissed multiracial children as "a motley melee of misceginated mongrels," attempted to ban interracial marriage in Washington, D.C., and raged against antilynching legislation that would compel "Southern girls to use the stools and toilets of damn syphilitic women." And he did this as a progressive.

    It is not enough to claim that "liberalism" has, somehow, changed meanings thus allowing us to disown the Mississippi Senator. On the contrary, the Roosevelt administration congratulated Bilbo on his win in 1940 pronouncing him "a real friend of liberal government." When Bilbo himself first ran for Senate  he promised to "raise the same kind of hell as President Roosevelt." When he was up for reelection Bilbo promoted himself to be "100 percent for Roosevelt ... and the New Deal."

    There are portions of the South that have been liberal...very liberal in the past, and there was no distinction drawn between being a liberal and being a racist (or any of the other Triple G things that you cite).
  •  Because Dixie really really really REALLY sux .... (7+ / 0-)

    It is therefore necessary to fight incessantly against

    "THE LEFT"

    We fight the extreme left as hard as we fight the extreme right because we DO want to eventually get to a progressive state of affairs....The time has not come. The southern strategy fueled by money and racism is coming to northern and western cities and has already made a dent, if the extreme left is not real careful  
    I guess I know why Dixie sux ... at least if you're not a White Christian Conservative with a few bucks in the bank -- I mean I've lived there too.  

    But frankly, if you can pass as  "one of them" and you've got a good set of compassion blinders -- hey warm climate, warm people, GOOD TIMES!  

    What I'm not quite sure of is "who and what are the 'extreme left' of the Democratic Party might be ... and just what a "progressive state of affairs" would look like, once it has been trimmed and fitted to pass muster in Dixie.

    But I'm guessing it wouldn't look like "Elizabeth Warren"  but  it might look a good deal like the Indigenous Republicans.

    But as long as a Representative has an (D) in front of the name ... it's a point for Our Team -- we may even cover our spread.

    •  I don't think Vetwife (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, wytcld

      is saying that the left is bad. I think she's reacting to a string of thought that says if we just ran "REAL progressives" in a lot of these states, the electorate would start seeing things our way and we'd win elections.

      Which, for those of us who have lived there, is crazy. It's the mirror image of the Tea Party's fantasy that if they just ran "REAL conservatives" in liberal or moderate states, the electorate would support them en masse.

      •  Yes, DiesIrae is right. (5+ / 0-)

        Vetwife's point is that you can't get these votes, still the majority of voters, by appealing to some imaginary at base progressiveness. I often see people on Kos arguing that "the people" are "really with us" and if we could just explain our policies better then they would vote as progressives. Thats just not true. I'm sorry to say it, but its not true.

        There are people who would support progressive policies if they weren't labled "democratic" or "obamacare" or "feminist" but they won't ever get far enough away from their tribal leaders to be spoken to, to listen to what we have to say.

        This is what is meant by "epistemic closure" which is just a fancy way of saying a tribal social network that is so tightly bound and so defensive it has no room for other ideas, other voices.

        That means that we have to work carefully and with an eye towards the long haul in trying to coax the best out of our political system. Its what Kos has been arguing all the way along with "more and better democrats." First things first: more democrats, even if they are blue dogs in red states. Then you get, slowly, towards better democrats or better democratic discipline across the entire nation.

        But you aren't going to get anywhere by running Bernie Sanders in Georgia.

        •  If it puts (D)s on the scoreboard ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          m00finsan

          LET them be Dixiecrats.

          Or,  "Reagan Democrats"

          Let them be Second Amendment Absolutists or Right to Life Zealots.

          Hell, let them be Corporatists

          Let them be Randists

          Let them be Anydamthing -- except "Liberals", of course.

          Because it's PARTY that matters, not Platform or Philosophy?

          The "Blue Dogs in Red States" strategy has been around a while.  Officially: Caucus first met in 1995.   And before that  "there was Clinton and his crew.   (And before him, Moynihan.)

          When we look at the legislative and policy history since then, what do we see?

          Progressive progress ?

          When we consider  the individual elected  "Blue Dogs in Red States" :  has twenty years shown THEM moving in  slightest degree in the "better Democrats" direction ...

          Or,  due to THEIR input and "electoral necessities,"   has the Party become increasingly apologetic, defensive and platitudinous in the face of  Right Wing certitude ?

          •  You don't seem to grasp something. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DiesIrae, Vetwife

            All politics is local. But some of our politics is also national. At the local level you have to tread carefully and work with what local people want, the way they see things, and offer them stuff that the other party doesn't but in a way they can understand.

            At the national level you just need a quorum of people in order to hold the House and the Senate--and given the dysfunctionality of the Senate you need more than half the Senate. You need a solid 60 to get anything done.

            In order to get to those magic numbers nationally you may have to make compromises to get just a body in the seat with a D after their name.  They can only be as progressive as their constituents in gerrymandered districts let them be.  Some places, thanks to the miracle of incumbency, you may be stuck with someone who is to the right of the voters. Then its incumbent on the voters to vote them out at the primary.

            This is not about your injured feelings or your sentimental assumptions about politics. Its just brutally hard work.

            •  Oh, make it PERSONAL ... Do ! (0+ / 0-)

              You're right ... it's not about MY feelings or MY sentimental assumptions ...

              It's about Blue Dog Democrats yielding ground, step by excruciating step to an increasingly Corporatist Republican agenda ...

              •  Look, people get elected. (0+ / 0-)

                Look, people get elected by local constituencies. If the constituency doesn't like that person they can, you know, vote them out. Just because you don't like a particular politician in a particular district doesn't mean that their voters agree. That is the point the original poster was making. You don't know the local issues, you don't know how local people think about them. Blue Dog or Yellow Dog are just words.  In reality politicians get elected and they are variously awful or good depending on circumstances, complexity of the vote, how bought and paid they are, local issues, timing of votes etc..etc..etc...

                Take Mark Begich of Alaska. I'm pissed off with him, speaking from a national democratic viewpoint, because I think a Democratic SEnator should always vote lockstep with other Democratic Senators and a Democratic President. He voted against the President's pick to be Surgeon General because the NRA made a huge fuss about the guy.  Ok, that puts Mark Begich on my shit list because I really hate the NRA and want to have Obama have his pick as Surgeon General.

                But within the context of Alaska? Begich is a pretty good democratic candidate--for instance he is pushing for higher social security payouts and a higher minimum wage. He's running an Alaskan campaign, focusing on Alaskan issues, to keep his Senate Seat.  I can't argue with that--we need that Seat to stay Democratic. If you think there is a more progressive Democrat in Alaska who could have won the primary then who is that person? Did they run at all? Or is this just hypothetical?

                •  "We need that seat to remain Democratic ... " (0+ / 0-)

                  That's the priority of a good Party Apparatchik ... and the short-term priority at that !

                  It's not about principles. It's not about platform.  It's not about people.  It's about wins and losses in the box score ... "covering the spread" -- and there being enough staff and consultant jobs to go around.

                  But the fact remains:  "Move to the center to win elections"  has had roughly the same time to prove itself as Trickle Down Economics

                  Trickle Down didn't work ... and not for lack of trying.

                  Neither does   "More and better Democrats" .

                   It doesn't elect many (if any)  more ... and "better" is a matter of opinion.  From a "Business" point of view, they're "better" alright ... almost as good (sic) as Republicans on taxes, trade and fiscal policy and not nearly as embarrassing on race, gender, and marriage.

                  Unless the Democratic Party  is satisfied to be  the "Washington Generals" to the Republicans' "Globetrotters" ... it is going to have come up with better than

                  "Needs, must."
                  "Faux de mieux"
                  "You can't blame The President (or the Party) "
                  and
                  "Sit down, shut up, take what you're given and be glad it's not The Strap."

                  •  Who is personalizing things now? (0+ / 0-)

                    "Sit down, shut up, take what you are given and be glad its not The Strap?" Who is personalizing things now? Now you are all but accusing me of not only being a "party apparatchik" but also some kind of sadist looking for a BDSM relationship?

                    I'm just a politically active Democrat, quite a bit to the left of the party, who prefers to win the battles I can win and fight to control a massive, two party dominated, national state.  I'm not interested in people whose "principles" lead them to be completely ineffectual as political activists. Why should I? You do nothing and accomplish nothing and you pretty obviously can't get any candidates you like to even run for office in most of the country.  You are, basically, simply null.  I'm not arguing with you because I think you should "shut up"--anymore than I argue with someone who thinks that their god is on the verge of rising from the dead and fixing everything for us, or that Hale Bopp is coming.  You are irrelevant because you choose to make yourself so.  I'm just arguing with you because I think you are a tool of reaction as much as any Koch hire. Because the line you are spouting is one of despair and that leads normal people to choose not to vote and choose not to engage.  The only danger you pose is that you may convince some other person to give up, disengage, and waste their time looking for a political savior when none is in the offing.

                    The rest of us? Like that famous quote "we are the men we used to marry."  "We are the politicians we need to elect."  While you are spinning your wheels the rest of us will be working for change.

                    •  But .. you're* NOT "effectual"- you're losing ... (0+ / 0-)

                      And you*  keep LOSING.   One step forward, two steps back ...  Since the early 90s, at least.

                      *(Obviously "you" in this case means the faceless mass of helpers and enablers in the Democratic Party who have allied with the New Democrat/Blue Dog  Go-along-to-Get-Along gang.)

                      When you don't lose the Statehouse, or the State Legislature, or the Congressional seat ... you lose sight of the the ISSUES and Principles for which having won any of the above would have been useful.

                      And a lot of that habit of  LOSING comes from the fact that that "Leadership" in the Democratic Party has followed the "There they go, I must hasten to catch up with them, for I am their Leader" model.  

                      That, and the attachment to the  public pretense that everyone in Congress is EQUALLY,  a well-meaning, patriotic  lady or gentleman with the best interests of the Republic at heart -- teabaggists, included.

                      And for that ... you are as much to blame as the Koch Addicts.

                      But on the "personal" note.  

                      As a matter of vulgar curiousity:  Are  you  a candidate or committee chair -- or do you just imagine how great it would be if as a reward for your hard work and right- thinking you were chosen to be one?

                      •  So what is your contribution? (0+ / 0-)
                        •  I will tell you about my LAST campaign ... (0+ / 0-)

                          Understand:  I had been  been a Young Democrat,  chopping wood and carrying water for the Democratic Party on the precinct level since the Hubert Humphrey campaign.

                          And I had long since accepted that "access", advancement and promotion in County political affairs depended far more on "fundraising" than on door-knocking, petition carrying or phone banking -- or even a personal relationship with someone in the Candidate's immediate entourage.

                          Anyway ... my LAST campaign:

                          That was 2006 David (Dave) Mejias vs Peter King in NY's 3rd CD.

                          Locally, King has the reputation of being a redfaced "white ethnic" bully-boy Republican.  His national reputation you probably know as well as I.  Ironically, these days he seems to have become one of the "More Reasonable Repblicans" without changing his views or his manners one little bit.   One thing I can say in his favor:  he  often gives personal replies to constituent snailmails ...

                          His opponent, for whom I was quite willing to chop wood and carry water ... understanding from long experience that local candidates have "their own people" who will get the straw-boss jobs and invitations to the Grownups Table ... well, Dave was a well-liked "Faith and Family Democrat" from the Levittown/Island Trees community -- and his Anti-Castro Immigrant Family biography played well in a Congressional District  that isn't entirely sure how it feels about Latinos, as such.

                          OK ... so there I was knocking on doors and planting law signs for a candidate well to the Right of what I would have preferred, and without the slightest hope of any personal reward or recognition ...

                          BUT ... the "Greater Good" to be served was that this was the first credible candidate the Nassau/Suffolk Democrats had fielded against the long-incumbent and aptly named Mr. King.

                          NOW ... to say that the NY State Democratic Party did not actually SUPPORT Dave Mejias is open to a little discussion.  Certainly no Party dignitaries above the "County" level ever appeared at one of his rallies or press conferences.  Senator Schumer was particularly notable by his absence.

                          AND for HIS part "Dave" ran on his good looks and his biography ... with never a harsh word for Rep King's War Hawk-ery, his IRA Terrorist connections, or his (for the time) hard-Right fiscal policies.

                          Need it be said:  King won in a landslide -- The ONLY Republican to win a House seat in Nassau or Suffolk that year.

                          Do I think "the fix was in" ?  How can anyone imagine it WASN'T ?

                          And that was when I decided to "tend my own garden" ...  contributing small sums to individual (and mostly out-of-State) candidates ...  with occasional dabblings in social-issue movement politics.

                      •  I really don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

                        What makes you think anyone is "losing sight of the big picture?"  I'd say that every advance we've ever made has come after years and years of hard work, small incremental changes, setbacks and pushbacks.  Thats as true for Social Security (which started small and didn't include everyone) as it is for the ACA.  

                        There's more than one way to skin a cat and in a country of 300 million, 50 states, multiple cultural regions, religious heterodoxy, cultural pluralism there had better be a shitload of people all pushing for what they want. There can't be simply one set of rules, values, or goals. And there for damn sure isn't one way of getting towards a better society.

                        As for me I turn out, door knock, work the precincts (both for particular campaigns and as clerk of the elections), I've gone to caucuses locally and served as caucus chair and gone to gubernatorial elections.  I donate nationally and work on national elections doing GOTV.  I'm not crazy about every democratic politician--plenty of them are crooks--but by and large the party is the best vehicle for the interests and principles I hold dear because, sadly, its the only effective vehicle we have.  I come from a long line of radicals and anarchists--my great grandfather was an actual anarchist in the Kropotkin mold, my grandfathers were both new dealers and radicals.  But there is, at this point in time, simply no real party of the left in this country at all. And there isn't going to be.  We either work within the democratic party to push individual candidates left and push leftist public policy priorities, or we do nothing at all but whine and complain about how no one listens to us.  I'm not into whining. I'm into winning.

                        •  And yet the Party still slips ... slowly, surely (0+ / 0-)

                          to the Right ...

                          And you seem to have completely forgotten   (or just discounted) "movement politics",  SNCC, SPU,  ACTUP,   -- probably just "irrelevant political dilettantism" from your point of view ...

                          Perhaps ... "very likely," in fact ... demonstrations and petitions are not as effective as insider's "party politics" .... and it does one to accusations of "croaking" and "not being with the Program" -- not to mention being  "not of the Body" ... and one doesn't get frameable certificates of appreciation, and  auto-signed photographs with candidates as tokens of appreciation.

                          But with one's nose to the Party grindstone,  it IS  easy to lose track of "the big picture" ... that is:  "Platform, Policy and People" ... not to mention (the laughable) moral values" and "political philosophy."

                          So ... we have arrived at a political climate in which the former Goldwater-Girl, DLC/Blue Dog pioneer, Center-Right Hillary Clinton,   will be the standard bearer of what remains of the ("relevent") Left.

                          I'd say the metaphorical Frog has been pretty thoroughly BOILED

        •  I don't get it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AdamSelene

          Hey, I've lived in the mountains of North Carolina where every 2nd neighbor was a Ferguson for miles around. Good people, really, aside from the racism and occasional trouble over moonshine distribution territories. I'm white, Northern, and often felt like I was visiting some other planet, but I got along with my neighbors just fine despite that.

          But this concern with "the left" or not and "progressive" or not or "centrist" or not. Damn it, those words just don't mean much. So I just don't see where this diary is going. Is anyone here forcing "the left" on Southerners? You've got to grow your own politics from the ground up. You need narratives that fit the local myths.

          That might mean in some places that you've got to describe the pact between the Republicans and Satan. Go there then. It's an apt comparison. Don't let Northerners, who don't believe in that mythology, define your acceptable arguments.

      •  This is exactly what I am saying ! thank you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IARXPHD, DiesIrae, knitwithpurpose

        We have to eat an elephant one bite at a time.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:15:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't wear blinders but you hit the (14+ / 0-)

    nail on the head when you described so many of the electorate.  We can push progressive when more liberal minded people migrate to the south but until then, we are stuck in the mud of crazy.   I am pretty stuck here, due to disabilities of husband and no money to move and awareness of how progressive I am.... But the time will come eventually that southern states won't suck .

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:55:49 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'd, excellent diary, vetwife (13+ / 0-)

    Is "hotlisting" the same as bookmarking? that YouTube clip looks pretty funny, but I'm too sick to watch it right now.

    You've really nailed it in this diary, Vetwife. I lived too many years in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma not to recognize the truth of what you've written. Although there are times when I long to live closer to my daughter, I could never live down there again.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:02:59 AM PDT

  •  I recognize the biscuits in the photo, but what's (4+ / 0-)

    that yellow stuff in the bowl, Vetwife?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:05:23 AM PDT

  •  Would Terry Sanford have qualified as a liberal? (8+ / 0-)

    As governor of North Carolina in the early sixties, he not only supported the basic New Deal legacy, but openly cooperated with integration efforts. Of course, he didn't hang around too long as Governor. He did have a second wind later in life and got elected as a Senator from NC in the eighties I believe.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:09:48 AM PDT

  •  That generalization doesn't apply to Florida. (12+ / 0-)

    Florida has, in fact, had some liberal governors: Ruben Askew,
    Bob Graham, Lawton Chiles, to name a few.
      What has shifted the balance in Florida is an influx of reactionary retirees from the North plus a Democratic Party which is moribund at the local level in many places and clannish and exclusionary at the top.
      Florida is, in fact, winnable by Democrats. It would take money and activism, though.

    •  Florida has had some good governors (4+ / 0-)

      and it is the mix of culture that I think makes Florida so
      changeable but IMO Chiles and Graham were not REAL
      hard left.. Look at the racism under these governors but still t say much better than most of the south as far as governors.  The dem party down here is one of the worst I have ever witnessed in Florida.   People really have to go it alone in Florida to try and get dems elected.. Little help from the party..IMO.  State party just sucks.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:26:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Parts of Florida are redder than Abalama... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Tominator

      The Panhandle, the Central Spine, and that does NOT include Orlando, the Space Coast, hard core Cuban land, the Southwestern coastal counties, all deep Red.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:28:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "THE" South of course is not just in the "South".. (14+ / 0-)

    Rather "THE" South exists in many areas that we would never conceive of being Southern.

    Wisconsin.
    Michigan.
    Minnesota.
    Southern and Eastern Indiana.
    Downstate (which includes northwest of Chicago) Illinois.

    And the list goes on.

    So, fortunately for the USA, secession might not be a geographical possibility, that is, not one hunk of the Nation would be able to rebel since the blockheaded Neo-Confederates are all over the place.

    Unfortunately, for the USA, secession might be a possibility regardless of geography, that is, not one hunk of the Nation would be able to rebel since the blockheaded Neo-Confederates are all over the place.

    Yes. The danger from the Neo-Confederates, Racists and Bigots driven by Thumperist desire for their ticket to heaven is near.

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:20:30 AM PDT

  •  I wonder how much impact the large number (12+ / 0-)

    of Southerners serving in the military in WWII and to a lesser extent Korea and Vietnam gave those stationed outside the South an experience of the broader world.

    Nowadays, unless they have to leave for work there's no real external reason for Southerners to ever have to move away and learn about people elsewhere in the US.

    I think one of the great divides in this country is between people who have spent all their time in one small area and those who have lived in various cultures and learned that much of what they thought was the way everyone lived is instead regional.

    •  I think that is true because if all (6+ / 0-)

      you ever hear.. is one point of view ...you don't really know the difference.  College kids move away many times after graduation.   The staying in one spot or refusing to listen to difference of culture is very tribal and most of the problem.  I traveled extensively in the 70's and eighties.
      I attended college, I lived in different places and attended many different churches......All types of churches.   I read.
      I was around all kinds of different cultures than what I was raised around.   My family was also pretty open minded..  at least in comparison to today's standards.  My immediate family.

      Had I stayed in one spot.   Never gotten to visit the Indian reservations and Navajos in Arizona, met the Haitian people in Miami, along with the people of New York, and the many folks I met along the way from Califotnia to Maine, I am not sure where I would be today....  The travels change people to a degree who are open to listening to their way of life,   Reading and developing...
      It is not just that way in the south but unfortunately the south is rebellious regarding change.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:39:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's why my family was different (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Tominator, worldlotus, IARXPHD

      growing up during the great depression and serving the country during ww2/korean war.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:00:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, Florida has take a massive step backward (18+ / 0-)

    from the days of Governor Reuben Askew who pushed for the Sunshine Law, civil rights, and financial disclosure.  Sadly, former Governor Askew died just recently. I was fortunate to meet and talk with Gov. Askew a few years ago and found him incredibly intelligent and still knowledgeable about Florida's issues even though he had been out of politics for many years at that time.

    If we go back further in time, Governor Leroy Collins while not considered a progressive, was a leader in the South to call for an end to segregation.

    He was the first southern governor to speak so frankly in support of the moral necessity of the end of segregation.
    So we have to put liberal in the context of the times and for the times, Gov. Collins was liberal on civil rights issues.

    Among recent Florida Governors, there is Bob Graham who is a personal favorite of my own because he championed the first statewide land use controls and education, and he still is tirelessly working on environmental issues in Florida. Bob Graham is one of the most approachable politicians I ever met. When he served as Governor, he could be seen walking through the downtown nearly every day during lunch and he would stop and talk to anyone who approached him. And yes, he always noted each conversation in one of his famous little notebooks.

    So yes, the South has never been "liberal" by northern standards but many Southern states, such as Florida and North Carolina, are regressing from the progress they made in the past and the citizens of those states are suffering the dire consequences as a result.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:32:30 AM PDT

    •  Which is why I moved here from Ga. (4+ / 0-)

      Good seeing you gulfgal98 !!!!!

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:44:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Met Bob Graham once. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gulfgal98, Vetwife

      Have been impressed for life. I was probably the only Iowan outside of my wife to favor him. A very decent man and a true gentleman.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:31:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A little more about Bob Graham (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheDuckManCometh, Vetwife

        His daughters attended public schools. His youngest daughter was still in a local high school when Graham left the governor's office. She wanted to finish out her high school career at that school, so the Grahams bought a modest townhouse near the school where Mrs. Graham and their daughter lived until she graduated.

        My husband and I attended one of Bob Graham's inaugural balls, not because we were invited, but because they all were open to anyone who wanted to attend.  

        As an aside, most of Bob Graham's notebooks have been donated to the University of Florida. He did an interesting  write up about them explaining why he kept them and what was in them.

        "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

        by gulfgal98 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:21:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well Done (11+ / 0-)

    In his satirical work, "The Devil's Dictionary" Ambrose Bierce, writing around 1900, defined "Negro" as  "The piece de resistance in the American political problem. Representing him by the letter n, the Republicans begin to build their equation thus: "Let n = the white man." This, however, appears to give an unsatisfactory solution."  

    Bierce was writing of liberal Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft which both received Booker T. Washington as a White House visitor.  Their successor, Virginia-born Woodrow Wilson, however, did not, and was said otherwise to be racist.  

    I agree on the whole about the South:  I'm a native Texan from urban Texas (San Antonio and Houston) and my trips to places east but not north were, shall we say, forays into the past.  My service at Fort Polk, Louisiana, was surreal.  Local talk was that a movie theatre in nearby DeRidder was burned down because it had demons in it.  If anyone wants to see it, Drew Friedman's satirical cartoon take on "The Andy Griffith Show" in which Andy, Barney, Gomer, and Aunt Bee lynch a Black man passing through Mayberry, is available online somewhere, and it's more representative of what the South was - and parts still are - than the original (in his twilight years, North Carolina native Griffith was reviled by homefolks for supporting President Obama and Obamacare - in his hometown Mount Airy where Griffith was once the high school drama teacher, there's a museum devoted to both Griffith and the Siamese Twins Chang and Eng,  who lived there - typical of Southern weirdness, isn't it? - and we visited there while on the way to the DNC in Charlotte in 2012.  It doesn't mention Griffith's politics at all.)

    You're onto a lot of the truths about the South.  As Jimmy Buffett says, "There's a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning," and religion and sin are never far apart.  

    Incidentially, Bilbo Baggins of "The Hobbit" was named after Theodore Bilbo, who was a short, bespectacled man who gave stemwinding speeches (He once described an opponent as having been "conceived in a ** graveyard at midnight, suckled by a sow, and educated by a fool.").  Just sayin'.  

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:48:27 AM PDT

  •  Interesting argument. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    US Blues, TomP, Vetwife, IARXPHD

    Virginia and Florida voted Democratic in the last two Presidential elections.  Have they relinquished their Southern identity in your eyes?  And what gives you the idea that Jimmy Carter was a progressive?  He has evolved towards that position since he left office, but he was considerably to the right of LBJ while President.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:06:50 AM PDT

    •  He was to the right of LBJ (6+ / 0-)

      but he was lightyears ahead of most progressives in energy and climate change.   He was downright liberal to most of the people who voted for him in the 70's in Ga.
      LBJ was very hated in Georgia over the civil rights act in and.  1964 was a turbulent year for the south and civil rights.  
      Most veterans upon return did not care for LBJ and Carter seemed like a peaceful sort so he won in the 70's.
      I said he was more progressive than Miller and Carl Sanders and others.  
      Florida and  Virginia did vote Obama in 2012 but as far as Florida it was a very hard push as we had little help from the State party.   We also have a strong tea party down here now  and more violence with SYG than I have seen in a long time,   The state of jobs and homelessness is not getting blame where it should.  

      Many have gone out of state to work.. Fracking and the rhetoric has been building up on the right along with Koch money... I say Florida is gonna be tough even with that idiot Scott because of the lack of support from the dem state party and the hard left hating Crist .

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:23:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I guess Florida was hard (8+ / 0-)

        I volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2012 and all we did was call Florida all the time to GOTV.  There was no point calling our own state (Texas).

        And Carter's positions on energy and climate change have become the gold standard for progressives throughout the world.  Good point.

        The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

        by amyzex on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:26:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More progressive than Carl Sanders? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scyellowdogdem, worldlotus

        I'm not as up on my history as I could be, but my understanding is that Carter beat Sanders for governor, in part, by race baiting Sanders.  Sanders is described by the New Georgia Encyclopedia as Georgia's first progressive governor, even!

        I have to admit my soft spot for Sanders comes largely from a plaque of his on the wall at the University of Georgia School of Law.  Quoting Sanders:

        The people of Georgia want and deserve nothing but the best. The University of Georgia School of Law is, therefore, to be one of such excellence that no citizen of Georgia need ever leave the state because a superior legal education is afforded elsewhere.
        Heck, one more quote from the Encyclopedia on Sanders:
        Under his leadership, the state saw a vast increase in the number of public schools built and teachers hired . . .  Funding for higher education in the state dramatically increased as well. College and university faculty received substantial raises, and more funds were appropriated for campus construction projects than the university system had received in more than thirty years.  Sanders pushed equally hard to modernize state government through streamlining its operation and structure and to end the corruption that had tainted several areas of government in previous administrations.
        I'd say the South is actually far more progressive than it is given credit for, and its depiction as an eternal conservative bastion is actually harmful revisionist history. Don't forget where the Populist Party was born.
        •  Carl Sanders was what the south (0+ / 0-)

          in the sixities liked... What was there not to like?
          He was white, straight, a bomber pilot from WWII, was born in Augusta, a charter member of the Masons and the Moose Club.   He encouraged education but I did not see him stand up to racism. I would really need to know more about Sanders to honestly speak of his political persuasions as the Dixiecrats at that time held majorities in both houses.

            He did however sign my first drivers license.  

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:05:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You nailed it Vetwife... (17+ / 0-)

    I went from small town GA to small town NC- then on to the Promised Land of California.

    It's extremely tribal.  People have lived in that one itty bitty small town their entire lives.  Their daddy lived there, their granddaddy lived there, their great-great-great granddaddy lived there.  That town is their entire world, they know nothing else.  What's worse, they don't want to know anything else. The world is a big, scary place to them, full of people who will try to do them harm, or change them in some way.  I know people who have never traveled more than 3 hours away from their homes their entire lives, they have never even been out of the state.  

    It's almost impossible to explain to people who have never lived there.  It is an entirely different culture.

    So I absolutely agree with you, take what you can get in The South.  As long as it has a (D) beside it's name, it's already a victory.  Remember, these are people who think Palin is a genius.  Seriously, they think Sarah Palin is one of the smartest people they see on TV.  They love Bachmann and Cruz, and these people vote.

    It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

    by dawgflyer13 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 08:56:03 AM PDT

    •  Sigh. It's always good to hear things like this, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LibrErica, kkkkate, TomP, mattc129, Vetwife

      because it's too hard to believe otherwise. I guess you could say it's really inconceivable that there are people like that. I'll never understand it, but at least I'll know they exist.

      •  I've lived in NC & VA all my life (6+ / 0-)

        and I think this diary exaggerates the issue somewhat.

        I think it does describe the small towns and the rural areas fairly accurately.

        But larger cities - not so much. And I'm saying 75,000+ population qualifies as a bigger city. If you want to call large cities where most people live a "pocket"... okay, but I think you're misrepresenting at least certain southern states.

        Take a look at the 2012 election map by county of NC.
        It looks mostly red, but the blue areas are all the main population centers. (And actually, some of those blue counties are rural - it's just that pretty much all of the red ones are rural.)

        Maybe Georgia is different - fair enough.

        In spite of the fact that the tea party took over NC in 2010 and gerrymandered the hell out of us, I don't appreciate being lumped in with places that are different. There are plenty of liberals in NC. Take Pricey Harrison. She is definitely progressive.

        And in 2003 during the Dean campaign, NC was a hotbed of activity.

        So I just don't buy it - not for the entire south.

        Georgia? Maybe so.
        Alabama? I won't argue.
        Mississippi? It wouldn't surprise me.

        But North Carolina? Hale no.
        We're coming back BLUE baby!!!!

        Let's get to work.

        The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. -Alice Walker

        by LibrErica on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:05:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I gotta disagree... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patango, Vetwife, worldlotus, wytcld

          I lived in Shelby, Cornelius and Charlotte...

          Maybe Raleigh/Durham is different, but Charlotte? Not so much...  You've got two major universities up that way as well, and that demographic tends to be more left leaning anyway.  So, I would say that maybe it's not the residents as much as the transplants. (I am excluding UNCC here- but I don't count it as a "major" university.)

          I do agree that larger cities (I designate a city as a place with more than 100,000 people) tend to be more left leaning, but I wouldn't characterize it as progressive or liberal by any stretch of the imagination. Most of those left leaning people tend to be more conservative when it comes to money (Social Security, Unions, minimum wage, SNAP, etc) and more "meh" on the social ones - it's not that they support it, it's that they really don't care one way or another.

          Again, that doesn't apply to everyone - it's just far more common.  

          Maybe I am more sensitive to it, I don't know.  I know that my partner and I felt perfectly at home and more welcomed in Asheville than we ever did in Charlotte. You still get the stares, the looks and, every now and then, the refusal to seat you (It happened to us on more than one occasion). I never had that happen in Atlanta or Athens, and certainly not in California (and I live in Orange County, one of the more reliably "red" counties here...)

          IMHO, that's why there are more "Blue Dog" Dems from The South than anywhere else.

          It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

          by dawgflyer13 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:39:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Georgia almost went for Obama, both times... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus, wytcld, Chitown Kev

          Without any major campaigning by Obama in the state.

          Sure, Georgia's a real Republican state.  As long as you don't count the city of Atlanta and increasingly its suburbs (Dekalb County, Clayton County, even Gwinnett! county).  Or Augusta.  Or Albany. Or Savannah.  Or Athens.  Or large swaths of middle Georgia.  

      •  yes dear , they do exist and unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

        pack heat and shoot a lot.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 05:01:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some of it isn't even out of fear (12+ / 0-)

      Traveling costs money.  In hard up rural areas, that kind of money isn't easily had.  

      Since they bought a double wide thirty years ago, or their daddy built their house with his own two hands, and plopped it on the land they inherited from great great grandpa, they have no mortgage, but the other bills of life and insurance still add up.  

      If you're making minimum wage at the Waffle House because that's the only game in town, you can't set aside anything for a pleasure trip to Disneyworld or travel to a friend's wedding across the country.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sarah Palin the the archtypical Florida (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      middle aged opinionated no mind home schooling fool.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:34:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and Rick Perry was once a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate, Vetwife

    Democrat, too.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:20:25 AM PDT

  •  and, as usual (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    These sweeping generalizations about the South ignore New Orleans and its rich history. Do a little research on Creole culture, as a start.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:51:11 AM PDT

    •  New Orleans is it's own reality (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, IARXPHD, Vetwife

      Nobody would ever insult that fine town by lumping it into the South.

      "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

      by US Blues on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:05:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been to NO and it is a culture into (0+ / 0-)

        itself... Wanna hear something funny?   Listen to the Soutnern Baptist preachers right before Mardi Gras?  I used to think naked people danced in the street passing out devil demon dust on the people.. LOL... No ...I am speaking of mostly rural areas which tend to elect these people into power.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:30:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Creole culture and the fine cuisine (0+ / 0-)

      is wonderful.  Remember cheney did not want to rebuild after Katrina.  I heard some dummies say the same thing but I love New Orleans.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:59:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But it wasn't that long ago (11+ / 0-)

    That areas of the South were heavily unionized in the coal mines, the steel mills, a significant fraction of the textile mills, the docks, the refineries and paper mills, and the construction trades in the larger cities, among other sectors.

    At the same time in the 1950s and 60s that some folks were battling for racial equality, the business barons were battling to roll back the unions in the South.

    The weakened unions lacked the power to re-create a racially mixed Democratic party in the South after the exodus of the racists to the  Republicans.

    If we could rebuild the unions in the South, we can then rebuild the Democrats.  

    However the southern Democrat top dogs  will never let us rebuild the unions.  The Blanche Lincolns and Sam Nunns will fight the unions as hard as the Koch brothers.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:00:09 AM PDT

    •  Apparently, we should just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, m00finsan

      give up on large regions of the US.  And attack the liberals in those regions.

      This diary is a joke.  Howard Dean talked about how the dems needed to go after every vote since there are so many 'southerners' who benefit from liberal programs and who take it in the shorts because of neo-liberal policies.

      Unfortunately, dems refuse to provide leadership, and simply throw up their hands like the diarist does.

      Conservatives aren't the vegetables that the diarist makes them out to be.

      We can't win if we don't even bother to try.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmmm... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, DiesIrae, worldlotus

        a black man won Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida in 2008, and came within striking distance in Georgia.

        (None of which surprised me but indiana did...at least in 2008).

        Noone is talking about giving up an ceding this territory. But there is a lot to overcome in the South that is cultural.

      •  I did not THROW up my hands but I know (6+ / 0-)

        how to pick my battles.  I know my heritage and know there are some areas of the country a Sam Nunn may be the very best one can hope for because People will not come out and vote for someone that they think is part of the antichrist.  

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:33:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If this isn't throwing in the towel, I don't know (0+ / 0-)

          what is.

          Jump  below the fold and I will try and explain this idea of why a REAL progressive in ways many describe just won't fly in most southern states,

          We just can't change it right now.

          We fight the extreme left as hard as we fight the extreme right because we DO want to eventually get to a progressive state of affairs....The time has not come.

           I am firing off a warning that we can lose good dems in 2014 if the extreme left keeps trying to sway folks to vote very progressive in these backwards states rather than voting for actual people who can win against the crazy...

          Sorry, I just don't buy the 'impossibility' angle, and I'm sick of seeing it blasted out by dems.  You actually want to wait until generations die off???

          And you fight the 'extreme left' as hard as you do the right?  Well, I suppose that could be part of the reason that we have so much difficulty in getting decent dems in office.  Thanks so much for your efforts.  I'm glad we have  people working so hard in our party against us instead of concentrating on the repubs.  

          Not to worry, though.  I've always suspected the right wing of the party of being repubs in disguise, working for the repubs while pretending to be dems.  It's really the only good explanation for dems' repeated political failures despite the popularity of our positions.

          And Max Cleland was such a fighter - NOT - that he couldn't even hold on to his seat.

           

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:05:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I AM NOT the right wing of the party (0+ / 0-)

            and you  basically are
             saying that I am is ridiculous.  I am not a  third party cheerleader especially in the deepest red areas of the south.  We are happy to get a moderate dem.
            Max Cleland could not hold his heat due to swiftboating.
            Did YOU put out a 2004 CD to all of Ga and the nation to help Kerry and the damnation of swiftboating of our candidates?  Did you go on the stump with some of these people and have signs up in red areas to have them stomped in the ground?  Did you receive Death threats from crazies due to radio appearances by going on the air with your REAL name from Guy James to Radio Left in Texas during that time?  Well I did  !!!!!!!
            Did you go on CNBC recently to call out status quo treatment on a bipartisian level of our veterans?   Did you raise money for the Occupy movement?  Well I did.
            How dare you.  Do you think I am just observing and not  doing a thing to make progressive politics a reality.   But see, I do deal in reality and if a moderate dem is reality in some of these states then I am pretty happy.  It beats tea baggery crazy while spinning my wheels hoping for a very left leaning person who could not even win a primary except in a few areas of the voting public.   Like I said..
            YOU don't know me.. Others on here do.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:18:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist isn't suggesting we give up. (6+ / 0-)

        It's just that you can't come in guns-a-blazing screaming for Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders and expect to convince people in the South to follow you. In my experience (grew up in the border South), people are willing to listen to liberal ideas, but they have to be well-framed and introduced bit by bit. Empathy is the key value here - you can get people to agree with you on a particular issue if they see why it helps people.

      •  ME? throw up my hands? good Lord (0+ / 0-)

        you surely do not know me !!!!

        Conservatives aren't the vegetables that the diarist makes them out to be.
        Really?  A vegetable would be kinder that what I generally call them.   I just said strong left of center does not go well in southern states.  I have experienced conservative hatred for the label liberal so now I just say I am a socialist. If  many are gonna hate me for my political beliefs then let the truth of my beliefs show but I know Bernie could not win the south.   So I would get as close as I could

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 06:30:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand the South at all. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, mattc129, Vetwife

    The few times I've visited, I've felt like I was in a foreign country.  The vegetation, the climate, and the politics are all strange to me.  

    In college I remember reading "The Mind of the South" and that's as close as I have ever come to understanding that region.

    Your diary draws a lot of conclusions, most of which are negative, and I wonder about that.  But I am not at all in a position to offer a different view.  I just don't "get" the South.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:01:24 AM PDT

    •  The vegetation up north bothered me! (13+ / 0-)

      When I went to Michigan, I had a bit of a Mitt Romney moment - "The trees are the wrong color."

      I grew up in the thick pine forests of the Piedmont, and still live just on the northern edge of them.  What isn't a pine tree is some kind of deciduous hardwood, usually with lush kelly green foliage.

      I freaked out a bit when I saw so many trees around Lansing were more of a sage color.

      Then when I was in New Jersey, I was surprised there were any trees at all.  I'd kind of gotten the impression, someplace along the way, that everything in the NE was like one giant parking lot.  

      The south is all about being comfortable.  Familiarity is comfortable.  Family and home are comfortable.   Assuming everyone agrees with you (and most of them do) is comfortable.   Soul food is comfort food.  And since the invention of AC, the indoors is comfortable.

      Things that are new and unfamiliar are not exciting, they are uncomfortable.  And that's why Southerners don't like them.

      It's also why blindsiding them with the truth fails.  You need to approach any new subject or idea cautiously, and tie it into their existing world view if possible.  

      Despite this, the default "face" that a Southerner shows to the world is one of bland politeness, because it shows you were raised right if you act respectful to strangers.  Somehow that gets beaten right out of people in authority (e.g. cops) or worse, twisted into a sort of genial sociopathy as exhibited by our politicians.   But your average, every day Southern will be nice - as long as they are comfortable.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:22:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is reality for most rural areas of the south (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tominator

      and yes that is somewhat negative.  There are positive things but it includes Vacation Bible School, crafts considered as art and never try to discuss Evolution...even in so called liberal areas.  Let me explain something.. all church familes have THE talk with kids before going to school to learn about Darwin.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:36:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Evolution indeed. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, Radiowalla, Tom Anderson

        As a budding biologist wannabe in a 1970s small town Mississippi high school, I asked my big sister's fiance if he "believed in evolution" (he majored in biology at Ole Miss). "Of course," he replied. I was so shocked that the conversation ended right there. All it took was one enlightened mind to enter the family to propel me beyond the "comfort zone" so eloquently described elsewhere in this thread. It was the right time and the right person in the right place. Alas, so many children in the South indeed get THE talk Vetwife describes; I did, too. But still...there are reasonable creatures in the South, some of them human beings. Don't be so quick to give up or you risk being "left behind" ;o)

        •  Ahhh so you do know about the Talk, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla, Tominator

          I am more determined than ever to GOTV... the whole discussion was to enlighten the reader about southern folks and there are some extremely good people who are southern but they are very confused and so many frustrated blaming everything on the wrong party.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:57:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

            for getting word out about Southerners, especially we lefties who often feel surrounded by those that vote for the idiots who run our red states. I get that it is easy for folks in other parts of the country/planet to stereotype us, and it would be easy for me to just give up trying to explain that the South has plenty of progressives, too. Unfortunately, there is not enough critical mass to push the spectrum beyond the red wavelength---yet. There are way more facets of the South besides the bible-thumpin' mouth-breathers who vote for teabaggers. Keep up the good work!

  •  If we can get a 'D' Governor and a 'D' Senator (8+ / 0-)

    from GA, I will be happy.  The candidates we have that can win state-wide are not liberal, but every small step we can take is better than what we have.

    Yes, we are surrounded by TeaPubs and worse, but this is where my family is.  I can't move away and see them once a year, so I stay and try to make it better.

    Everyone in the South is not a small-town, small-minded, red-neck racist, bigot, etc.  Instead of slamming us, maybe you could offer words of encouragement to the Liberals / Progressives who are here trying to make a difference.  (This is not for the diarist, but for commenters here and in other diaries).

    “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

    by YellowDogInGA on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:01:58 AM PDT

  •  We don't need to win the south (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kck, Chitown Kev, TomP, Patango, Matt Z, Vetwife

    we need to win the midwest, along with the north and west which we already own.
      Let Texas, Alabama and Tennessee be as they are.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

  •  This is a strawman argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate, Vetwife, m00finsan

    No one objects to the fact that white southerners (particularly white male southerners) tend to be very, very culturally conservative. However, running Wall Street-friendly candidates, as the Third Way people seem to suggest is not going to win these voters over, either. In terms of national politics, Democrats can and have won national elections with only a handful of southern states, mostly with a combination of whites from elsewhere in the country, Latinos, and a strong African-American vote. While I think a more populist economic approach will help Democrats across the country, deliberately moving right on various issues isn't going to magically win over socially conservative white voters.

    •  Populist economics (0+ / 0-)

      Can you elaborate on that approach?

      White people in the South are indeed conservative, but many are also now unemployed, uninsured and often hungry. They are loathe to admit that their votes of the past have contributed greatly to their current situations, but they are slowly waking up. Economics is one key to their enlightenment. They can now see that the republicans they support are beholden to their Corporate Masters and not them. Alas, they think the same---even worse---of democrats. And to some degree they have a point.

      Economic populism still has a chance in the South, but it's got to be convincing.

  •  Hey! Don't forget the Populist movement (9+ / 0-)

    had its roots in the South! The Farmers' Alliances began in 1875 in Lampasas County, Texas, and once they hired professional lecturers (people paid to do political organizing through the teaching of populist economics based on Greenbacksim) in the 1880s, spread rapidly through the south and midwest, and by the 1890s had developed into the only organized political party to ever seriously challenge the hierarchically organized financial and monetary system and call for real a truly democratic structure of the nation's banking and credit systems - the People's Party. By far the best history of the Farmers' Alliances and their development into the Populist movement was the late Lawrence Goodwyn's 1978 book, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America.

    Here is a link to the book's Introduction, just to give you a taste of this masterpiece of political economy. This is without doubt the most important book for anyone to read, as it combines an understandable critique of monetary and financial matters, with a political history of what is required to build a mass political movement willing and able to impose democratic control on monetary and financial matters.

    After the Civil War, many disaffected and deeply indebted farmers left the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, and migrated to Texas and Kansas and other western states. They were attempting to escape the debt peonage of the crop lien system (again, Goodwyn's book provides a masterful explanation of all this). But, these migrant found that the shackles of the crop lien system followed them, wherever they went. They then attempted to establish farmers cooperatives, to break the stranglehold of bankers, merchants, and speculators had on the credit, merchandise, and machinery farmers needed. There were some successes, such as breaking the jute trust in the late 1880s. But, overall, the active opposition of merchants, and especially bankers - both local, and the big money center banks in the East - was successful, and forced the Farmers Alliances to 1) adopt the Greenback critique of American capitalism 2) develop policy alternatives that would replace the existing system of banking and finance operated only for private gain, with a system that would operate democratically for the general welfare, 3) begin a conscience effort to educate farmers and others in political economy as a means of organizing a political movement, and 4) begin seeking alliances with urban laborers and industrial workers.

    By the 1890s, the Populist movement created by the Farmers Alliances were seriously challenging the rule of Democrats in the South who relied on race baiting to maintain electoral control. While not entirely free of racism, the Populist movement must be recognized for the strong efforts many of its leaders made to break through the race barrier and establish a united front against ruling political and economic elites at the local and national levels. The level and vileness of the invective directed against the Populists by many of the leading newspapers and magazines in the country, is a good indication of just how threatened ruling elites felt.

    Among the Populist leaders from the south:
    Charles Macune, of Texas
    Leonidas Polk of North Carolina
    William Peffer of Kansas
    Tom Watson of Georgia
    Marion Butler of North Carolina
    Daniel Lindsay Russell of North Carolina

    One cautionary note - much of the material available on the web about the Farmers Alliances, the People's Party, and the Populist movement is inaccurate or misinformed (largely attributable to not understanding political economy, and/or the Greenback critique) or is skewed by reliance on the lies, smears, and character assassinations that opponents filled the newspapers and magazines with in the 1870s to 1890s. Goodwyn included at the end of his book "A Critical Essay on Authorities" that is extremely useful in warning about the shortcomings of many of the supposed scholarly treatments of Populism.

    A great sample of Populist thinking was made available by Marion Knox Barthelme of Rice University, in Women in the Texas Populist movement: Their letters to the "Southern Mercury", available as a PDF here, and now available as printed book from Texas A&M University Press here.

    I suspect, but have not researched this, nor seen mention of it elsewhere, that the echoes of the Populists can be seen in such political anomalies in the South as Texas Democrats in the 1960s such as Ralph Yarborough, Henry Gonzalez, and Wright Patman.

    In the concluding chapter of his book, Goodwyn makes some very interesting observations and arguments that Populism, after being destroyed by its fusion with the presidential campaign of Bryan in the 1896 election, which forced the Populists to abandon their Greenback principles, the movement was replaced by the progressive movement, then by liberalism:

    Restructuring of American banking was not something about which New Dealers or New Frontiersmen could think with sustained attention. The received culture has proved to be so powerful that substantive ideas about a democratic system of money and credit have become culturally inadmissible. Such ideas (the sub-treasury concept of a treasury-based democratic bank will do adequately as an example) are, in the judgment of prevailing cultural authority, "unsound."
    An idea I have been cogitating is that liberalism was revived and remolded in the early 20th century as an alternative to Populism that did not threaten the existing power and privilege of the elites in the banking and financial systems, and especially did not threaten their control of the monetary system. Noe-liberalism, then, is a deliberate and conscience project - as practiced by Hayek, von Mises, Popper, Friedman and their Mont Pelerin Society - to destroy any resurgence of Populism, which was plainly manifest in many aspects of Democratic Party rule from Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal to John Kennedy, which of course was a response to the First Great Depression. I believe a similar revival of Populism - or, to rephrase, a conscience critique of and attack on the financial and banking systems - is now growing, in response to the financial crash of 2007-2008 and what I think should be called Second Great Depression. Obama has clearly missed his opportunity to make a historic mark as deep and as broad as Franklin Roosevelt did, despite being given strikingly similar circumstances, especially in the ecomomy.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:41:18 AM PDT

  •  I'm with you VW, I lived in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, ssgbryan, Vetwife, worldlotus

    TX, OK, FL and GA for 30 years.  My beliefs were out of step with most of the people I met there, so I tended to keep my mouth shut.  It was a real surprise moving to MN and especially WA, where the folks I've met are much more progressive.

    One of my college roommates spent a summer in the oil patch out in west Texas.  They were in a dry county, so everyone had to go to New Mexico to get adult beverages.  His read was that they all spent Saturday night sowing their wild oats and spent Sunday praying for crop failure.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:41:21 AM PDT

    •  LOL...yep sound about right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd

      Dry counties...forgot about them and Blue Laws on Sunday.
      Legal liquor and beer anyway.. Moonshine was more accessible up in the northern areas of Ga and Tennessee.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:44:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember when beer came to Waco (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        Home of Baylor Baptist University.  You could only buy it out of the cooler in a brown paper bag.....

        In Texas, every time horse race betting came up for a vote, all the racing interests in Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico would hire some preacher to be the front man for their organization to preach about the evils of gambling.  Worked nearly every time.  Same in Oklahoma, every time liquor by the drink came up the Wholesale liquor dealers association would hire some preacher to rail about the evils of demon rum.  Anything to protect their monopoly.  As it was Oklahoma continued Prohibition until 1954

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:22:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  To the Bible taggers... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, reginahny, Vetwife, worldlotus

    Abortion has become the defining gateway issue that keeps Democrats from even being considered. I had a discussion with a church leader who agreed with Democrats on every single issue, yet said he would never vote for one as long as the "life issue" was in play. Republican leaders who made abortion into THE wedge issue in the South knew what they were doing. Gay marriage is quickly becoming a similar issue with this subset of the Southern "Evangelical" bloc.

    No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

    by newinfluence on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:42:40 AM PDT

  •  Bravo! RT X 1,000 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Patango, IARXPHD, Vetwife

    I've been saying that on this site for years, but people don't want to believe it. They point to pockets of liberalness, or a few pols, or instances of liberalism. Yes, they still pray in schools and at school functions. Yes, they hate minorities and sincerely believe that minorities are inferior. They are haters, pure and simple. The Dem Party should NOT waste many resources on The Deep South....just outvote them, marginalize them, and make them irrelevant. The Deep South is not going to change. Period.

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:56:21 AM PDT

  •  the South may not go blue any time soon... (10+ / 0-)

    ...but it gets a deeper purple every year.  It'd be a bad idea to give up on it.

    Things do change generationally.  And, the new generation of Southerners is much more liberal than the old.  I live in Mississippi, always have, so I see it.  In the same state that killed Emmett Till for (supposedly) whistling at a white woman, I now see interracial couples walking around and no one says a thing about it.  Oh, I'm sure some of the older ones and backwards younger ones may grumble to themselves, but they know it's going to be frowned upon if they do it in public.  The place I work has a lot of openly-gay people working here and it's a non-issue.  Things I wouldn't have believed possible just 20 years ago are now commonplace... and it's great.

    The old guard are dying off, and the few young ones who pick it up aren't likely to get far.   Things are changing.  Never fast enough for any of us, but, it's an inconvenient world.

    The main thing that's maintaining the GOP's hold on the South is religion.  Unfortunately, that's not likely to go away any time soon... but I do know a lot more openly-atheist people down here than I used to.  Back when I was in high school I got knives pulled on me for not going to church.  Nowdays, that's not happening nearly as much.  The Republicans won the South for themselves by tying their politics with religion... but, that's starting to come home to roost now because they're destroying each other -- Republican values do not mesh at all with Christ's teachings, so the religion has been poisoned and is less appealing.  And politically the GOP is so dependent upon the religious that their mass appeal is shrinking because they have to appease extremist lunatics, which scares may other people away from the Republican party.   It's a deal that was good for them in the short term... but the short term's over and now it's a mess that's going to eventually destroy them.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:00:06 AM PDT

  •  People forget that the south includes southern (5+ / 0-)

    cities.

    All we have to do to win the south is to talk about the economics of Jesus Christ. About how we think that we as a nation should follow Jesus' example.

    The Christian Left can help us win, we just have to fight for it, couch it in the right language, and work hard on making this stuff happen.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:15:50 AM PDT

    •  The New Testament is a gold mine (7+ / 0-)

      For liberal politicians, if they'd just bother to use it.

      Progressive taxation?  Jesus understood and approved of the concept - the rich who seemingly gave the Temple so much didn't impress Jesus as much as the poor woman who gave everything they had. Jesus understood that absolute numbers aren't the most important thing.

      Medicare and Medicaid?  Most of the ministry of Christ was spent serving the sick.

      Taking care of the poor? When I was sick, you cared for me, when I was in jail, you visited me.  

      Liberal empathy vs. conservative selfishness?  The Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.

      •  It really is a gold mine !!! catch is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey

        if they would use it.. Jimmy Carter did use it.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:09:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was a former governor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tominator, OllieGarkey

        of Alabama in the last 20 years (A republican? Riley?) who used the NT as justification for maintaining some portions of the safety net

        •  Well, I'll be. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chitown Kev, OllieGarkey

          You're right.

          “I hope we never get to the point that we put ourselves in Jesus' place. But when I read the New Testament basically, we get three mandates: to love God, to love each other, and to take care of the least among us. And I think this is at least a step in the right direction.”
          ―Bob Riley

          Another decent reference he made:

          “According to our Christian ethics, we're supposed to love God, love each other and help take care of the poor. It is immoral to charge somebody making $5,000 an income tax.”
          ―Bob Riley (R)

          Bob Riley was not the worst governor of Alabama. I really had no problem with him as much as I did with so many other republican governors, and many liberals in Alabama agree. He almost made it through without a scratch, but at the end of his two terms he was busted for awarding no-bid contracts AFTER he signed bills prohibiting that practice. I think he's a lobbyist now. Oh well. Once a republican...

    •  Southern cities are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey

      more progressive than the areas that surround them. This is true everywhere. If you look at the Midwest as an example, what separates them from the South politically is that they are demographically dominated by major urban areas. As the South continues to urbanize, I predict that it will start to look more like the Midwest, i.e. Georgia will start to look like Illinois.

  •  Vetwife, how about Generations X and Y? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    Are they too still like that?

    I've met a lot of white Southerners my age and younger, usually in professional settings.... they didn't seem to be made of the same mold as the older generation you are describing.

    My anecdotal impression was that they are likely to hang on to hawkish views on foreign policy and "business-friendly" views on the economy - but (generally speaking) do not follow the racism of the pre-Civil-Rights era and are far more open to civil-liberties issues like gay rights, and to social-justice related arguments (even if they generally think "the economy" trumps that).

    Is that what you are seeing? Are young Southern whites around you different from their parents and grandparents in their world view?

    Thanks!

    •  That is a good question. Generation X (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Assaf

      from my observation is a mixed bag and tend to be more liberterrian than republican from what I have seen.  They have been hit hard from economics and for those who have not served have an illusion of war maybe from video games like Call of Duty but they are not that religious  They are in the Rand Paul column from what I have noticed....   This is not to broadstroke but to answer the question....   Generation Y is from what I have seen not religious at all.
      They party hard.  They tend to be very passionate or very apathetic. They are very open to gays as long as Granny is not listening..   They are more tolerant than the boomers except for the churchy crowd.  The racism?   I have seen some very racist perspectives in generation X and not so much in Y.  Each generation gets a little better IMO.

      In the south, meth and Roxy's rule for generation Y but generation X not as much... I am speaking from an observation of just the kids I have observed.  The eighties brought in some strange politics and some of the kids have not blamed Reagan.  

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:08:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thx, that's really illuminating. R U saying drug.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        ...problems are rampant in Gen Y southerners more than in the older generations? That's never a good sign... a generation addicted is a generation wasted, no matter how good their hearts might be.

        I think anyone who's not a religious nut, doesn't have hard-baked racism and is not a wobegone addict, we can at least converse with, right? Wouldn't it be better, with these folks, to be out in our true colors, presenting a coherent progressive-liberal message rather than a half-hearted triangulating one?

        I feel like even in conservative circles, even in the South, most those not suffering from the above, will openly acknowledge that the Bush approach (or if you will the Romney-Ryan approach) is failed. Maybe they don't like the Dem approach - but maybe they don't really know what it is! Not worth a shot?

        Thanks again for answering!

  •  Yay. More south bashing. (5+ / 0-)

    I left another site because they felt more high and mighty simply because of where they lived, and I see that it bleeds over to here as well.

    I could see your oversimplification of the issue relating to the Alabama's and Mississippi's of the land, but what no one ever thinks of is who actually lives here.

    I am in the Triangle in NC, and my neighbors, yes, are mostly republicans. But guess what? The 3 native NCers in my neighborhood are all liberals. So who are the Tea Partiers here? They are the "carpetbaggers" moving down here from NY, Ohio, NJ, Massachusetts.
    That's who lives in Cary, north Raleigh, Apex, Holly Springs.

    So it is borderline criminal to blame a deepening of red on the natives, when we are being overrun by those who move here from these so called "bastions of liberalness."

    There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

    by cbabob on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:05:30 PM PDT

    •  This is insight from my working in the south (4+ / 0-)

      living in the south and GOTV in the south and not bashing,
      You have to know much of the rural areas as much of the south is rural to understand the voters.  I just wanted to report what I have lived and observed.   I STILL live in the south so I do not see it as bashing.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You do know that most of NY is also rural, right? (0+ / 0-)

        And that in those rural areas, they are much more red than the urban areas? The exurbs and outward are more Republican, both here and there.

        There is no difference between NC and NY in this regard, except there are more people living in NY.

        There is no "path" to choose. The path is what is behind you that led you to today. What lies in front of you is not a fork in the road - a choice of paths to take, but rather an empty field for you to blaze your own direction.

        by cbabob on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 11:16:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another great diary and point VetWife (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, Vetwife, IARXPHD

    Thank you , I always enjoy an inside perspective from another state , posting from Iowa here

    I respectfully disagree with the comment that the south will become more reasonable at some point , it has been 200+ years , things are not going to change down that way , over all , imo  

    And that is not being disrespectful to liberals who do live down there , people must always take care to not just lump everyone together in the south , always try and include a shout out to all our liberal leaning friends in the south when addressing these issues

    Hell , I am even for southerners electing more reasonable republicans , the majority of voters down there do not seem to be heading that way tho

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:07:03 PM PDT

    •  This has been a good discussion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tominator

      Thanks for the diary VetWife. I do have to disagree with your comment Patango. The South has changed in 200 years, a lot. You can't possibly believe that the South is culturally the same in 2014 that is was in 1814. The South has even changed dramatically in the last 30 years. I know, I lived through that period. It's always important to have a long-term and rational perspective on these types of issues. The South has been slower to change than we would like, but that is due to unique economic and social issues that no other region of the country has had to face. As the South continues to evolve economically and socially, then the culture will change as well.

  •  The South is a more complicated place... (4+ / 0-)

    There is a good book called "Tarheel Politics by Paul Luebke that came out in 1990.  The state has been politically divided up by the Traditionalists (think Jesse Helms), the Progressives (think Terry Sandford) and the populists. In the 1890's the state was controlled by the Fusionists who were dissafected Democratic populist farmers, radical Republicans and newly franchised African Americans.  

    I was reminded of it recently because I have been reading "Josephus Daniels - His Life & Times" by Lee A. Craig.  Josephus Daniels was the owner and publisher of the Raleigh News and Observer from the 1880s until the 1940s and his family controlled it after his death.  He was a progressive and a racist.  He was a big supporter of "free silver" and a friend of Wm. Jennings Bryan.  Yet, he was instrumental in taking down the Fusionists using racism to drive a wedge between the populist farmers (who he had a lot of sympathy for) and the African Americans in order to save the splintered Democratic party.  

    The history is fascinating but my point is all these strains are still visible and it is our (liberal) task to find common ground with the southerners who want to move forward and to isolate the racists and plantation types who do not.

  •  i do too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tominator, Vetwife, worldlotus
    blame the bible belt
    I know physic majors who don't believe in evolution because of the bible/culture down here. They literally have a block in their brain. There's none so blind as those who will not see.

    We are a big tent party and have to be to remain competitive. The east/west coast isn't enough.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:51:24 PM PDT

  •  why there is one!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, HudsonValleyMark

    I have lived my entire life in the south, I am a white woman, a Christian, a  ableit, on the extreme left of the spectrum, and because of my liberal veiws on faith, I'm also liberal on the socio-political spectrum as well. Yes, we do exist, and we are also capable of being vocal. (shameless plug for teeny blog time) It's A Misfit

    The covert racism, bigotry, and temper tantrums when someone suggests small changes mystifies me. I once lived in the NC mountains, where people had aneurysms over building cell towers, and once got into an argument because I suggested our church donate an unused organ to a fledging hispanic church. Their stance? "We've always had an organ."

    In my county, we can't get Democrats to run for local positions, and on the state or federal level? Forget it. The last senate race was a disaster that kept Colbert and Stewart with material for weeks.

    •  My condolences. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      The good news is, if you keep hanging around here you're gonna find a lot of like-minded southern folks, maybe even some to meet up with.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Rick Perry doesn't think there should be a minimum wage
      and Ted Nugent doesn't think there should be a minimum age. Merica
      ---> @LOLGOP

      by smileycreek on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:24:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is very true.. Hi smiley !!!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smileycreek, Tominator

        We do enjoy our meatspaces and the liberals in the south
        are very liberal.

        Bernie Sanders via Hound Dog speaks for me and most liberals who are living in the south.  We are uncomfortable around the radical right but we know how to separate to a degree.  We are making changes as slow as it may seem.
        We speak up and still GOTV and that is the only way we can make differences.,  Getting people to run for local politics is very hard in the south but we still try,

        Here is Hound Dog's diary and it is a very strange time we live in and why we must understand to a degree how to try and approach these voters.   Obama is not the enemy and that is what so many in the bible belt think.  He is their scapegoat..

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:48:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty sure that Jimmy Carter was NOT (0+ / 0-)

    a "real progressive"  !!

    Yeah, maybe he's become that at some point after he left office, but that's not what he was when it counted.

    •  Well he was on the poor and energy (0+ / 0-)

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:48:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  His energy policy ensnared us militarily (0+ / 0-)

        in the Middle East, fairly directly leading to 9.11 and all the anti-progressive repercussions from that.

        Plus he started the country down the road of deregulation, which culminated in the Great Recession of ca. 2007/8 - again, which hurt the poor disproportionately badly.

        And don't even get me started on how he popularized the the inclusion of religion in * everything * !

  •  Odd thing about religion and politics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, worldlotus

    Growing up a secular Jew, I always thought the Jews were the most progressive / liberal group in America. Many came from very leftist / socialist backgrounds from Eastern Europe and Russia (think Emma Goldman). They overwhelmingly supported social justice and equal rights. They are the most reliable Democratic Party voters (other than African Americans).  
    Over the last 10 years, I have been more involved with the so-called "Orthodox" community. Orthodox is a meaningless term, I use "observant." But anyway, to my surprise, almost all the members of the Orthodox community are Republican, hold very conservative beliefs like support for the war in Iraq, as well as the usual anti-Obama stuff. However, I think they are not as socially conservative as bible belt Christians.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:11:56 PM PDT

    •  I just learned something there... I thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      as you... We have to know our areas to GOTV.  We have to be willing to try and understand why people vote against their interest and religion is a HUGE part of it.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 01:58:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I fought the good fight in FLA for 17 years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, worldlotus, Vetwife

    and finally got the hell out and moved back to relatively progressive Iowa.

    Vetwife hit many nails straight on the head with her hammer.

    Yes, there are progressives and liberals in Florida. In Polk Country Florida there were about 60 to 100 of them and we all went to the UU Congregation to avoid going insane from the batshit all around us.

    People outside of the south really don't understand the power that many preachers have.

    I've heard of kids telling their Sunday School teachers about their parents' sins (having a beer watching the Gator football game), and being rewarded for doing so-and not third hand...my boss and it was a Presbyterian church. Tell me you see shit like that in Presbyterian churches in the North.

    I stood in line while fundies thrust Christian Coalition voter guides into their spouses hands and made sure they voted in line with the guides selections.

    And the things I've heard because other white middle aged men assumed I was a wing nut like them...disgusting.

    We lost the peace in the civil war, we didn't treat the cancer that was present properly...

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:22:37 PM PDT

    •  They do have much power. (0+ / 0-)

      The big congregational churches for sure.  This is why we see so much voter suppression as they know the minorities have Bishops and many working for change.
      We have young people wanting a decent job and education.
      The corruption from the pulpit to the state houses are pretty bad.
      I can separate myself from these people but it is important for meetups because otherwise it is real hard to get a Canasta game going on Saturday night.   All the friends who visit us are friends we met at the Meetup.  True.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:55:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a proud recipient of the Kefauver Award (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Vetwife

    in our Democratic Party.  I would have loved to have Estes Kefauver  as my Senator, but I live in a time where I am stuck with a union-bashing, lying Corker and a shill for big coal- Lamar Alexander.  

    Within the last six years, Tennessee went from 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans in Congress and a Democratic Governor.  Now we are at two Dems (or one good Dem- Rep. Steve Cohen and another blue one - Rep. Jim Cooper) and 7 Teabaggers.  It is tough.  We have no bench.

    Tennessee has never been this bad.  We had Sen. Al Gore before he went on to Vice-President.  Besides, Kefauver and Gore, let's remember Cordell Hull.

    I'm happy for Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina to have a great up ticket.  This is a step in the right direction.

    "The war was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost."- General U.S. Grant, Chattanooga campaign

    by Sandy on Signal on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 02:34:48 PM PDT

  •  this has been an enjoyable debate and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    knitwithpurpose, Tominator

    the commenters have been very cordial.  Thank you.
    The whole point of the diary was to re introduce to non southern people who think we vote dumb and crazy people into office is not exactly the truth.  We have a lot of history and anger to try and convince the people from the past how they are voting against their interests.

    They really DO think they are middle class if they own their home even if it is a double wide.   They really DO think the country's woes are due to we liberal commies but only because of their upbrining and the biogotry of the past and the Fox News and rhetoric from the pulpit.  

    The people of the south are hurting people.  They have hard lives.   They live from day to day not payday to payday and someone has to be blamed.   Georgia went for Clinton in 92.  He knows how to talk to these folks.  We can learn.  I have tried.  I have been met with resistance and downright anger but I still try and this is what the whole diary was about.. Not to bash the south but to try and let folks know... the southern white voter is very tribal for the most part and living in a world they don't know how to accept.   We can thank the Dobsons, Hagees and local Focus on the Family for most of this ...

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 03:20:45 PM PDT

    •  Didn't see this diary till late in the day (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Tominator

      Been a busy day at work, but I did want to say how totally I agree with you.  I spent many years in AL and have family back there.  Whenever I visit its like a time warp - church on every corner and no place but Walmart to shop.  My mom and one brother are progressive, but the rest of my siblings are a bit horrified by their outspoken sister who lives in CA with the fruits and nuts (and they are delicious!).

  •  WRONG! (0+ / 0-)

    It has less to do with South vs. rest of the nation and more to do with urban vs. suburb vs. rural. There are many part of the midsouth and deep south that are very liberal. They are located in large cities. There are parts of CA, IL, OR, WA, and other states that are conservative; they are in more rural areas like east OR & WA and downstate IL.

    •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife, Tominator

      I spent my middle school, high school and college years in Birmingham AL.  I have many facebook friends who I went to school with.  Its amazing, they all live in the same area they lived in during high school, they still hang out with the same folks.  These are college educate (either Auburn or Alabama) folks living in a big city.  I'm often surprised at how conservative they are and the crap they quote from Foxnews.  They have little curiosity about other people or cultures, but can tell you all about the welfare queens.

      I graduated high school in 1980 so these folks I'm talking about are not even retirement age.

      For the most part they are nice, church going people, but have a very narrow focus and are not willing to look much beyond their circle of family and friends.

      The big cities in Alabama are not progressive.  

      •  Yup, same here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        knitwithpurpose

        I graduated in1981 in Podunk, Mississippi. I have liberal friends from that era that still live there, and I have often been amazed that they stay. All are there because of their parents' declining health in their old age, and I have to respect that. For the most part, Southerners stick with family, liberal or conservative. I feel that time will change the political demographics. Unfortunately, just not as fast as we would like.

  •  not progressive but often populist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Tominator

    the south had a great distrust for northern
    banks, (New York Banks),  Northern Insurance
    companies ( NY Insurance Companies),  
    Northern Mortgage Finance (NY Mortgage Finance)
    and Northern Market makers ( NY Brokers).

    It's possible to harness that populist fever.

    THe Longs did it in Louisiana.  The Yellow Dog
    Dems did it.

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