Vestigial Thoughts

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Southern, White, Male, Non-Democrat == Racist

So Paul Krugman blesses us with the following analysis:

So, people ask why, in The Conscience of a Liberal, I downplay the role of issues other than race in swinging the political balance in favor of the GOP. The answer, basically, is the math: once you take the great southern switch into account, there isn’t much left to explain.

In some correspondence with Larry Bartels, whose “What’s the matter with “What’s the matter with Kansas?”" is must reading for anyone trying to understand modern American political, economy, the issue of how the Democrats lost white males came up. Larry points out that you really need to separate out the South. Here’s what he had to say:

Unless you have a peculiar nostalgia for the racially coercive Democratic monopoly of the Jim Crow era, it makes sense to focus on the rest of the country. There, the Democratic share of the two-party presidential vote among white men was 40% in 1952 and 39% in 2004.

White men didn’t turn against the Democrats; Southern white men turned against the Democrats. End of story

You know, as a white male from the south who doesn't make his political decisions based on race, this is pretty darn offensive. He's basically discounting every non-democrat-voting white male in the south by saying that the only way to get through to them is to appeal to their racist tendencies. There are quite a few, I know a lot of them, who don't like the Democratic Party for a host of other reasons. Ad hominems such as saying we're all racists allows the Democrats to easily ignore any of the substansive problems with their own party.

Forget the southern white male vote. If they vote against Democrats, it's because they are all racists. News flash: you're going to have a heck of a time getting a democratic president elected without the support of at least a few "racist" assholes such as myself from the south.

These are the same racists who just elected an Indian American to the governship in LA. Many people say this, but the presidential election is there for the Democrats to loose. The Conscience of a Liberal Indeed.