It is amusing to me that the South was always considered by Democrats as "the people", the salt of the Earth, and the so-called rank and file in the "solid South" when the they had a lock on their votes from 1820 all the way until 1980. The South was the all-American region and the Democrats loved them dearly. Yes, for over 160 years the Democrats counted the Southern states as stalwarts and they loved them like brothers. But, now that the Southern states more often vote GOP they are a "problem" and are filled with Bible- brainwashed racists who pine for a return to slavery as far as the left is concerned.
At least, so says Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post today in a screed titled "The GOP's Southern Exposure".
First he begins with a ham-handed attempt to intimate that the GOP sounding "tolerant" is obviously just a ploy and is really a lie at heart.
You've seen the numbers and understand that America is growing steadily less white. You try to push your party, the Grand Old Party, ahead of this curve by taking a tolerant stance on immigration and making common cause with some black churches.
Of course, the GOP "blew" it all by running "racist ads against Harold Ford", as far as Meyerson is concerned... even though neither he nor anyone else can REALLY say exactly what was racist about the ad to which he refers.
After that little jab, Meyerson helpfully explains to us what the "southern problem" is and goes on from there with a laundry list of harangues and slanders against every voter south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Here is a nice compilation of the name calling...
-culturally, sexually and racially phobic
That they are so stupid as to have:
-blocked stem cell research
-disparaged nonmilitary statecraft
-exalted executive wartime power over constitutional niceties
-campaigned repeatedly against gay rights
-thrown public money at conservative churches and investigated the tax status of liberal ones
No, this is not my paraphrasing of what Meyerson wrote. These are DIRECT quotes.
Naturally, Meyerson imagines his leftist policies are but facts of a civilized life and these Southerners are just too much the knuckle-draggaing, troglodyte to "get it".
And, just as naturally for this more civilized and tolerant Washington Post polemicist, it's all Wal-Mart's fault!
Wal-Mart's practice, for instance, of offering low wages and no benefits to its employees begins in the rural South, where it's no deviation from the norm. Only when Wal-Mart expands this practice to the metropolises of the North and West, threatening the living standards of unionized retail workers, does it encounter roadblocks, usually statutory, to its entry into new markets.
Meyerson is against free enterprise, obviously.
And now the capper... Southerners (because of Wal-Mart) want slavery back.
So: A Southern low-wage labor system is cruising along until it seeks to expand outside its region and meets fierce opposition from higher-paid workers in the North. Does that suggest any earlier episode in American history?
What a creep this guy is! And a complete IDIOT where it concerns reading history, too. The South did not seek to "expand" slavery outside its region -- except to expect to take what they considered their Constitutionally legal property into the western territories. The South did not try to push slavery on Northern states the way Meyerson imagines Wal-Mart is doing now. Perhaps Meyerson would pick up a book or two he'd come to find that Northern business interests had little problem with profiting from Southern slavery even while it was going away in THEIR backyards. Nor did they have a problem with child labor, slum tenements, and sweat shops filled with workers who were chained to their machines for 16 hour days in their OWN areas of the country?
These poor, Northern wage-slaves -- as they came to be known -- was one of the things that Southerners pointed to insisting that Northerners were hypocrites over. At least Southern slave owners, as their argument went, clothed, fed, gave medical attention to and housed their slaves whereas the Northern manufactories worked their "slaves" to death and kicked them out the door of the work-shop to feebly fend for themselves.
Did the South somehow force wage-slavery upon the North in the 1840s and later?
Hardly. The North was perfectly capable of handling their own region, thank you very much.
Apparently John Kerry's "nuance" never made it to the Washington Post where cheap shot polemics is all that is required to rank as high-minded political commentary, eh?
Still, I'd accept his proclamations of how the South wanted slavery back if he could but substantiate this claim with a quote or two from any Republican Southern politician -- either state OR Federal -- or any conservative thinker or writer in the South?
He might, though, want to check in with his new Senator from Virginia on this subject. Senator Jim "backturner" Webb is all about re-empowering his "cracker" culture and has written extensively about how the Southern white should take his country back.
In fact, Webb is about the only high profile guy that stands for the purportedly "racist" things that Meyerson seems to hate so much and Webb claims to be a Democrat!
Ah, but there is that "southern problem", again, I suppose.
Chalk Myerson up as a provincial with a penchant for wild-eyed theorizing and a complete lack of historical education. Of course, THAT is what makes him a good leftist.