Friday, February 25, 2011

Blue Islands in a Sea of Red

For all Meteor Blade's justifiable anger concerning Broun's irresponsible failure to condemn his constituent's nutty comment, I think there's a deeper question that needs to be addressed, and that is this: Why are so many working-class white people, in the south and elsewhere, so angry?

This is a question that it would be good for progressives to explore in some depth. Be prepared to be surprised.

You know, this reminds me of the Question Everyone Made Sure To Forget after 9/11/01: "Why do they hate us?" People forgot that because everyone who did ask it was accused of "wanting to give the terrorists therapy" and so on. But it was a good question - and our failure to seriously explore it as a country has severely hindered our response to that event.

And so it is with the eliminationist rhetoric oozing up from the right. To say "well, Rush and Savage are ginning it up" is facile but not really satisfactory, in my view; a hard question that progressives would do well to ask is, "in what sense is their anger justifiable, or at least comprehensible? Why do they hate us?"

Look at a county-by-county breakdown map of the 2008 presidential election results:

See all that red? I see that as a problem. Yes Obama won, and convincingly, but blue islands in a sea of deeply alienated red is not a recipe for the survival of the United States as a cohesive whole. We need to give the folks in that sea of red reason to vote for the "D" on the ballot, or the US will sooner or later cease to be viable as a unified, cohesive entity.

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