Saturday, November 15, 2008

Future Shock and the Southern white male: Oil, GM, Nascar, Pallor, and Obama

I've been thinking about these numbers ...
Southern Whites for McCain

... Alabama 88%
Mississippi 88%
Louisiana 84%
Georgia 76%
Arkansas 68%
North Carolina 64%
California 46%
Connecticut 46%
Minnesota 46%
New York 46%
Massachusetts 42%
Vermont 31%
In most states there's about an 8% male/female party gap, so the numbers suggest that 92% of the white men at the heart of the slave-holding confederacy voted for McCain.

Those white men have had a rough few years.

Five years ago Nascar culture was ascendant. Now Nascar is fading. Five years ago oil was cheaper than water, now we're in Peak Oil land. Four years ago Bush had finished off John Kerry, now Bush is a fading memory.

Two years ago GM's Hummer was selling well, now both GM and its Hummer are dying.

A year ago these men, largely poor and the victims of America's worst schools, held their ethnic identity tight. Now pallor is passe.

A few months ago they were the coddled core of the GOP. In the new electoral map they're irrelevant ...

Well, at least they still have Rush Limbaugh.

Some look on the fallen mighty with undisguised scorn ...
Frank Schaeffer: Sarah Palin Will Never Be President -- Trust Me

... The small smear of red on the otherwise blue electoral map looks more like a minor bloodstain on a dirty Band-Aid than anything resembling a national political party. Who voted for McCain/Palin in bigger numbers than they even voted for Bush/Cheney? Only one shrinking group: uneducated white folks in the deep south and a few folks in Appalachia. Take away the white no-college-backwoods-and/or-southern McCain/Palin vote and the Republicans would have been approaching single digit electoral college oblivion...

... The Republican Party--and I speak as a former lifelong Republican who, up through the 2000 primary campaign supported John McCain and even worked for him by arguing his case on various conservative and religious radio stations--is now the toy of the Rush Limbaugh windbags...
Scorn is never a good idea. It's a particularly bad idea to kick sand on a population with limited education, limited opportunities, deep culture shock, and disproportionate enrollment in the US military. I've been listening to stories of past cultural upheaval; they're enlightening.

Maybe we can't do affirmative action for the southern white male, but we need to keep 'em in mind. They've got a lot to work through, and it would be good to keep 'em out of trouble.

Update 11/20/08: further analysis, via DeLong.

1 comment:

Herb said...

I sure hope Obama is going to push for some eduction channels, private or public, I don't care too much. School age children need tutoring or they could retake a class with the best teachers in the nation. Programs on how to run a business successfully, including dealing with employees and bosses, would cut into the unemployment rate and make workers more in demand. They could even ask for a living wage and at least in house employee meetings, even if they didn't have a union, voting stock too. We need townhall meetings on the Internet and computers for eveyone, in a democracy dependant on accurate information. I hope that is Obama's plan, with his idea of a cabinet postion for communications and the Internet. A peace department isn't so bad an idea either. I hope that takes off.
I feel relieved that white supremacy is finally having to merge into the mainstream. They really do need help in the transition. They think that we will treat them as they treated us. I think compassion is the best approach. After all, they seem to have their own identity crisis. Always have. p.s. I'm a WASP myself. Maybe drop the P. Does that make me a WAS?