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Forget Red vs. Blue -- It's Slave States vs. Free States in 2012

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posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 12:23 PM
This article makes sense to me. It's also a refreshing take on the divisions between Dems and Reps. The Republicans are afraid, and for good reasons.

Let's have a look at it.

Every now and then someone highlights the overlap between today’s Republican states and the slave states of the former Confederacy. As clichéd as the point may be, it remains indispensable to understanding what is happening in American politics today:

Lord knows I need help understanding it. What I see on ATS is mostly back-biting and rhetorical bullying from both sides on the other. The major issues/platforms of the two parties do not appear to be well-understood by a significant percentage of ATS members. Perhaps this description will lend a bit of historical background for you all as you make your decisions and declare for your "party of choice."

The core of today’s Democratic party consists of the states of New England and the Great Lakes/Midatlantic region that were the heart of the Union effort during the Civil War.

The core of today’s Republican party consists of the states that seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America.

Don’t be misled by the contemporary red state-blue state map which makes the mostly-red Prairie/Mountain states look as important in the Republican coalition as the South. A cartogram which shows states by population is far more accurate:

So, here's the cartogram:

caption: Red and blue states, 2008, with states proportional to their number of electoral votes

Take a look at it for a moment. It's a skewed image showing relative population and electoral voting power. Notice how the Civil War slave states are predominantly Republican (RED).

As the cartogram shows, in terms of population and votes the South vastly outweighs the thinly-populated Prairie/Mountain states, even though the latter get disproportionate representation in the U.S. Senate and the electoral college.

The cartogram provides a pretty good reflection of the situation perceived by conservative white Southerners, by depicting a besieged South encircled and on the verge of being crushed by multiracial, polyglot, immigrant-friendly, secular humanist, progressive Blue America.

Heaven forbid that their precious ability to get rich by exploiting the powerless should be toppled!

From the nineteenth century to the twenty-first, the oligarchs of the American South have sought to defend the Southern system, what used to be known as the Southern Way of Life.

Notwithstanding slavery, segregation and today’s covert racism, the Southern system has always been based on economics, not race. Its rulers have always seen the comparative advantage of the South as arising from the South’s character as a low-wage, low-tax, low-regulation site in the U.S. and world economy.

You see, the "Southern-Style" employers don't WANT regulations or workers to have rights. They don't really care who the workers are, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HAVE RIGHTS or enough power to change the system.

And I'm fairly confident we all agree the system broke a long, long time ago.

The Southern strategy of attracting foreign investment from New York, London and other centers of capital depends on having a local Southern work force that is forced to work at low wages by the absence of bargaining power.

Anything that increases the bargaining power of Southern workers vs. Southern employers must be opposed, in the interest of the South’s regional economic development model. Unions, federal wage and workplace regulations, and a generous, national welfare state all increase the bargaining power of Southern workers, by reducing their economic desperation. Anti-union right-to-work laws, state control of wages and workplace regulations, and an inadequate welfare state all make Southern workers more helpless, pliant and dependent on the mercy of their employers. A weak welfare state also maximizes the dependence of ordinary Southerrners on the tax-favored clerical allies of the local Southern ruling class, the Protestant megachurches, whose own lucrative business model is to perform welfare functions that are performed by public agencies elsewhere, like child care.

The Southern system is essentially about class and only incidentally about race. That is why, following the abolition of slavery, the Southern landlord elite exploited black and white tenant farmers and child workers indifferently. Immigrant workers without rights to vote or organize unions have always appealed to the Southern employer elite.
And they will continue to do so, because they don't think of their workers as "people". They are "human capital," and the hungrier and more desperate they are, the better.

No, it's not in corporate interests to pay higher (living) wages, or to provide raises in boom years (except of course, to the owners)...the workers have no "vested" interest in the company, they are only interested in keeping their heads above water and not starving, unsheltered under the wide sky.

The article is fairly lengthy, and there is lots more, but, dear forum colleagues, if you've read this far, I expect you'll go to read the whole thing.

I'll leave the thread open for discussion with one final quote from the article's author:

While they demonize “the federal government” as though it were some external force, Southern conservatives are actually afraid of democracy—national democracy. They are afraid of their fellow Americans outside of the region they control. They are afraid that national majorities will impose unwelcome reform on the South, at the expense of their profits and privileges, as national majorities did during Reconstruction, the New Deal and the Civil Rights revolution.

The Southern system is also threatened by internal democracy....

What do you think? Obviously this article is left-leaning; but it makes some interesting points. I wonder if anyone here, whether staunchly paritsan or moderate and unaffiliated finds it an interesting parallel to the last time this country nearly self-destructed.

edit on 12-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 12:36 PM
Actually, the best explanation for the political differences in the US stem from the various groups that settled in certain areas of the US. You should really read this book:

Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 12:49 PM
reply to post by LeSigh

Thanks for the recommendation!
For readers, here's the amazon synopsis:

This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins.

While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be.

The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.

Another good series of volumes for a fresh point of view of early America (up to 1877), which describes what really happened up to and including the Civil War:
Who Built America? Volume One: Through 1877: Working People and the Nation's History

Who Built America? explores fundamental conflicts in United States history by placing working peoples’ struggle for social and economic justice at center stage. Unique among U.S. history survey textbooks for its clear point of view, Who Built America is a joint effort of Bedford/St. Martin’s and the American Social History Project, based at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and renowned for its print, visual, and multimedia productions such as the "History Matters" Web site. With vivid prose, penetrating analysis, an acclaimed visual program, and rich documentary evidence, Who Built America? gives students a thought-provoking book they’ll want to read and instructors an irreplaceable anchor for their course.

Published by American Social History Project

The American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning is dedicated to renewing interest in history by challenging traditional ways that people learn about the past. Founded in 1981 and based at the City University of New York Graduate Center, ASHP/CML produces print, visual, and multimedia materials that explore the richly diverse social and cultural history of the United States.

Thanks, LeSigh!

edit on 12-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-10-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:06 PM
I don't think that the GOP itself is run by slave-staters. In the Nixon elections the GOP used the "Southern Strategy" to oust the Democracy from power. The racist, traditionalist, antebellum Democrats of the South (Dixiecrats) had seceded from the party because of the Civil Rights legislation. Civil Rights were a popular cause in the North, with its traditional advocacy of black Americans' rights. Kennedy had promised Civil Rights and Johnson delivered because they were looking to win the popular vote.

The Democrat party had been progressive for only a short time; after the 1920s, Progressives left the Republican party, where their political ancestry lay in the works of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The GOP was very conservative in the 20s and, after a failed Presidential campaign in '12, the Progressives saw the Democracy as a useful platform for their agenda of progressive reform.

The Progressive mugwumps joined the Democracy and nominated FDR, initiating the period of the Fifth Party System.

When the Democracy made the populist move of Civil Rights legislation, forced on the States in contradiction of the Democratic Party's value of States' Rights, the Dixiecrats left the party. Unable to stand on their own in Presidential elections and desiring influence over the Presidency, they were won over by Richard Nixon's GOP. This was not an ideological move by Nixon; he was one of the last great Liberal Republicans. It was a pragmatic, realpolitikal move. The Southern Conservatives remained in the GOP after Nixon's departure. They have struggled to take over the party ever since then.

If we look at the Republican Presidents since 1972, we can see the repeted failure of the conservatives. Reagan was a through-and-through populist, following a script. He was no ideologue, he stood on neither side. He was a centrist, groomed for the role of leading the party. He almost defeated Gerald Ford for the nomination in 1976. In 1980 he secured the nomination and his charisma carried him to the White House. Reagan's administration included conservative elements, including the re-opening of hostilities in the Cold War, and it included liberal elements, including the opening of American trade and industry to the world (i.e. Japanese corporations). The Moral Majority generation of conservative ideologues was fostered by the great moderate umbrella of Reagan.

Bush, too, was not a Southern Conservative. He had conservative values, but he was no Dixiecrat. His son may have been a born-again Christian but he was no southerner either. I do not think that you would find many true blue Dixiecrats who would consider either Bush to be one of their own; they're Masachusetts carpetbaggers and are not welcome south of the Mason-Dixon.

I for one am glad that Romney was nominated. I expected a Tea Party candidate, but Romney is a return to liberal Republicanism. He actually believes in universal health care and does not seem especially passionate about interfering in people's personal lives (the gay marriage debate). What's more, he actually worked to become wealthy; sure, he started wealthy, but he worked to become much wealthier, whatever you may think of his profession.

I expect to see the red-blue map realigned in this election. Romney is the most electable canddiate, not Obama. Obama has stepped on too many toes and has been alienating his own support base. The middle class that he has worked so hard to cultivate and regenerate is naturally Republican; the GOP and its policies under Romney and Ryan favour small business more than anyone else. Entrepreneurs, smallholders, afluent middle classmen: these are the base of the Democracy's electability now, and the GOP has a more atractive package to offer them.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:09 PM
This is really great info.
Thank you Wildtimes. This explains a mindset
that I had no idea was so old and established.
i.e that an uneducated non unionized work force
is always beneficial to business owners (job creators)

This is apparently true regardless of race. So today
they like an uneducated, voting against their own interest
white workforce as much as any other.
See their not racists.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by SmedleyBurlap

I expect to see the red-blue map realigned in this election. Romney is the most electable canddiate, not Obama. Obama has stepped on too many toes and has been alienating his own support base.

The middle class that he has worked so hard to cultivate and regenerate is naturally Republican; the GOP and its policies under Romney and Ryan favour small business more than anyone else.

Entrepreneurs, smallholders, afluent middle classmen: these are the base of the Democracy's electability now, and the GOP has a more atractive package to offer them.

Thanks for your thoughtful response, Burlap.

I'm not so sure that the "middle class" [is] naturally Republican, but it could be that I am quite mistaken. Like I said, I need help understanding these things, and I've had a graduate-level academic training in public policy and social welfare.

I grew up in a middle-class, entrepreneurial family; my dad was a small-business co-owner and engineer. He was not at all ostentatious, and (to my knowledge) he was a fair and appreciative GM. My parents reared me and my two younger brothers to be frugal, to make do with what we had. We were by no means among the "received elite" of our small college town, and yes, he was a Republican voter. My mom survived him with a modest estate and a paid-for home, and I'm grateful for that.

But, he never, ever promoted exploitation. He promoted education, hard work, conscientiousness, and honesty. We lived in a working class neighborhood, and went to school with the "regular folks."

Things are confusing to me, even with a graduate degree; but my main problem is with the indifference of the moneyed corporate elite to the plights of the workers. Without them, they would have no business (especially in the service and manufacturing industries).

Thanks for your thoughts, though, I will ponder them. (And probably STILL be undecided and confused on Tuesday Nov 6...just days before my 54th birthday).

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by sealing

i.e that an uneducated non unionized work force
is always beneficial to business owners (job creators)

Yup. It's unnerving, isn't it?
The most frightening part to me is that even the educated people are now having hard times finding work, due to outsourcing and bailing out the buggers who couldn't be satisfied with enough and scammed as many people as possible.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:37 PM
GOOD GOD MAN.... That's not any attempt to inject the passions and hatreds STILL red hot among some, from slavery and the civil war into the 2012 race, is it? Naww...... No one is MAKING this Racial, right?

WOW..... I thought I'd seen the worst of the race baiting and vile attempts to make Obama's 50% black side a key issue. Race has nothing to do with anything. Half the nation think Obama sucks because he couldn't find his way out of a paper bag with a flashlight and set of directions. The OTHER half thinks Romney sucks because he can make money and that tends to hurt others without exception, to some people's thinking.

I miss ANYWHERE Race either fits or SHOULD fit in any of it. Hell, don't let that stop anyone from MAKING this about race though. Not just any racial reference either. Oh, certainly not. It must be THE WORST Racial references American History can provide to use.

I swear.....truth died weeks ago for everyone.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 01:50 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

You're welcome. I read the book last year. I had always thought I was more culturally aware than I am, but we tend to be blind to our own. So, it was surprising for me to discover just how much of a product of my own culture I am, especially when it comes to my political leanings. It made for fascinating reading.

I was invited to be a teacher observer at a round table discussion among various political science professors and Mitch McConnell's McConnell Scholars (the conservatives of which are a minority), where this book was one of the prior reading requirements. Apparently, those who are aware of the history of the various regions- as they apply to politics- can go through all of the past Presidential candidates and easily pick why the winners won. It's always the guy who was able to appeal to the majority of the four cultures.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

In defense of what the OP posted, I think they didn't go back far enough with the history. Making it racial isn't the issue, I agree with you. However, the underlying dominant culture has a whole lot to do with things.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

What are you ranting about?

Did you read the article, Wrabbit? Or even the post? It isn't about race at all. It's even in the bits I extexted!

It's about exploitation of the workers, regardless of their age, race, or gender.

I never said anything even mildly racist; and slavery does not automatically refer to "blacks."

Wow. Chillax!

Or, don't. I just posted an article I thought might help some people understand some things, and it was interesting.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:20 PM
reply to post by LeSigh

Making it racial isn't the issue, I agree with you. However, the underlying dominant culture has a whole lot to do with things.

Thank you, LeSigh.
It isn't at all about race; it's about education, opportunity, and enfranchisement.

Oh well, we're very close to E-Day, I expect people are getting ramped up. Me? Still undecided.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:26 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

I understand you didn't write it and I'm sorry if I came off to seem as though personally attacking you, as the OP. That was not my intent at all..... The article? that's a whole different matter.

Starting with a headline like they do....and then trying to say 'oh oh's not about race' is like putting up a GIANT Confederate Battle Flag, as someone did in Florida awhile back, and trying to tell the whole world it really is ONLY about Proud Southern Heritage. Nothing to do with race at all....

Yeah... The flag flyer got about as much understanding as the media related, as I have for Alternet on this one. Reading the story shows it has more to it...a lot more...but then, the damage was done with the first lines. The rest is a nice switch of topics after the VERY inflammatory bait got people to start reading.

In this election cycle where people are almost violent to one another on just the most basic and general principles of politics......ANY suggestion of race is explosive. Again,...Read the headline WITHOUT knowing all the context to the deeper story a majority who see the 1 won't even get to reading anyway.

It seemed more than worth commenting on...though again, my sincere apologies if it was viewed as a personal thing. It wasn't from here.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:29 PM
Here's a more precise breakdown of Democrats versus Conservatives on the USofA map based from actual voting records. I see no correlation to slave states.

edit on 12-10-2012 by jjkenobi because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 02:53 PM
I had no idea.
All of my life I have tried to see both sides and to put myself into the shoes of others. I thought by being a good person who supported my fellow American as well as working and taking care of myself, I could be accepted who I am not who my ancestors were. I didn't realize I don't have that luxury.
I now realize that by virtue of being from the south I am unable to be anything but what I am labeled due to my geographical location and historic events.
Maybe if I moved to the northeast or to the west coast I'd be able to be something other than an arbitrarily designated racist and slavery loving scumbag.

Great job.
Ignorance denied.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 03:01 PM
Is anyone really surprised?

I think if the GOP put slavery to a ballot vote within their party, it would pass soundly.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 03:14 PM

Originally posted by HostileApostle
Is anyone really surprised?

I think if the GOP put slavery to a ballot vote within their party, it would pass soundly.

And I rest my case.

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 03:28 PM
The REAL differences are simple and as follows:

Republicans value freedom at the expense of equality.
Democrats value equality at the expense of freedom.

Both equality and freedom are important in the USA, and both have value. That is the core root of the whole political spectrum, how far right or left one is politiacally is directly related to how much of one value they are willing to sacrifice to achieve dominance in the other.

Far right wing individuals desire total freedom to spend the money they earn how they see fit, regardless of how lopsided the balace of equality becomes as a result. *Freedom at the expense of Equality

Far left wing desire total equality (as much as can be established) in how all money is spent, regardless of how much freedom to spend their own money is stripped away from others. *Equality at the expense of Freedom.

Although a cultural correlation can be made, that those raised in a non-equal environment (South) would continue under-valuing equality, and therefore be willing to sacrifice more of it it for total freedom; it is not because of American slavery that freedom is valued over equality in those areas directly.

God Bless,

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

F&S'd for truth
kudos to LeSigh for the albions seed link
i'll just add the following article for those who cant read the book at the moment
Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen?

North versus South: Two Definitions of Liberty

Michael Lind first called out the existence of this conflict in his 2006 book, Made In Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American He argued that much of American history has been characterized by a struggle between two historical factions among the American elite -- and that the election of George W. Bush was a definitive sign that the wrong side was winning. ***
Which brings us to that other great historical American nobility -- the plantation aristocracy of the lowland South, which has been notable throughout its 400-year history for its utter lack of civic interest, its hostility to the very ideas of democracy and human rights, its love of hierarchy, its fear of technology and progress, its reliance on brutality and violence to maintain “order,” and its outright celebration of inequality as an order divinely ordained by God.

As described by Colin Woodard in American Nations: The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, the elites of the Deep South are descended mainly from the owners of sugar, rum and cotton plantations from Barbados -- the younger sons of the British nobility who'd farmed up the Caribbean islands, and then came ashore to the southern coasts seeking more land. Woodward described the culture they created in the crescent stretching from Charleston, SC around to New Orleans this way:

It was a near-carbon copy of the West Indian slave state these Barbadians had left behind, a place notorious even then for its inhumanity....From the outset, Deep Southern culture was based on radical disparities in wealth and power, with a tiny elite commanding total obedience and enforcing it with state-sponsored terror. Its expansionist ambitions would put it on a collision course with its Yankee rivals, triggering military, social, and political conflicts that continue to plague the United States to this day.

David Hackett Fischer, whose Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways In America informs both Lind's and Woodard's work, described just how deeply undemocratic the Southern aristocracy was, and still is. He documents how these elites have always feared and opposed universal literacy, public schools and libraries, and a free press. (Lind adds that they have historically been profoundly anti-technology as well, far preferring solutions that involve finding more serfs and throwing them at a problem whenever possible. Why buy a bulldozer when 150 convicts on a chain gang can grade your road instead?) Unlike the Puritan elites, who wore their wealth modestly and dedicated themselves to the common good, Southern elites sank their money into ostentatious homes and clothing and the pursuit of pleasure -- including lavish parties, games of fortune, predatory sexual conquests, and blood sports involving ritualized animal abuse spectacles.

But perhaps the most destructive piece of the Southern elites' worldview is the extremely anti-democratic way it defined the very idea of liberty. In Yankee Puritan culture, both liberty and authority resided mostly with the community, and not so much with individuals. Communities had both the freedom and the duty to govern themselves as they wished (through town meetings and so on), to invest in their collective good, and to favor or punish individuals whose behavior enhanced or threatened the whole (historically, through community rewards such as elevation to positions of public authority and trust; or community punishments like shaming, shunning or banishing).

Individuals were expected to balance their personal needs and desires against the greater good of the collective -- and, occasionally, to make sacrifices for the betterment of everyone. (This is why the Puritan wealthy tended to dutifully pay their taxes, tithe in their churches and donate generously to create hospitals, parks and universities.) In return, the community had a solemn and inescapable moral duty to care for its sick, educate its young and provide for its needy -- the kind of support that maximizes each person's liberty to live in dignity and achieve his or her potential. A Yankee community that failed to provide such support brought shame upon itself. To this day, our progressive politics are deeply informed by this Puritan view of ordered liberty.

In the old South, on the other hand, the degree of liberty you enjoyed was a direct function of your God-given place in the social hierarchy. The higher your status, the more authority you had, and the more "liberty" you could exercise -- which meant, in practical terms, that you had the right to take more "liberties" with the lives, rights and property of other people. Like an English lord unfettered from the Magna Carta, nobody had the authority to tell a Southern gentleman what to do with resources under his control. In this model, that's what liberty is. If you don't have the freedom to rape, beat, torture, kill, enslave, or exploit your underlings (including your wife and children) with impunity -- or abuse the land, or enforce rules on others that you will never have to answer to yourself -- then you can't really call yourself a free man.

When a Southern conservative talks about "losing his liberty," the loss of this absolute domination over the people and property under his control -- and, worse, the loss of status and the resulting risk of being held accountable for laws that he was once exempt from -- is what he's really talking about. In this view, freedom is a zero-sum game. Anything that gives more freedom and rights to lower-status people can't help but put serious limits on the freedom of the upper classes to use those people as they please. It cannot be any other way. So they find Yankee-style rights expansions absolutely intolerable, to the point where they're willing to fight and die to preserve their divine right to rule. Once we understand the two different definitions of "liberty" at work here, a lot of other things suddenly make much more sense. We can understand the traditional Southern antipathy to education, progress, public investment, unionization, equal opportunity, and civil rights. The fervent belief among these elites that they should completely escape any legal or social accountability for any harm they cause. Their obsessive attention to where they fall in the status hierarchies. And, most of all -- the unremitting and unapologetic brutality with which they've defended these "liberties" across the length of their history.

When Southerners quote Patrick Henry -- "Give me liberty or give me death" -- what they're really demanding is the unquestioned, unrestrained right to turn their fellow citizens into supplicants and subjects.

edit on 12-10-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2012 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by ElohimJD

I can't recall the last time I heard issues put so clearly, accurately and simply without a clear spin or political agenda behind it.

I'd take offense as the description of conservatives/republicans...except...well...when you put it the way you do and include the other equally honest take for the can I be offended? You're pretty much speaking the truth as I'd see it too.

I suppose that's why it's a good thing that neither party ever have 100% total control of the elected Government at any one given time. The system of compromise and meeting half way to 50% on either side of the middle in this nation is what has to be for it to work, IMO.

Well put and great post!

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