Friday, July 04, 2014

On The South, AKA the "Stupid States", Voting Republican

The question of why poor people vote Republican is not simply an issue of income but primarily race and partly region and gender. Poor people may be more likely to vote Democrat; poor white people are not ~ Gary Younge writting for The Guardian in a 10/29/2012 article, "Working class voters: why America's poor are willing to vote Republican".

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 3/13/2012, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Have Right to Work laws made people in the Southern states stupid? Thom answers a caller's question.

Caller: I was wondering, what divides us intellectually from Mississippi and Alabama? Why are those states deemed as being the "stupid states"?

Thom: A lot of it has to do with the history of labor. During the industrialization of the United States, in the 1920s through the 40s... The Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act or NLRA) was passed in 1935 and Union shops started, and the South started unionizing just like the North did. Although most of the industrial activity was still in the North. The South was still largely agricultural, although there was a lot of textile work going on in the south... a lot of clothing being made. And people were forming unions.

Then, in 1946 the Republicans took both the House and Senate for the first time since the crash of 1929. They only held the House for 2 years... they lost the House for over 30 years - they didn't get it back until the year Newt swept the House in 1994. So, during that 2 years they did a lot of damage.

Harry Truman proposed a bill that would give everyone in American free health care. It was Medicare Part E, basically... they shot that down. They then passed a bill called the Taft-Hartley Act (Labor–Management Relations Act) which said that individual states could opt out of the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act [Congress overrode Truman's veto]. If a majority of people in a workplace voted for a union, that was fine, but not everybody had to participate in that union. Which basically makes it real easy for employers to bust unions, and radically reduces the benefits, both to the union and the union employees, of having a union.

The Southern states were the first to jump on this bandwagon and they all became right-to-work-for-less states, very, very quickly. And so, since the 40s they've had lower wages... in the average right-to-work-for-less state people make 5 thousand dollars a year less than they do in a free bargaining state. They are also twice as likely to die on the job.

Now we're almost 3 generations away from this, and I would say that's the largest single reason. Because there was less [tax] revenue [because workers were earning less], there was less money for education and people were stuck in cyclical poverty. It's a genuine tragedy.

END Thom Hartman Program excerpt. If you are a subscriber to the Thom Hartmann program podcast, the location of this segment of audio can be found at 17:50 to 21:21 of Hour 2 on Tuesday March 13, 2012.

Keeping wages low for average workers is ABSOLUTELY the reason why the south is essentially a solid, grim block of poverty. I say this in agreement with a recent post on the excellent blog "Progressive Eruptions", a blog where the proprietor, Shaw Kenawe pointed out the following...

...the south is a solid bloc of conservative voting. This is what southern conservative leaders have done for the citizens who vote against their best interests by keeping those conservatives in office. And here is the result of their failed conservative policies. Nothing but misery has "trickled down" to these southern states. (H/T to Progressive Eruptions. Posted on 7/3/2014 at 7:25am).

And why is the South solidly Republican? The answer is slavery and the Civil Rights legislation signed by LBJ in 1964, previous to which it was the Democratic Party that supported Slavery and racism. But that all changed when Democrats flipped to support to equality and Republicans (several years later) took up the mantle of White racism in order to win the South.

Wikipedia, Solid South: ...beginning in the 1960s, Southern support for the Democratic Party started to decline given its national leaders' support of the civil rights movement, including school integration. The Republican Party began to make new gains in the South, building on other cultural conflicts as well.

In 1968, President Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy is credited with allowing either the Republicans or Southern Democrat George Wallace's independent campaign to keep much of the South out of the Democratic column at the presidential level.

The South continued to send an overwhelmingly Democratic delegation to Congress until the Republican Revolution of 1994. Today, the South is considered a Republican stronghold at all levels above the local level, with Republicans holding majorities in every state except Arkansas and Kentucky after 2010. Political experts have often cited a southernization of politics following the fall of the Solid South.

The South's history of slavery and racism and Republican Party's desire to pander to these voters is why the South is today solidly for the GOP. And the South is poorer than the rest of the nation due to the Republican Party being the party of the wealthy and big business...

From a business perspective... the loyalties of the parties did not really switch. ...the Republicans remain, throughout, the party of bigger businesses; it's just that in the earlier era bigger businesses want bigger government and in the later era they don't. ...earlier on, businesses needed things that only a bigger government could provide, such as infrastructure development, a currency and tariffs. Once these things were in place, a small, hands-off government became better for business. (excerpt from a 6/14/2014 post from the Soadhead blog "Why Did the Democratic and Republican Parties Switch Platforms". Authorship attributed to "Sharon" with quotations from Eric Rauchway, a professor of American history at the University of California, Davis).

So, the flipped platforms referred to in blog excerpt above is in reference to support for Big Government. The Republicans used to support Big Government and now they do not. But they obviously ALSO flipped on the issue of support for African Americans, going from supporting ending slavery to opposing equality/civil rights legislation.

And this is the same Republican Party that began as a reform party that initially opposed slavery. But the priority of pandering to the wealthy won out and the decision was made (by Nixon) that the racist White vote was needed in order to win elections, which is why the Republicans and Democrats flipped positions on the issue of racism; after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Legislation of 1964 the GOP became the new home for America's racists.

And the South is decidedly poorer and dumber as a result. Poorer because big business does not want to pay as low of a wage as possible to workers, and with Republicans in control, they get what they want (Right-to-work legislation). Dumber because, as research has shown, poverty makes people less intelligent.

Image Description: This map shows U.S. poverty rates, which are highest in the south. Red-shaded states indicate poverty rates between 17.9 and 22.8 percent. Orange is 15,9-17.8 percent. Light orange indicates 12.2-15.8 percent, and yellow indicates 9-12.1 percent (source: These Nine Maps Show How The GOP is Destroying Southern States by John Prager from Americans Against The Tea Party, 3/6/2014).

SWTD #264


  1. Last week I (Shaw Kenawe ) put up a post on the poorest states in the country, on MY blog.. Sadly, they're all southern states traditionally run by conservative Republican governors and/or state legislatures. Not one conservative came here to explain why that is. Instead one commenter pointed out that his relatives who live in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico are all doing well. More proof that: (Stupid is as Stupid Does) That, of course, doesn't change the fact that the south delivers poverty and misery for most of its citizens, and it's not a stretch to say that the policies set out by those states' political leaders contribute to the sad state of their affairs.
    For example,:Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of the poorest and one of the highest in the misery index, has said he's fine with teaching a religious story as scientific fact. Keeping people ignorant keeps people in poverty. It is shameful that a governor, who should know better, would promote religion as scientific fact. More proof that (Stupid is as Stupid Does)
    Late Breaking News! Yesterday, July 6th, 2014...More Than 50 Shot, 7 Dead in Chicago’s Bloody Holiday Weekend
    Governing in the Spirit of Revenge.
    Conservatives Are Purposely Making Their Cars Spew Black Smoke To Protest Obama And Environmentalists

    Cladira Dreckne said...
    “These are the people who embarrass our country, not President Obama and his wife.”
    Rational Nation USA said...
    “There's stupid and then there's insanely stupid.”
    Jerry Critter said...
    “It is kind of like shooting yourself in the head to protest gun regulations. Hey, maybe that will be next.”
    “Nobody said rednecks were smart!”
    Dave Miller said...
    “They should thank Obama for a health care plan to treat their coming diseases.”

  2. SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THIS IGNORANT BLOGGER THAT She is smoking the wrong cigarettes, and to stop that Mental Masturbation. Gun Violence is Not a Republican Problem, It’s a DEMOCRATIC PROBLEM, BECAUSE SHE FAILED TO MENTION THAT!Even more pertinent, these were mostly Communists, of which Democrat is an interchangeable term.
    And while she is blogging about that stupid Gun Control issue as she does CONSTANTLY, she never mentions this:
    Forget Wal-Mart and skip your local gun show. The murderers of tomorrow will not be found wearing orange vests at your local sporting goods store. They won’t have NRA memberships or trophies on their walls.
    You won’t find them in America. Look for them in OBAMERICA.
    67% of firearm murders took place in the country’s 50 largest metro areas. The 62 cities in those metro areas have a firearm murder rate of 9.7, more than twice the national average. Among teenagers the firearm murder rate is 14.6 or almost three times the national average.

    1. Jason, my blogpost was not about gun violence in Chicago. You inserted that report about Chicago's violence, making it look like people responded to what you placed in my blog. You are dishonest and nothing more than a trolling trouble maker. Unable to refute what I posted on my blog about southern poverty, you changed the subject and resort to malicious name-calling. Why? Because like many of your brethren, you are unable to dispute the facts, so you change the subject and fling poo.

      Maybe YOU should start smoking something in order to mellow out and get control of your fetishes, one of which is to highjack D.S.'s comment section and spout your paranoid prattle.

  3. NO Amigo, It’s NOT a Republican Problem, It’s a Democratic Problem!!!!!.
    Those are the crowded cities of Obamerica. Those are the places with the most restrictive gun control laws and the highest crime rates. And many of them have been run by Democrats and their political machines for almost as long as they have been broken.
    Obama won every major city in the election, except for Jacksonville and Salt Lake City. And the higher the death rate, the bigger his victory.
    He won New Orleans by 80 to 17 where the murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. He won Detroit, where the murder rate of 53 per 100,000 people is the second highest in the country and twice as high as any country in the world, including the Congo and South Africa. He won it 73 to 26. And then he celebrated his victory in Chicago where the murder rate is three times the statewide average.
    These places aren’t America. They’re Obamerica.
    In 2006, the 54% of the population living in those 50 metro areas was responsible for 67% of armed killings nationwide. Those are disproportionate numbers especially when you consider that for the people living in most of those cities walking into a store and legally buying a gun is all but impossible.
    Mayors of Obamerican cities blame guns because it’s easier than blaming people and now the President of Obamerica has turned to the same shameless tactic. The NRA counters that people kill people, but that’s exactly why Obamerican leaders would rather talk about the guns.
    Chicago, the capital of Obamerica, is a city run by gangs and politicians. It has 68,000 gang members, four times the number of police officers. Chicago politicians solicit the support of gang members in their campaigns, accepting laundered contributions from them, hiring their members and tipping them off about upcoming police raids. And their biggest favor to the gang bosses is doing nothing about the epidemic of gang violence.
    80% of Chicago’s murders are gang-related. But in 1999 when a bill came up in the Illinois State Senate to charge anyone carrying out a firearm attack on school property as an adult, a law that would have largely affected gang members, the future leader of Obamerica voted present. Had he not voted present, it is doubtful that he would have been reelected in an area where gang leaders wield a great deal of influence.
    The majority of murders in the cities with the worst homicide rates are gang-related. And while it isn’t always possible to be certain whether a killing was gang-related, the majority of homicide victims in city after city have been found to have criminal records.
    In 2010, there were 11,078 firearm homicides in the United States and over 2,000 known gang-related killings, over 90% of which are carried out with firearms. Since 1981, Los Angeles alone has had 16,000 gang related homicides. That’s more than twice the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    This is what Obamerica looks like. It’s a place where life is cheap and illegal guns are as available as illegal drugs. It’s the war that we aren’t talking about, because it’s easier to talk about the inanimate objects being used to fight that war.
    There are, as John Edwards said, two Americas. America is a country that runs pretty well. And then there’s Obamerica. Not all of Obamerica is broken, but a lot of it is. America does not have a gun violence problem. Obamerica does. And Obamerica has a gun violence problem for the same reason that it has a drug problem and a broken family problem.

  4. Democratic leaders and machines, combined with social workers and justice crusaders have run Obamerica into the ground. Obamerican cities used to be the homes of industry and progress. Now they’re places where young Black and Hispanic men kill each other in growing numbers.

    America does NOT need MORE gun control. It is a mostly law-abiding place. And gun control cannot help Obamerica. Not when its murder rate is driven by gangs who have no trouble obtaining anything; whether it’s legal in the United States or not.
    This country does not need to have a conversation about how many bullets should go in a clip. It does need to have a conversation about how many parents should go in a family. It needs to talk about the ghettos of Obamerica and have a serious conversation about broken families and generational dependency.
    Obama has become a role model to millions of people in the black community. If anyone can address these problems, it’s him. But instead of trying to solve the problems of Obamerica, instead of doing something about the high levels of unemployment, the broken families and the glamorization of drug dealing and violent crime, he wimped out and picked a fight with rural America.
    AIDS prevention was sabotaged by the claim that the disease was a general problem spreading through the population. It wasn’t. Neither is gun violence.
    Adam Lanza is as much of a poster boy for gun violence, as Ryan White was for AIDS. A better poster boy for gun violence might be Jay-Z, who boasts of having been a drug dealer and claims to have shot his brother at the age of 12. The drug dealer to millionaire rapper is the Horatio Alger story of Obamerica. And Jay-Z can be seen partying with Obama.
    If Obama really wants to get serious about gun violence, then all he has to do is turn to the man standing next to him. But Obama, like every Chicago politician before him, don’t want to end the violence. The death toll is profitable, not just for rappers writing bad poetry about dealing drugs and shooting rivals, but for the politicians atop that heap who score money and gain power by using the problems of Obamerica as some sort of call to conscience for the rest of the country.
    That’s what Obama is doing now. Hiding behind Newtown and adorable little kids is the grim specter of Obamerica’s death toll. It’s buried inside the gruesome figures of how many Americans are shot each year issued as an indictment against the entire country in general and gun owners in particular. But those numbers are not an indictment of America. They are an indictment of Democratic mayors and liberal social policy. They are an indictment of Obama. And maybe the citizens of Chicago, and New York should read her blog and stop KILLING people. One needs only to read to stated goals of the Communist Manifesto and compare them to the official political platform of the Democrat party since the early 20th century and you will see that they are in almost every case identical. Talk is Cheap Ms. Know it All Progressive Nut Job!
    This IS NOT a coincidence.

  5. My commentary wasn't about gun control. No such place as "Obamerica" either. Obama won't be president any longer in a few years. Thank you for stopping by, though.

  6. Wow, just wow! Jason can sure say a lot, without saying diddily.

  7. Jason Says should be named Jason Cut And Paste.

  8. A lot of conservative blogs are full of these "Jason" types who cut and paste comments from conservative message boards.

  9. "without saying diddily." or "wasn't about gun control." or "Jason" types who cut and paste comments from conservative message boards."

    What he said was True, Loud, and Clear....and I say Amen!

  10. "What he said was True, Loud, and Clear....and I say Amen!"

    Said no one who cares about rational thought. Ever.


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