Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 29, 2009

Southern History Month: Regional Parties Are Back to the Future

So, Arlen Spector turns his coat because he will loose in the Republican primary to a Conservative.  Good news for the Republicans.   Great news for Conservatives.  On the march in Pennslyvania.

Yet, when such political, personal, petty treachery it solicits uninformed comments like, “Woe is America, the Republican Party is becoming the party for Southerners, while the Democrats are national.”  Bull.  Look at the electoral maps since Washington.  What happens after Washington?  Hoe does the color code on parties line up with regions – election after election.  Even after the Late Unpleasantness. 

When the majority sub-culture  of any region is different from another, it shouldn’t be a surprise if they vote differently.  Especially, since they understand the world differently, history differently, life differently and eternity differently.

It begins with worldview – love the German ‘Weltanschauung’.   In the South more people begin with a weltanschauung based on their reading the Holy Bible.   From there the trend lines diverge to conservative on the right and liberal on the left.   With more folks who read the Bible becoming conservatives.   Like 9 in 10. 

Consequently, the difference isn’t because of North and South.  It’s because of Bible-reading, believing individuals in the North vs South vs mountain West vs coastal West.

The next history of the South, the emerging future, may be dominated by Christian identity.  Then, perhaps, Christian identity may become more Southern and Western, or just rural, even though there are millions of devout Christians in the North, on the Coasts and in cities. 

An immediate outcome may be the regional dominance by political party.  The South becomes the land of Lincoln.  Fun irony for a moment. 

Such an identity begs more questions about the assimilation of immigrants – legal and illegal – and their identity.   It questions the cohesion of a Black identity as Democrats – and all the obvious inquiries about staying on the plantation.  It sets up inevitable issues of federalism that inadvertently cut along geographic lines, just as Sam Huntington suggested in the Clash of Civilizations.  New grievances might divide along old fault lines of civilization.  In America’s case its about new grievances dividing along the old fault lines of culture by geography – and secession with war.


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