Monday, November 10, 2008

Dixie Is Losing Its Political Relevance

Today's New York Times has a thought-provoking and insightful analysis of this year's Presidential election. The article, written by Adam Nossiter, focuses on the diminishing influence of the South in national elections caused by the complete dominance of the GOP in the region. If there had ever been any doubts about the Republicans' vice-like grip on Dixie, they were removed on November 4th.

Reaching many of the same conclusions we drew in our Hold-Recapture-Add blog earlier this week, Nossiter points out that the South has lost its ability to dictate that the Democratic ticket contain at least one Southerner. The Obama-Biden team is the first totally non-Southern Democratic ticket to win the White House since FDR, with Iowa native Henry Wallace as his VP, achieved that feat in 1940.

Worse yet, Dixie has become the only truly reliable base of what is now a very regionalized - and therefore highly marginalized - Republican Party. With the South so firmly in the GOP camp, it is one of those paradoxes of politics that Southern influence over the selection of the next Republican national ticket will also be severely limited. Republicans will simply be forced to give non-Southerners high profile slots on their Presidential tickets in order to be competitive on the national electoral map.

The Southern strategy of Richard Nixon has not only taken deep root in Dixie, it is sufficiently strong to ensure GOP victory in Dixie even in a year when all the headwinds were strongly against them. Nossiter's conclusion as to why the South, bucking the trend in every other part of the nation this year, went so overwhelmingly for the Republican team of McCain-Palin is as obvious as it is painful: race. 

The verdict of Appomattox, it seems, has yet to be accepted by far too many white Southerners.  Maybe it will come in time. After all, it has only been just over one hundred and forty-three years...

1 comment:

Old Marine said...

Very astute observation. "Tis a shame, too. It seems the South HAS been re-constructed!

The Old Marine