Tennessee is totally irrelevant to this election. It's a foregone conclusion that Mitt will win here. Neither candidate has set foot in the state. Latest poll numbers are 59 to 34 in his favor with about 74% of Evangelical Christians here voting GOP. 61% of Tennesseans claim to be Evangelical Christians and we have heard rumors that preachers are telling parishioners that they'll go to Hell if they vote for Obama.
So what does a progressive in Tennessee do? I've voted Green twice (1996 and 2000) and my Green friends who are deeply disappointed in Obama can passionately lay out the case for Jill Stein and other Greens. I voted for Martin Pleasant for Senator since I could not stomach voting for Corker or Clayton and since I support Green values. But on the other hand, dammit, I just want to show that there are SOME Tennesseans who will vote for Obama, flawed as he is, that we not entirely a lost cause, that there are some sane voices still here. Chip Forrester is quitting as chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party and who can blame him. It's been a rough four years. My question is this: With the religious and economic conditions in Tennessee (we are still a poor state), with so many Tennesseans voting against their own economic interests, is there any way we can turn this state around? Is this the future of the South? Can we build a Democratic party here that is not just Republican Light, that does not cave on social issues like gay rights and immigration a la Harold Ford? Or do things just need to get so bad people will finally wake up?