|Don't forget you can register to vote at the polls Tuesday in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In North Dakota, no registration is required.|
|Ever since Neil Young sang about him, the white Southern man has been the symbol for all that is wrong with America to urban lefties. He is a redneck. A gun-toting, rebel flag-waving racist whose sinister activities wreak far more havoc on the country than, say, the wily Wall Street financier. If you can’t hate the white Southern man, who can you hate?
I grew up with white Southern men. Some of them hard-core Republicans. They have been my classmates. My neighbors. I’m related to lots of them. Having been raised in North Carolina and attended the University of Georgia, it’s impossible for me to see them as strangers. And while they can irritate me no end when they say and do dumb things, I cringe when San Franciscans like Mark Morford wax elitist and paint them as a monolithic band of aliens whose intolerance is only matched by their ignorance. [...]
Conservative Southern white men have a thing about the place they call home, too. I remember riding around with the Republican stepfather of an old boyfriend, who showed me the astonishingly beautiful fields and woods of his South Carolina farm. “I love this land,” he said, getting choked up. “I know every sound the birds make.” (He proved this by giving an eerily accurate rendition of a wild turkey’s gobble). Though he was dyed-in-the-wool GOP, he had a strong instinct for conservation, and I could find common ground with him the need to protect the environment. That’s what you do in the South if you grow up a liberal and don’t want to walk around being pissed off every minute of the day. You try to see if there’s something you might agree on with folks who don’t share your politics. Some humanity that joins you. Usually there is.
I recall snippets like these from my experience with GOP men of the South to help me understand why they are overwhelmingly voting for Romney in this election. Some of it is certainly about race. Cultural memory and prejudice form strange currents in the Southern mind. The power of the fear and antipathy of the black man has been diluted, but it’s still there, and it's easily stoked by unscrupulous politicians. But it’s easy to just stop there, and you won't have a clear picture if you do.[...]
What liberals and progressives don’t seem to understand is that you don’t counter a myth with a pile of facts and statistics. You have to counter it with a more powerful story. And that’s what Obama and the Democrats have repeatedly failed to do. White Southern men want a story that makes them feel proud of America and what it can accomplish. I’m troubled when I hear lefties heap scorn upon the South, partly because I know that the antagonism is precisely what the Mitt Romneys of the world hope for. They want to divide us and keep those regional antagonisms stoked so that the cynical Southern strategy continues to work. Every time a San Franciscan or a New Yorker rails against “rednecks” in the South, he has done Karl Rove’s work for him.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—Protecting The Vote:
|Tomorrow isn't just about getting out the vote, it's about protecting the vote as well. Election protection groups are launching a 50-state army of citizens tomorrow to ensure that no illegal practices occur, or, if they do occur, that such crimes are documented so that lawbreakers can be held accountable. The Wall Street Journal has more:
When Americans go to vote tomorrow, a new breed of activist will be on guard, monitoring polling stations for everything from voting-machine glitches to long lines to registration snafus.And it's not just citizens who are going to be monitoring the polls. The Department of Justice is stepping up as well.