Democrat and Independent Thinker..."The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Nietzsche

Commenting on many things, including..."A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." - Keith Olbermann

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Yoohoo! Democrats! Would you like to win back 1/4 of the nation?

You’d think it was big news that politicians are crooks and liars. Down here in the South, we knew it all along because not only did we produce Washington and Jefferson, etc., back in the good ole days, but we also gave birth to Huey Long. Now, that’s not to say we aren’t disgusted and nauseated, we are. We just expected to be, anyways.

I think it’s both hilarious and sociologically fascinating when our brethren in the rest of the country purport to be shocked, shocked at the goings-on of our corrupt, (this time) Republican lawmakers. Don’t they know that, at best, it’s always a choice between the Devil and the Junkyard Dog?

I think its demonstrative of the enduring impact of the original settlers of America, of which my family were some of the earliest, except for those that were before, that is, the Cherokees and the Catawbas. I digress. What I’m trying to say is that it boils down to the influence of the Puritans, who settled up north, and the Cavaliers and Scotch-Irish , who settled the south. The rest of the country has been thoroughly influenced by the Puritan mores of the Northeast which still pervade their residents today. Not that any of that populace or that of the mainland US are still Puritans in any way, shape or form. They are just reacting as they think they should due to that influence, just the same as southerners do because of the influence of the Cavaliers.

That influence is why those who plop the southern religious right into the same category as the evangelicals of the mid and upper mid-west will never understand nor be able to predict the actions and reactions of either. Unfortunately, the southern waters have been muddied a bit by the mid-western evangelicals who have moved into my area specifically due to (S)ob Jones, but they are clearing somewhat. The Democrats do not understand that they do have a legitimate chance of winning back the South, but they may as well stay out of Kansas and her neighbors.

Except for some of the former (and haw! Unbelievably current!) snake handlers and holy spirit babbling Church of God Pentecostals up in western Tennessee who try to pass themselves off as Southern Baptists, but who have infiltrated that faith and attempted, and succeeded to a considerable degree, a coup d’tat, the vast majority of Southerners are reasonable people. Exceptin them that ain’t got no edication, o’corse. Which are few, I assure you.

Sure, they go to church on Sunday. Sometimes, even on Wednesday, too. And they pray a lot. Some, maybe half, believe the Bible literally. Or pretend to, at least. However, culturally, it is for vastly different reasons than those of the Midwest. In the south, church is, and always has been a) entertainment, b) social club, c) town meeting. Southerners go to church to find out who is wearing what, who is doing what (or whom), what’s going on that might be fun, and what’s going on in the community and is there anything they might get their nose in. Then, they go home and have a beer and watch football or NASCAR.

I don’t know anyone whose preacher tells them how to vote. In case y’all haven’t noticed, no Southerner appreciates being told what to do. By anyone, anytime. Not way back when, and not now. Nothing will get a Southerner’s back up faster. Ergo, the beer. Some may try, I don’t know. I’m not a churchgoer myself now for many decades. My beliefs defy labels and are more mystical than supernatural. But, I am a Southerner and I know that if the preacher preaches against the evils and alcohol for two hours, most everyone will smile at him and nod their head and shake his hand at the door. Then they’ll go home and forego the beer and pour a whiskey, instead.

That makes the South ripe pickings for the Democratic party if the DNC would just make the investment and TRY!

Now, I’m not a Midwesterner, so I won’t speak as an expert, but I have visited for mercifully short periods of time, so I’ll allow as to what I think. (And, yes, if you haven’t noticed, I prefer to write and speak in the vernacular, rather than pretend to be someone I’m not nor do I aspire to be).

Midwesterners are the heirs to Puritanism. When the Midwestern evangelicals go to church, it’s not to see what people are wearing because they don’t dress worth a fart. No one is doing much of anything other than the same old same old. Do evangelicals have sex in the Midwest? Just for procreation, I suspect. And they aren’t interested in finding out what’s going on so they can put their two cents worth in, they don’t have two cents. Meaning, opinions, not money, Yank. They go to church to find out from their preacher what they are supposed to do. That is, how they are supposed to vote. They don’t go to find out how to think, because they don’t do much of that. Then they go out and picket abortion clinics. Or a soldiers funeral.

No comments: