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The question of the last five decades for Democrats has been: "How do we get working-class and middle-class white people to vote for their own best economic interests without tossing women, people of color, and non-straight folks off the sled?"

As we saw yet again in Kentucky last fall, when the vile Matt Bevin ran on a platform of screwing over average Kentuckians while cuddling up to Kim Davis in photo-ops, the answer is: "You can't."

Because of nearly fifty years of the Southern Strategy, most white Americans associate government and the Democrats with helping people they see as undeserving - Blacks, Latinos, LGBTQs, women - and doing so at the expense of nice deserving white men. These people vote Republican now as a direct result of this.

Look at Wisconsin. That state has been flipped into GOP territory even though it once had lots of union jobs and union members. Now it's rapidly devolving into a cold Kentucky, even as Minnesota - which has managed to stave off the Southern Strategy thanks to having lots of Scandi- descended folk who know we need government to if nothing else keep the roads plowed in winter - is prospering.

The only thing for it is to fight to keep what we have and wait for people of color to grow in number and clout to finally take the reins of power, which will happen in another decade or so. (It would have already happened now if not for extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression laws, and both tactics are being fought in court with increasing success.)

We've tried the old Leninist heighten-the-contradictions trick of making things really bad in the hopes that the (white) masses will finally rise up and get behind the lefty progressives (i.e., Teddy Kennedy primarying a sitting president knowing that he was handing the 1980 election to Reagan, or Nader openly boasting he wanted to see Bush win in 2000 and castigating Bernie last year for running as a Democrat instead of third-party so a Republican could win). But the Southern Strategy trumps heighten-the-contradictions every time. Better to go after single women of all ethnicities, or Latinos, or Asians. They're all easier to reach, and they're all growing in number and percentage of the population.


You have 'Not' when context suggests you intended 'Note' in a parenthetical comment.

Lance Mannion

Thanks for the catch, Prof. I made the fix. Made a few others I wouldn't have caught if you hadn't pointed that one out, so thanks for those too. Always appreciate copy edits.

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