Bleeding Red

Barack Obama has become a national albatross with the White working class.

Southern Mississippi

The Democratic Party is hemorrhaging a peculiar type of voter. This is fairly easily to establish. Wherever the Democrats have a foothold in Red America, where White conservatives are either predominant or the White working class is numerous enough to swing elections, they are losing or running even.

Yesterday, I brought up the fate of the Blue Dog Democrats. In recent months, there have been calls from the Left to purge these “fake Democrats” from their midst. Naturally, this would lead to a collapse of the Center in Congress, gridlock in Washington, and a polarization of Whites into two hostile, mutually unintelligible camps.

In the prelude to the Civil War, the Southern Whigs experienced a similar collapse as they fell prey to the charge of being soft on slavery and traitors to the South. Their Democratic opponents were able to successfully link them to Northern extremists within their own party. This is not unlike the tactic that Republicans are using today to successfully link Joe Manchin to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

We are going to travel around Red America this afternoon. I intend to show that polarization and White identity politics are transforming the American political landscape:

1.) Let’s start by revisiting the Blue Dogs: White Democrats who represent “Red” districts in the South and Midwest. This species of Centrist is once again facing extinction.

Of the 54 Blue Dogs in the House, 6 are retiring or seeking another office. 39 are in competitive races. 22 of those races are toss ups. Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, leaders of the Blue Dogs, are in tough uphill reelection fights.

In the Senate, Senator Bayh of Indiana and Senator Dorgan of North Dakota are retiring. Both of their seats are considered safe Republican pick ups. Meanwhile, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will almost certainly be defeated by Republican John Boozman.

At this point, it is inevitable that the incoming Democratic caucus in the House and Senate will be less Southern and Midwestern, less White and rural, and more progressive and urban. Likewise, the incoming Republican Congress will be more thoroughly White and conservative and geographically centered in the American Heartland.

2.) As the Blue Dogs fight for their political lives, it is increasingly hard to tell who will run away from Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi the fastest before Nov. 2.

In Alabama’s Second Congressional District, Rep. Bobby Bright has vowed not to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. In Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District, Rep. Gene Taylor is making headlines for claiming he voted for John McCain.

Gene Taylor, a Southern conservative Democrat, has easily been elected to the House in 11 election cycles. However, this year the current of White identity politics is running so strong in Southern Mississippi that Taylor is running behind his Republican challenger Steve Palazzo, who hardly sounds like a good ‘old boy.

If I were forced to award a first place prize, I would give it to Blue Dog Parker Griffith of Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District, who saw the writing on the wall and switched parties to survive last year. Parker was later defeated in the Republican primary.

3.) If the White working class had a capital, it would be West Virginia, where 9 out of 10 people are White and 6 out of 10 have never gone to college. In this state, Joe Manchin has done everything but shoot a target of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to get himself elected to the Senate, and he is still struggling with the perception that he can’t represent “Red” voters as a Washington Democrat.

4.) Out in Arizona, the stigma that comes with being associated with the national Democratic Party is weighing down Arizona’s Democratic congressional delegation. 5 out of 8 congressional representatives from Arizona are Democrats. Of those, 1 has a safe seat, but the other 4 are in varying degrees of trouble.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way.

For months, the prevailing narrative in the mainstream media was that “comprehensive immigration reform” would hurt Republicans with Hispanic voters and would be a boon to Democrats in the Southwest. In reality, Gov. Jan Brewer will be reelected, John McCain was forced to repudiate amnesty, Arizona’s Democrats are fighting for survival, and SB 1070 has majority support in neighboring Utah, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.

The times are so hard for Arizona Democrats that Raul Grijalva, a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, is facing a stiff reelection fight in Arizona’s Seventh Congressional District which is majority Hispanic. This is largely attributable to his full throated support for the Arizona boycott when unemployment in his district was among the highest in the nation.

5.) Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota, Arizona – an enormous Red backlash against the Democratic Party – these are all isolated examples of a larger national trend. If I had the time, I could extend this analysis from Southern Virginia to Ohio to Iowa to Florida. It is the same story everywhere you look: Whites are abandoning the Democratic Party.

In The New York Times Book Review, Christopher Caldwell ties all these pieces of the puzzle together with a persuasive explanation. In the last two years, over 50% of Americans claim to have become more conservative. Blacks and Hispanics are relatively unchanged in their political views, but Independents have shifted dramatically to the Right.

The White Right is energized like never before and the White Center is leaning away from the Left. Even college students have lost their enthusiasm for Barack Obama.

Identity and Economics

The preferred explanation of this on the Left is that racist White voters have rejected the Democrats because of the bad economy. There is some truth to this, but it is more like a shadow or distorted image of the real explanation.

Whites are abandoning the Democratic Party because of 1.) the perception that Democrats represent “them” and no longer “us” and 2.) because of the perception that Democrats are seemingly unwilling or incapable of doing anything for “us.”

If a terrible economy were to blame, why are less than 20% of working class White males without a high school education – the White lumpenproletariat, the most economically distressed segment of the White population – saying the country is headed in the right direction? Why are the vast majority of Jews, blacks, Hispanics, and homosexuals still supporting Obama?

Why is Obama targeting affluent, highly educated Whites with low unemployment instead of disaffected White workers in the Heartland? Indeed, why is the White working class turning against “the people’s party” and the “party of government” in such dire economic times?

The Tea Party claims to be be based on a fiscal and economic message, but its members are not particularly financially distressed. Barack Obama’s supporters are more likely to be falling into the working poor and surviving on hot dogs and beans.

Alternatively, if Whites were motivated by mere racism, why did Barack Obama run so strong in Red America in 2008, in unlikely places like Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska? Why did he win lily White Iowa or Indiana? Why did he carry Southern states like Virginia and North Carolina?

More to the point, why have explicit White Nationalists failed to make headway into the mainstream, seeing as how the prevailing narrative in the media is that the Tea Party is driven by White racism? If Whites were really and truly racists, it is reasonable to assume that White Nationalists would be enjoying more success than they currently are now.

Implicit Whiteness

Implicit Whiteness is at the root of everything we are seeing today. By implicit Whiteness, I mean a vague, unarticulated sense of White identity, which conservatives like Sarah Palin are successfully tapping into, and progressives like Barack Obama are rubbing the wrong way.

This diluted sense of White identity is compatible with a positive attitude toward non-Whites, a live and let live attitude, and a rejection of explicit racial consciousness.

It can switch either way.

In the right conditions, implicit Whiteness can be tapped into and harnessed to make Whites feel threatened by hostile outsiders, particularly Muslims, illegal aliens, and black criminals. At the same time, this form of Whiteness is weak enough for the masses to be sold on utopian anti-racist schemes.

Compare the popularity of Barack Obama in Alabama to Auburn’s Heisman Trophy frontrunner Cam Newton or Alabama’s Mark Ingram. When Whites can be persuaded that a non-White is “on their side” or “part of their team,” even the mental processes of explicit White racists can be shortcircuited.

Only the team principle can override the tribal principle. And then, usually not in the long haul. If Democrats want to preserve their majority, they must persuade White voters they are “on their side” and sincerely desire to improve their lives. Adopting a hostile, downright antagonistic posture out of alienation from White America will drive Whites into the Republican camp and eventually beyond it.

About Hunter Wallace 9535 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

30 Comments

  1. Tancredo released a statement today:

    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_16401220

    Yes, I strongly support Arizona-style laws to deal with a problem created by the federal government’s lack of enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. Colorado has an estimated 200,000 or more illegal immigrants who drain over $1.6 billion in taxpayer dollars annually, according to a recent study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

    Colorado spends over $50 million alone on prosecuting and incarcerating criminal immigrants. Beginning in 2004, Arizona enacted a series of referenda and state laws on this matter, and SB 1070 is only the most recent. The most controversial part of the new Arizona law has been put on hold by a federal district judge, but many legal experts say it will ultimately be upheld. In fact, Colorado-based Mountain States Legal Foundation has filed an amicus brief in support of it. That provision makes it a state crime to be in Arizona unlawfully and gives local law enforcement the authority to ask for the same immigration documents that are already required by federal law.

    Arizona’s new SB 1070 law contains one provision already enacted in Colorado in 2006, a law prohibiting sanctuary city policies. However, that Colorado statute, SB 06-090, needs to be more vigorously enforced. Denver, for example, has not lost one dollar of state funding for its failure to enforce the law despite its Police Training Bulletin of September 2006 basically telling Denver police officers they can ignore it.

    Working with the General Assembly, I will support strong enforcement of existing laws aimed at illegal immigrants and will sign new legislation on the Arizona model if passed by the legislature. Moreover, I will ask other governors across the nation, Republican and Democrat, to join me in demanding federal enforcement of our immigration laws and immediate action to secure our borders, north and south.

  2. Virgil Goode, one of the strongest opponents of amnesty and multiculturalism in America, used to be our congressman in Charlottesville. He was defeated in 2008 by Tom Perriello who will fall to Robert Hurt next week.

    According to the “worse is better” theory, I guess we are better off without Goode in the House and with Obama in the White House. In hindsight, that sort of thinking looks dangerously naive.

  3. Needless to say, I strongly endorse Tom Tancredo for Governor of Colorado. If any OD readers live in Colorado, next week you will have a chance to make a statement and move the goal posts on immigration in our direction. If Tancredo can win in Colorado, his victory will open the door to other candidates who share our point of view in other states.

  4. Tancredo’s race in Colorado is virtually tied. If you are a White Nationalist in Colorado, you would be insane not to vote and put him over the top. If this election cycle has taught us anything, it is that a confident people will take on challenges that were previously ruled out as impossible.

  5. But at the same time, the Left needs non-White groups to heed the American President’s message: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

    (Of course that doesn’t mean America will punish its foreign enemies and reward friendly nations that stand with America on issues that are important to America. This harsh line-drawing and side-taking is only for domestic politics.)

  6. The real question is will the new GOP congress actually do anything(doing something means passing legislation to cut back on immigration).

    Assuming these new Congress people are all real conservatives, they won’t be able to do much of anything. They’ll gain 50 seats at the most in the House putting them in the majority and 7-8 seats in the Senate putting them shy of having a monopoly. Obama will probably veto any legislation coming his way curtailing immigration and would take two-thirds of the Senate to override it.

  7. Re: Alex,

    1.) A 50 state pickup in the House and a 7 to 8 seat pick up in the Senate is an extremely conservative estimate.

    2.) The Republicans will take the House by a wide margin. I’m leaning toward thinking they will narrowly take the Senate. If they don’t take the Senate, they will split it 50-50, or fall 2 seats shy of a majority.

    3.) The next Congress will lurch dramatically to the Right on immigration both in the House and Senate.

    4.) Obama can always veto popular legislation. That will only make him more unpopular though and set the stage for bigger gains in 2012. The value of the incoming Congress largely consists in its ability to polarize Whites.

    If Obama is defeated by a White Republican, there will be more racial polarization in America than at anytime since the MLK assassination.

    5.) At the state level, where the real fight over immigration is playing out, there is nothing Obama can really do to turn the tide but file Justice Department lawsuits which the Roberts SCOTUS will eventually shoot down.

    6.) 2010 is a clear opportunity to move the goal posts. We would be foolish not to elect representatives who will advance our interests on immigration. Making the perfect the enemy of the good is always a recipe for political disaster.

  8. “According to the “worse is better” theory, I guess we are better off without Goode in the House and with Obama in the White House. In hindsight, that sort of thinking looks dangerously naive.”

    All these things you’re talking about are the result of Obama’s election. Worse was better.

    “Worse is better” doesn’t mean things continually getting worse is the same as them continually getting better. Logically that would make no sense. It means at specific junctures like Obama vs McCain, worse is better. Or more accurately obviously bad is better than disguised bad.

    The current wave of unconscious white identity politics (brought about by Obama’s election and the Democrats trying to use race to shut down opposition to the health care bill) is an opportunity for WNs but the corporate elite and neocon elements inside the GOP will try to steer it into safe waters and they will probably succeed eventually. However in the mean time WNs should take advantage of the running tide.

  9. Here’s a shocker—Ohio Congressperson Dennis Kucinich is running only 4 points in front of a guy who isn’t advertising on TV.

    Turns out people have had it with Dennis on immigration & illegal aliens.

  10. The next Congress will lurch dramatically to the Right on immigration both in the House and Senate.

    What good is it if they can’t exercise any power? The Republicans need 66 seats in the Senate, an impossibility at this point, to effectively rule Congress and bypass Obama. There’s still McCain, Graham, Snow, Collins and several other Senators who’ll be left over after the elections so I don’t think the lurch is all that dramatic. The best that can possibly happen is gridlock.

  11. “If Obama is defeated by a White Republican, there will be more racial polarization in America than at anytime since the MLK assassination.”

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact the racial polarization ebbs and flows and that it does not guarantee a positive outcome even when it’s very high.

    Another time racial polarization was very high was after the 1992 LA riot. It didn’t lead to anything productive although it seemed to be doing so for a few years.

  12. If a GOP Congress passes immigration restriction legislation, but it get’s vetoed, that can a become a litmus test issue in the GOP presidential primary: “would you as president sign into law a bill like etc.”

  13. Alex,

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time and patience to push through reform in our system. Unfortunately, we have to start from deep in a hole that we have been digging for the past forty years. That means we can lay a foundation for what we want in this election cycle and build upon it in future ones.

  14. Alex,

    This is exactly what I am talking about: an unrealistic attitude that expects everything to change in one huge transformative moment. Reality doesn’t work that way.

    Hayworth came close to knocking off McCain. It looks like he succeeded in castrating him though. That said, Specter and Bennett and Murkowski were knocked off this time. Rand Paul and Sharron Angle could also be elected this year.

    Grahamnesty wasn’t running this year. Maine is such a liberal state that I doubt we could do better than Snowe or Collins there. Their only use is blocking an even more liberal candidate like a Leahy or Sanders.

  15. Regarding the Human Events piece posted by ATBOTL above, the second and third paragraphs of that article alone are enough to make me show up and vote Republican.

  16. A more conservative Congress will, at least in two respects, be a good thing for us. It’ll prevent Zero from putting anti-white communist #5 on the SC. It’ll prevent Zero from putting through any more debt-financed, anti-white group-entitlement laws. It’ll increase ideological and racial polarization. But none of the evil that has been so long done will be rolled back; in fact, I’d look for a deal between the increasingly neo-con’d TP/Republicrats and Demicans that’ll maintain the status quo on socio-economic policy while going ahead with the Iran War. That’ll be bad, at first, then good…when it collapses the Universal Ponzi: because it is only through Civil War – not elections – that the nation can be completely cleansed.

  17. HW,

    “That means we can lay a foundation for what we want in this election cycle and build upon it in future ones.”

    Are you implying that the conservative movement has the potential to restrict immigration through congressional power? Really?!

    I think the guy who said “the best we can hope for is gridlock” is probably correct. I suppose hope dies hard though…

  18. @Hunter:

    Why did he carry Southern states like Virginia and North Carolina?

    I think that was partly because of heavy black voter turnout, especially in the black “spillover counties” in northern VA, bordering D.C.

    I agree with your conclusions in general, though, even if I’m not as optimistic as you are about the potential GOP gains.

    I also think that “worse is better” actually complements fighting for good causes. We need both. We need some good battle flags to rally around, but we also need more conflict and for the enemy to get nastier so to knock some fencesitters over to our side.

    Finally: is it just me, or is the guy tossing the sign in the illustration to the article, in fact Boomhauer? 🙂

  19. Are you implying that the conservative movement has the potential to restrict immigration through congressional power? Really?!

    Conservatives fall along a spectrum. In my experience, there are some conservatives (i.e., Lou Barletta, Tom Tancredo, Jeff Sessions, Jim DeMint) who are good on immigration, whom I would like to see more of in Congress. There are others who I would be perfectly content (i.e., John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Richard Lugar) to be sent into retirement.

    A House Immigration Reform Caucus has existed for years. I see no reason why we can’t expand it and increase its numbers. We can elect more hardliners to the House and Senate. In this election cycle, we won’t have enough of them to accomplish our goals, but it is not like everything we want to accomplish can be done instantly anyway.

    I think the guy who said “the best we can hope for is gridlock” is probably correct. I suppose hope dies hard though…

    Because of Obama’s veto power, we won’t be able to get most of our legislation through Congress. But it is silly to assume that is some reason not to vote.

    Senators serve six year terms. If Sharron Angle (A+) beats Harry Reid (F-) and Joe Miller (A+) beats Lisa Murkowski (C), they will be in the Senate until 2016. Knocking off incumbents also sends a warning to traitors like Graham and McCain to change their behavior or face tough primary challenges.

    Just look at the 11 Republican Senators who voted for the DREAM Act only to suddenly find a spine last month and vote against it.

    Let’s not forget that a House and Senate full of hardliners can BLOCK any radical proposal coming from the likes of a Bob Menendez or a Luis Gutierrez for the next two years too.

  20. “Finally: is it just me, or is the guy tossing the sign in the illustration to the article, in fact Boomhauer?”

    I meant, of course, Dale Gribble.

  21. Quite true Alex, but I think their partners on the Left are setting the whole establishment up to crumble in legitimacy. I would guess that soon the big dogs of the left up to and including Obama are about to explicitly single out whites. We should after the election encourage this.

  22. Speaking of Obama singling out Whites, Obama went on Spanish TV yesterday and said Hispanics should regard White Republicans as the enemy. He used the word enemy. The White part was understood of course.

    And I don’t get the objection to gridlock. Gridlock means amnesty doesn’t pass.

  23. Alex,

    From what I have seen, Imagine2050, LongIslandWins, and Racism Review aren’t too excited about the midterms either, especially if Tancredo becomes Governor of Colorado. The actions of our sworn enemies is another positive indicator that some good people might get elected this year.

  24. LEW,

    No matter what happens, we can still play defense for two years, and block all attempts to pass another amnesty during Obama’s first term. We can also go on the offense by launching polarizing congressional investigations and defunding all sorts of radical leftwing programs.

  25. Interesting set of articles here about the upcoming mid-term elections! I don’t typically bother with the local papers in my area (for obvious reasons) unless there’s a free copy floating around, and it’s lunchtime. That said, it was interesting to stumble across this brief news story—the newest political sensation. Coffee parties!

    http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Another+beverage+joins+American+political+fray/3732785/story.html

    Which of course only spells more polarization, just as Hunter predicted.

    BTW, notice the snarky little comment by the founder: “It’s a reaction by ORDINARY PEOPLE to the Tea Parties”. (Emphasis mine)

  26. ” think that was partly because of heavy black voter turnout, especially in the black “spillover counties” in northern VA, bordering D.C.”

    There are very few blacks in N. Va. The black area of VA is in the southern part of the state where the tobacco is grown. No. Virginia is a wealthy area that is filled with affluent whites who have migrated from all over the country to work for the FedGov and supporting industries and Hispanic and Asian immigrants.

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