Here’s the true story of the 2012 presidential election … the Yankee Question. Once you understand that question, you will understand the futility of White Nationalism and “the metapolitical struggle” to erase the accumulated weight of four centuries of cultural sediment and historical experience in the minds of the people.
The same fault lines can be seen in every recent national election. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advertising changes nothing:
“A remarkable thing happened last Tuesday. The Republican Party was virtually extinguished from the land of its birth.
I’m speaking of Yankeedom, a great swath of the country from Maine to Minnesota that was effectively colonized by New England Puritans and their descendants. This cultural region – one of eleven that make up our continent — includes upstate New York, the Western Reserve of Ohio, Upper Great Lakes states, the northern tier of Illinois, and part of Iowa. The birthplace of the G.O.P and the center of its support for the first century of its existence, today it is home to 54 million people, few of them genetically related to the early settlers of the Bay Colony, but all of them effected by the cultural DNA they left behind. …
It was a regional rout of national significance. In New England, Mitt Romney didn’t capture a single Electoral College vote, while Republicans lost every major federal and statewide contest. Scott Brown lost his U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. In Maine, two-term Independent Gov. Angus King routed his rivals to capture the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by moderate Republican Olympia Snowe, while Republicans lost control of both houses of the state legislature. In “Live Free or Die” New Hampshire, Republicans lost both U.S. House contests and – in a massive turnaround – the lower chamber of the State House; Democrat Maggie Hassan was elected governor.
New England now doesn’t have a single G.O.P. congressperson. Only one of its six governors and two of twelve U.S. Senators are Republicans.
And it’s not just in the New England core. Romney lost every state dominated by Yankeedom – Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota – and all those with significant Yankee sections, including New York and Ohio. Republican U.S. Senate candidates lost in every Yankee dominated state as well, while Democrat Sherrod Brown owed his Senate victory in Ohio to overwhelming support in the Yankee-founded Western Reserve. Republicans lost 10 of 12 Yankee-controlled House seats in Illinois, 5 of 8 in Minnesota, 4 of 9 in upstate New York, and both in eastern Iowa. They clearly lost the Western Reserve as well, though intense gerrymandering of that Democratic bastion makes a firm count of districts impossible. Only in Michigan and Wisconsin will the G.O.P. house caucus represent a majority. . .”
“Last week’s election demonstrated, once again, that America’s most essential and abiding divisions are not between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, or even the faithful and the secular. They’re cultural, the result of differences that can be traced all the way back to the rival colonial projects established on our continent three and four centuries ago.
Our political divisions are rooted in 11 disparate regional cultures, as I explained in a book that was excerpted on Bloomberg View last year. These regions — separate nations, really, including Yankeedom, Tidewater, New Netherland, New France, Deep South, Greater Appalachia, the Midlands, First Nation, the Far West, the Left Coast, El Norte — have been hiding in plain sight throughout our history. You see them outlined on linguists’ dialect maps, cultural anthropologists’ maps of material culture regions, and maps of religious regions, political geography and historical patterns of settlement. . . .
With this background in mind, the county-by-county results from Tuesday’s election offer few surprises. Obama dominated Yankeedom, sweeping 58 of 63 New England counties, and dominating the Yankee-founded tier of the Northeast, from upstate New York and the Western Reserve of Ohio to northern Illinois and the Upper Great Lakes states. He routed Romney in New Netherland and won 39 of 53 counties on the Left Coast. Add the overwhelming support of the regions first colonized by Spain (where voters were unimpressed with Romney’s immigration policies) and you have the “blue” coalition that has supported the Democratic candidate for six presidential elections running. . . “
“Late Tuesday night, the television screens carried a familiar image: America, its northeastern quadrant and western shore a sea of blue, much of the rest a mass of red.
It’s essentially the same map — give or take two or three states — that greeted viewers during election week in 2000, 2004 and 2008, one reflecting divisions dating back centuries. The Democratic presidential nominee — whether an African-American from Hawaii and Chicago or a white Southern Baptist from Tennessee — dominated much of the old Union, the Republican nominee most of the states of the old Confederacy, often by wide margins.
While these state-level maps suggest our political differences may have a regional basis, they actually conceal the depth of the sectional divide because they fail to capture the true cultural fault lines that have shaped and defined American politics since long before the United States came into existence. …
Look at county-level maps of almost any closely contested presidential race in our history, and the presence of these regional cultures is far clearer. Again and again, the swaths of the country colonized by the early Puritans and their descendants tend to vote as one, and against the party in favor in the sections first colonized by the Barbados slave lords who founded Charleston, or the Scots-Irish frontiersmen who swept down the Appalachian highlands and on into the Hill Country of Texas, Oklahoma and the southern tiers of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
The people of the slender Pacific coastal plain from San Francisco to Juneau, Alaska — a region you might call the Left Coast — have backed the same horse as the Yankees in virtually every contest since their states joined the Union, and in opposition to the candidate favored by the majority of people in the interiors of their own states. Yankees have also found allies in the sections of the Southwest that were effectively colonized by Spain in the 16th to 19th centuries. . . “