Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The southern strategy

Excellent post by Digby on the question of Dean's Southern Strategy. His conclusion (my paraphrase): if Dean is only making a "feint" towards winning the Southern vote in order to not simply concede the South and let the Republicans take it for granted then bravo for him. But if Dean actually thinks he can win over the South through a simple class appeal (bringing poor blacks and whites together) he is being naive about how ingrained the racism is within rural white southerners.

I suspect Dean's approach is more calculated than idealistic (i.e., naive) because he appears to be to much of a pragmatist to think he can solve this problem over night. I'm not so down on the idea of making a class appeal to poor white southerners, but I understand where Digby is going with this argument. We can't let an idealistic, "can't we all get along" attitude blind us to some cold, hard realities.

The simple truth is that their is an ugliness at the center of the American character. It is racism. And, despite all our best efforts, it continues to cling to our hearts tenaciously. It could very well take hundreds of years to expunge it. But we have to keep trying.


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