Facing South

Where do "conservatives" live? (Hint: not just in the South)

Facing South
Facing South
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Readers of Facing South know that we question widely-made claims that the South is a monolithic bastion of conservatism. Left-leaning pundits find it convenient to single out the South as the chief enemy of their agenda, but it's a simplistic view which ignores both the South's progressive currents as well as the deep conservatism of regions like The Great Plains.After all, weren't the three states where President Obama did worst in 2008 Idaho, Utah and Wyoming? And isn't the Democrat who's done the most to torpedo the Democratic health plan Sen. Max Bacus from Montana?

A new poll from Gallup re-affirms that the South has no special hold on conservatism. In their annual survey on political ideology, four Southern states ranked among the top 10 where the most people said they were "conservative."

But just as important, six didn't come from the South -- they are states in the Great Plains and upper Mountain West:

Gallup Map Ideology.jpg
In other words, while the South is definitely conservative, it's also within the margin of error (+/- 3-6%) of the Great Plains and Mountain West states.

The poll's simplistic approach -- you're either "liberal" or "conservative" -- obviously doesn't go very deep. Where, for example, do people who are culturally conservative but economically progressive -- often called populists -- fit on that one-dimensional matrix?

But Gallup's findings do underscore a key point: the lingering importance of race. The Southern states that rank as the most conservative are also those with the highest African-American population:

RANK, AFRICAN-AMERICAN POPULATION BY STATE
 
1 - District of Columbia: 57.2%
2 - Mississippi: 35.6%
3 - Louisiana: 31.6%
4 - South Carolina: 28.3%
5 - Georgia: 27.2%
6 - Maryland: 26.7%
7 - Alabama: 25.4%

As many political scientists have noted, the strength of white conservatism in the South is closely correlated with high African-American populations, a lingering product of racism and racial division.

So the kind of conservatism one sees in the South is different than the kind found in the Great Plains and Mountain West, which have a much whiter composition.

But the interesting long-term question is: Are the demographics that are driving growth in Southern states -- more immigrants, more in-migration, growing urban centers -- the kind that will make the region less "conservative?"

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re: Where do "conservatives" live? (Hint: not just in the South)

Forget, please, "conservatism." It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

PS – And “Mr. Worldly Wiseman” Rush Limbaugh never made a bigger ass of himself than at CPAC where he told that blasphemous “joke” about himself and God.