Politico Magazine, edited by former Washington Post reporter Susan Glasser, published an amazingly racist and culturally bigoted article by contributing editor Michael Lind last Friday entitled, How the South Skews America, We’d be less violent, more mobile and ....
— POLITICO Magazine (@POLITICOMag) July 7, 2015
Politico bemoans conservative, religious white Southerners whom the magazine accuses of preventing the U.S. from being more like Britain, Canada and other liberal, English speaking democracies. The article concludes with the hope that the South will be ethnically and culturally cleansed by immigrants from other countries and liberals relocating from other parts of the U.S.
“The United States would be much less exceptional in general, and in particular more like other English-speaking democracies such as Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were it not for the effects on U.S. politics and culture of the American South.
“I don’t mean this in a good way. A lot of the traits that make the United States exceptional these days are undesirable, like higher violence and less social mobility. Many of these differences can be attributed largely to the South.”
…”Minus the South, the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand—more secular, more socially liberal, more moderate in the tone of its politics and somewhat more generous in social policy. And it would not be as centralized as France or as social democratic as Sweden.”
Politico goes on to twist statistics to fit its bigoted screed:
…”The American South, with the lowest rates of intergenerational social mobility in the U.S., clearly skews the national statistics, creating an embarrassing and depressing version of American exceptionalism.
“Economic inequality? Apart from California and New York, where statistics reflect the wealth of Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, the South is the region with the greatest income inequality. Southern exceptionalism has helped to ensure that the American Dream is more likely to be realized in the Old World than in the New.”
Politico builds its case for anti-Southern white bigotry through similar sophistry throughout the article.
“Jesusland” as the article calls the South keeps the U.S. down by its faith in God, according to Politico.
“Religiosity is one example of American exceptionalism among English-speaking countries that is largely the result of Southern exceptionalism within the United States. “We don’t do God,” Tony Blair’s aide Alastair Campbell famously remarked, emphasizing that religion is kept out of the public sphere in modern-day Britain. In most modern English-speaking countries, voters find ostentatious piety on the part of political candidates troubling, not reassuring. But in the U.S., born-again Southern evangelical politicians like Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush who troll for votes with piety have given U.S. presidential politics a flavor more reminiscent of Tehran than of London or Ottawa or Canberra. According to Gallup, in 2014 the most religious Americans were all found in Southern states, with the exceptions of Mormon Utah and semi-Southern Oklahoma. Mississippi led the nation in zeal.”
Politico distorts racial statistics to paint Southern whites as more prone to violence than anyone in the country.
“Southern violence also goes a long way toward explaining the exceptional violence of the United States in general compared to otherwise similar countries. The pre-modern “culture of honor” continues to exist to a greater degree in the South. White Southerners are more likely than white northerners to respond to insults with increased testosterone and aggression, according to social scientists. According to the FBI in 2012, the South as a region, containing only a quarter of the population, accounted for 40.9 percent of U.S. violent crime.”
Southern whites are also attacked as being racist for not voting for Barack Obama and being Republican.
“The racial polarization of the American electorate is exacerbated by the white Southern electorate. In 2012, Barack Obama, the first African-American president, won only 39 percent of the white vote. But low numbers among white voters in the South dragged down his nationwide total. Obama did better than his national average with white voters in the Midwest and won outright with 51 percent in Iowa.
“Voting is far more polarized along racial lines in the Southern states than elsewhere. According to a recent study by political scientists Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen, “the larger the number of slaves in his or her county of residence in 1860, the greater the probability that a white Southerners today will identify as a Republican, express opposition to race-coded policies such as affirmative action and express greater racial resentment towards African Americans.”
The article ends on an upbeat note for liberals. Politico expresses the hope that ethnic and cultural cleansing will take place in the South.
“The northern progressives who joke about the U.S. jettisoning “Jesusland” and merging with Canada will not get their wish. But there is hope: A combination of demographic change and generational change is weakening the ability of the old-fashioned South to skew American politics and culture in the future. Peripheral Southern states like Florida and Virginia are increasingly competitive, and the Deep South may join them in time. In Texas once-reactionary cities like Houston and Dallas are competing with Austin as tolerant meccas for transplants who prefer the Sun Belt to the Old South. Immigration into the South from other countries and American regions is breaking down local oligarchies and old folkways.
“The decline in Southern exceptionalism in time may lead to more of a convergence among the U.S. and other modern democracies. Let us hope so. We have had enough of the wrong kind of American exceptionalism.”
This is an appallingly bigoted article, especially for a 21st Century D.C. political institution like Politico. On the issue of race alone, Politico ignores the many minority Republicans and Democrats elected to public office across the South.
Politico has published an article that is politically and intellectually dishonest.
But this is the state of politics in Barack Obama’s ‘progressive’ America.