An interesting article on AlterNet entitled “Can Democrats Reclaim the South?” by Bob Moser challenges the stereotype of the South as a right wing Republican voting block. Furthermore it details how the Democratic party and progressives shoot themselves in the foot by avoiding to take populist ideals to the Southern people.
Rather than diverging from national political patterns, Southerners continue their post-Jim Crow evolution toward the American mainstream. And Democrats continue to run screaming in the other direction.
A big issue for me in our presidential elections is the willingness to concede states to a particular party, creating the artificial divide of red and blue states. The Electoral College contributes to this problem because if 60% of the people in a state support one party, then no one bothers to listen to the concerns of the other 40%. Election by popular vote would go a long way to making political parties campaign in all fifty states. Let the voices of liberal Texans and conservatives from Massachusetts be heard!
Another article on populism in the United States is The Nation’s review of Charles Schumer’s Positively American: Winning Back the American Middle Class One Family at a Time. Katrina Vanden Heuvel asks “What About George Bailey?” referring to Jimmy Stewart’s populist character in It’s a Wonderful Life.