For a striking illustration of how divided the USA remains despite Obama’s wonderful victory, click on some of the red states on the map centerpiece of the MSNBC main page and note how lopsided McCain’s victory was in many Southern and Midwestern states:
Those of you who live in the North and on the coasts will now have some idea of what we liberals and progressives who live in the red regions have to put up with in the way of ambient right-wing ideology.
Why are these places this way?
First, for the South, we have Lyndon Johnson’s statement that his signing the Voting Rights Act in 1968 would lose the Democratic Party the South permanently.
Second, we have the expansion of evangelical religion in recent years, which probably explains the expansion of the region of intransigence upward into the Midwest, morphing its foundation in the process from racism to fundamentalism.
Third, back to the South, the center of the unpleasantness: For deeper understanding of this tiresome but inescapable place, I highly recommend this very fine and scholarly book:
Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South
by Grady McWhiney (1st 1988)
University of Alabama Press
and this absolute classic on Southern sociology, culture, and politics:
The Mind of the South
by W. J. Cash (1941)
The part of the USA that contains people who would like to live in a modern, social-democratic, secular, and politically-benign country must never forget that the South and Midwest would have it otherwise.
And they are not going away or mellowing.