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November 7, 2003


Political Regionalism and Irrational Voting

We do a lot of posting of Paul Krugman's NY Times op-eds here at the 'bot, but as long as he continues to write insightful pieces about politics, economics, and the social factors that shape our country's policies, we'll keep posting them. Today he looks at why poor southern people vote Republican, why New Jersey's Democrats had such big victories this week, and why Howard Dean is confronting racial political party divisions when nobody else is. Most residents of states like Mississippi probably won't benefit from Bush's economic plan, but have been manipulated into supporting him and his party through what Krugman calls "racially charged symbolism." Funny that the US flag and the confederate flag are both used as symbols of the new southern right wing. Also, Krugman tells us that his wife is black--a personal tidbit that doesn't entirely fit here, unless he's trying to demonstrate his own liberal racial symbolism. -amy

Well, ole Krugs may be a little too much of an apologist for Dean on this one -- would he have let a Republican who had said the same thing off the hook so easily? -- but his point that people in the South are voting for the wrong person is well made. It does, however, rest on the assumption that people should vote solely because of economic reasons and not for ones related to social policy. Maybe white Southerners willingly sacrifice economic benefit for the sake of having someone who shares their conservative values in the White House. As for his aside that his wife is black, he seems to be using it as leverage in his argument that "by and large African-Americans" share Krugman's belief about Dean's statement. Paul: one person doesn't speak for the majority, even if you're married to her. -adm

categories: Politics
posted by amy at 12:57 PM | #


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