Sunday, June 27, 2004

Blue State/Red State and the "Regan Democrat"

Salon has an interesting article about the attention that has been given to the supposed Red State/Blue State divide. I have mixed feelings, about the arguments used in this debate and about the premise of the debate itself. Still, I recommend the whole article, and I find this quote about the "Regan Democrats" especially poignant:

But yeah, there was a little bit of wistfulness, and I'll describe it to you. I was watching TV and they were running a lot of news footage from that era, the late '70s and early '80s. It was images of the fabled Reagan Democrats, you know, blue-collar guys voting for Reagan. I was thinking about the world that those guys came out of, where 20 percent of the private-sector workforce was in a union, and blue-collar people could live next door to white-collar people. The gap between the social classes wasn't that huge. They loved that world so much, they loved that affluent society. They voted for this candidate who evoked it so well, who talked about it so beautifully. And he killed it. Conservatism killed that world. It's so sad. It's just tragic. What's that old term? One of the great ironies of American history. But this is way beyond irony. It's tragedy.

"How the Democrats Lost the Heartland"

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