Thursday, November 22, 2012

The South and Elections: What the rest of us just don't understand about Southerners

As I spend vacation in the South (specifically Tennessee) I am greeted by a different culture of people.

Please understand that the culture is different here than in any other place in the United States.  To understand the culture is to understand the people.  Franklin D Roosevelt understood the south well.  And, we was part of  group referred to as Dixiecrats that delivered the south to Democrats for a number of years.

Here are the Southerners priorities:

1.  God

2.  The Bible

3.  Connections to the outdoors including hunting and fishing.

4.  Recognition of the culture and heritage of the South.

5.  Economic prosperity... for many just enough to get by.

Roosevelt a Progressive Democrat, made tremendous in-roads in the South during his administration.  The idea was to build the South's infrastructure.  Build roads, develop national parks, and provide power to a part of the country that time had forgotten.  The development was part of a New Deal for Tennessee and much of the South.  Roosevelt was admired if not loved by many in the South.

What could the present administration do to improve their relation with the South?

1.  Avoid destroying the culture of the South.  While there are fringe elements who push radical agendas on both sides, Obama et al. should avoid the controversy here.  Instead, there is a desperate need to educate the masses.

2.  Education offers hope.  As the Good Book says in Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people shall perish."  Collectively, schools in the South are a shambles.  Much like the Northern  inner cities there is little connection between the culture and education.  Most of African-American decent understand the importance of education...  the adults particularly understand the struggle of getting a reasonable access to education.

3.  At a time that Republican state legislators are attempting to keep funding to low limits throughout the nation, the south seems to suffer most.  Whether you lean Democrat or Republican the equation is simple.  The South is ripe for the picking.  The Federal government ha a unique opportunity to raise the bar, and offer hope to the South.  Education is the key.