Many of you have asked about how Democrats can get through the culture of the South and the Heartland…God, guns, gays, and race. Since I have been stereotyped (by some) as a racist over the last 12 hours or so, let’s start with the racial wedges that the Republicans have used against us. For those of you who have questioned me on how I stand on these issues, I will be answering those questions this week as I move from issue to issue. And by the way, I never intended to shoot at the net roots with my initial post. I am simply an “elitism hating” Southern Democrat who loathes the stereotypes that have been placed upon me and my neighbors. However, apologies with buts ain’t worth a damn. Since I offended so many of you, I obviously did a poor job of communicating my feelings. I apologize…no buts.
Although we are not at the “top of the mountain” that Dr. King talked about, we are moving. I know few Southern white people who don’t have a great black friend and visa versus. There is little, if any, tolerance for racist groups anymore. In the South, where most of us have a huge affection for the Almighty, we’re beginning to see racial wedges as what they are…dividing God’s children. Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of actual voters (and I didn’t say all) deplore racism. To many of us in the South, the racially-benign portions of our heritage are still sacred, but that’s not to say that we believe the right side didn’t win the war. There are also many Southerners, like myself, who embrace their culture but not at the expense of dividing God’s children. A great example is the flag out on Columbia’s Gervais Street in front of the Capitol. That flag has dragged our heritage into further controversy. We need no further tarnishing of our culture.
On race, I say it’s time to hit the Republicans straight on. When they use race-baiting to divide God’s children, let’s call them on it. It’s now been 27 years since Lee Atwater introduced one of the most effective great lies in political history—the “Welfare Queen”. Yet we have not even hit that one in the mouth. I say let’s shout out with the fury of hell, “If you are a racist, go ahead and vote for the Republicans.” That kind of strong message will hit home to more than just a few good Southerners.