Remember all the chatter about how the final determination for the control of the U.S. Senate would probably come down to two runoff elections — in Georgia and Louisiana? Pollsters and pundits claimed were tight races and these two would hang in the balance, and the whole nation would be focused on them in December and January.
Boy howdy, did they get that all wrong! The race in Georgia between David Perdue (R) and Michelle Nunn (D) wasn’t even close. And in Louisiana, the venerable Senator Mary Landrieu who comes from a political household family name — and had served 18 years in the Senate — went down in flames, basically holding on to the same number of votes she acquired in the Louisiana “jungle primary.” (is that racist?)
As reported by Fox News, “Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu lost her reelection bid Saturday in a runoff race with Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, despite a relentless, against-long-odds effort. Landrieu, who was seeking a fourth term, trailed by double digits and had lost most of her support going into the election. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting late Saturday, Cassidy had received 56 percent of the vote, to 44 percent for Landrieu.”
Nationally, probably more folks were tuned into the college football conference championship games than the Louisiana Senate race on Saturday. But my interest isn’t in discussing the intricacies of this Senate race — or even how bad the pollsters did this past midterm election cycle, hurting their credibility.
Having been brought up in the deep South, I must say there’s something far greater afoot– a sort of changing of the political guard across what some used to refer to as “Dixie.”
If you look across the southern states, you’d be hard pressed to find any Democrats holding statewide elected office after this election — and control of State legislatures is also a phenomena — nationally the GOP holds some 69 of 99 state legislatures (Nebraska has a unicameral system). Since Missouri is in the SEC, I’ll count them in and they have a Democrat Governor and Senator, along with Virginia –- northern Virginia has a lot to do with that — but Ed Gillespie came darn close. Kentucky has a Democrat Governor but two GOP Senators. And in Florida there’s Democrat Senator Bill Nelson.
But when I reflect on my days growing up down South, the place was a Democrat stronghold — some folks just couldn’t get over the whole Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression) thing — and as we know from history the Democrat Party was the party of the KKK, Jim Crow Laws, segregation, poll taxes and literacy tests, while a study of GOP history makes clear its stance for individual liberty and civil rights.
Remember it was a GOP Senator, Everett Dirksen, who enabled passage of the civil rights — Democrat Senators Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr. weren’t having it. And Dwight D. Eisenhower offered up similar legislation as president only to have it thwarted by Democrat Senators.
There has been a seismic change in the South, which the National GOP should recognize and understand. Down in our “neck of the woods,” the Democrat Party and its policies are no longer regarded as those of the working man and woman.
And more folks are beginning to reject the victimization and welfare nanny-state message and embrace the message — as Booker T. Washington championed — of education, entrepreneurship, and self-reliance.
The Democrat Party has become more aligned with far left progressive socialist ideals — which are the antithesis of the South’s values of faith, family and duty to country. The Democrat Party has become the party of the elites, who feel they can better determine how you should live their life than you can.
And as long as the leftists and their media allies embrace the sense of mobocracy and disregard for the rule of law and the judicial process, they’ll find themselves at odds with the fundamental conservative values of the South.
Now, it becomes vital for the GOP to champion principles and policies that promote the growth, opportunity, and promise of Americans. They’ve been handed an opportunity to govern, as Americans are rejecting the “big government” solutions from today’s Democrat party.
Now, the ideological battle for the soul of America is far from over, as a matter of fact, I think it’s about to get even more vicious. But, if the message centers around principle, not party; policy, not politics — the greater days of America lie ahead. The key is to take that message into every corner of our Constitutional Republic — and that means the inner cities where we sorely need a sense of hope and opportunity.
I believe that in the presidential election of 2012, Mitt Romney won some 72 percent of counties in the United States but that only resulted in a larger electoral college defeat. Why? Because the Democrat party has turned presidential election politics into a science, knowing exactly what counties and what precincts in what states yield them a resounding victory. That is the challenge.
But the GOP cannot win by pandering, but rather by engaging, inspiring, and enlightening the American populace about the right choices for its future — and that of their children and grandchildren.
Yep, in my lifetime I have seen the first black president — and also the decimation of the Democrat Party in the Deep South.