Tag Archives: the south

A Note from the Past: My 2010 Election Post

This is a revised post from 2010.  So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then.  And not for the better.  I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….

 

I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.

And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not.  That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans.  I’ve always said:  “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.

That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:

  1. The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.  
  2. There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”  
  3. Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
  4. Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
  5. Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
  6. The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
  7. Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
  8. The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…

What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?

  1. Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
  2. Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
  3. Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
  4. Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
  5. Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
  6. Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it. 
  7. Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
  8. Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
  9. Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded,  better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
  10. Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.

Those are my thoughts for now.

All I have left to say is:

If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.

If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….

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The Bestway

I hope I didn’t totally ruin my image tonight.  I went to the Bestway grocery store in  old, baggy khaki shorts and a Bernie Sanders for President T-Shirt.  I did wear real shoes….

There is something about the Bestway that brings out both the best and the worst in me…

It’s just so comfortable and convenient….

I’ve even gone there a couple of times in my bedroom shoes in the winter when I forgot to change….

I feel like I can let the image slip while I dash in for a quick purchase….

It may be because I am in there almost everyday.

In case you haven’t figured this out by now, I can be an uptight white boy.  I did go to Washington and Lee University…

But I love our funky, eclectic neighborhood and being within walking distance to the bars and restaurants on “The Corner” at Walker Avenue near our house.  Home is a multi-block radius where I can let may short gray hair down a bit…

I’ve lived in Greensboro for more than 25 years and I’ve stumbled into the Bestway, in various conditions, over most of that time.

The Bestway is a little neighborhood grocery store.  When I first moved here, it was a place to go for cigarettes and cheap beer late at night.  It was a glorified Quick Mart.  God forbid you bought food there as most of what was there was stuff that had been there for ages or was manufactured to be inedible.  It wasn’t very attractive, but it was close to where I lived and you could stop by late at night on your way home.

Now, gentrification has set in, but in a good way….

It’s still funky, but you can find almost all the food and cooking items you need as long as you don’t want to buy meat .  It has the best selection of beer and cheap wine in Greensboro….The new owners have done a wonderful job of upgrading the stock and atmosphere without losing the charm.

The kids who work there are great.  They are young and covered in tattoos and just about the nicest kids you could hope to meet.  Friendly and open.  Really sweet kids.

It’s one of the central focus points for our neighborhood.  It’s like our “Rick’s Bar” in “Casablanca.”  Sooner or later, everyone ended up at Rick’s and, sooner or later,  everyone in our neighborhood ends up at the Bestway.

It’s always fun to go to the Bestway.  You see such an eclectic group of people.  Everyone has a good attitude and is a little laid back.  It’s a comfort zone place for everyone.  I’ve been there late at night when “YMCA” was playing on the Muzak and people were dancing in the isles….

It’s one of the unique things I value most about our neighborhood.  Funky, convenient and offering almost everything the residents of our little world could want.  It perfectly reflects the balance between being unpretentious, but a little bit upscale and a little bit downtown and a little bit funky and artsy that makes our neighborhood so unique.

We may still need to make our occasional pilgrimages to Trader Joe’s, Costco, Deep Roots or, god forbid, Harris Teeter. for some items, but not too often if you plan right.  And one of my major goals in life is to avoid the big, pretentious Harris Teeter with horrible parking.   The Bestway makes that possible for weeks.  It’s lovely to have a neighborhood market that fulfills 90% of our grocery needs.  Especially in a neighborhood where good, cheap wine and a massive beer selection are of paramount importance….

A place you can walk to if you’ve had a little too much to drink and need a couple of things to have an impromptu dinner party for your friends who have done the same and the restaurants on “The Corner” are so packed you just have to eat at home…

And it’s nice to have a place an uptight white boy can wander into in his Brooks Brothers work clothes or beat up khaki shorts and a left-wing t-shirt and feel equally at home.

But that’s our neighborhood and the Bestway is both an integral part of and a reflection of it all….

A little bit upscale and a little bit artsy and funky….

I just hope it the neighborhood and the Bestway continue to stay in sync….

And we can keep this balance in the ‘hood.

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Chapter 91: The Evils of Water Proof Mascara

I really do plan to revisit and return to LostInTheTwentyFirstCentury.com soon, but in the meantime, here is a post from my other blog…..

 

According to my Mother, water proof mascara did more to change the South than air conditioning.

She was an old school Southern woman who believed you had to create a little magic each day as you went forth to play your role.  I’m not sure she ever knew she was playing a role, but she was a consummate actress.  Someone once said that whenever a Southerner decided not to take the stage, the world lost a great actress.  He must have known my Mother.

More:   Chapter 91: The Evils of Water Proof Mascara | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life

I posted a new post on my other blog a couple of days ago.

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

 

It seems every generation has their wars; some are just more obvious than others.

I’ve been reading a biography of the poet Siegfried Sassoon and studying the British “War Poets” of the First World War.  Stories of young men struggling with the realities of war and trying to reconcile them with the peaceful, conventional world they were fighting to preserve.  Many of them were young men trying to reconcile their sexuality with the roles they were raised to play in a world that was fast disappearing.

In theory, my generation had no wars.  We were too young for Vietnam and too old for the first Gulf War.  I remember being in my early teens when the Vietnam War ended.  I remember being outside as fireworks exploded and everyone tried to make merry over the fact the Paris Peace Accords had ended a war no one had really wanted by then.  I remember my neighbor, whose son had safely survived the conflict, hugging me and saying:  “I’m so glad you won’t have to go to war.  You are safe.  We can all get back to normal.”

More:   Chapter 83: Comrades in Arms | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 79: Old Acquaintances | My Southern Gothic Life

New post up on my other blog….

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

 

One of the great things about this blog and being on Facebook has been connecting with old friends.  And learning which people are truly “friends” and which are “acquaintances.”

There are people I barely know or still have never met, in person, whose interaction and comments I cherish.  I firmly believe Facebook and blog friends can be as real as friends you see in person everyday.  Cyber friendship is one of the keys to life in the 21st Century.

It’s also nice to again come across people who have crossed your path in life and see how they are doing.  Some will never know how fond you are of them and that you watch their pages on Facebook just to see how their lives have developed, how they are doing and that you watch them from a distance, like some benign guardian angel, just to be sure they are okay.

It’s friendship the easy way….

via Chapter 79: Old Acquaintances | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 78: Reclaiming the VEQ | My Southern Gothic Life

New post up on my other blog, My Southern Gothic Life…

Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:

There has been an off and on effort in the Gay Community for years to reclaim certain derogatory terminology and make it acceptable to the Gay Community.

The first and foremost example of this is the word “Faggot”.  Larry Kramer started the reclamation of this term with his novel back in the 1970′s.  To sum it up, as Joe Jackson sang in his song “Real Men”, don’t call me a faggot unless you are a friend.

I still don’t like that word.  But then, I have never been but so Politically Correct.  Accepting standard orthodoxy has never been my strong point.

Instead, I’m planning to spend 2014 reclaiming the word “queen”, and all its derivations for the Gay Community.

via Chapter 78: Reclaiming the VEQ | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Chapter 76: The Taj-MaTitty

I’m easing back into blogging after a little break.  I’ll be back on “Lost in the 21st Century” soon.

In the meantime, I do have a new post up on my other blog, “My Southern Gothic Life:”

I’m fascinated by the Taj-MaTitty and I don’t quite know why…

The Taj-MaTitty is what I call one of our local “adult establishments” that I drive by every time I go to Costco.  It’s a big pink and white building on one of the busiest streets in town and looks like one would assume a titty bar would look if it had been designed by Saddam Hussein.  I’m sure they don’t have French Provincial furniture inside, but then, I may be wrong.  I’ve never been inside and probably never will….

More:   Chapter 76: The Taj-MaTitty | My Southern Gothic Life.

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