The news brings word that Bobby Jindal has dropped out of the presidential race. I can’t say I had strong opinions about him one way or the other. He always struck me as one of the earnest strivers that infiltrated the GOP in the 90’s when the Boomers took over politics in America. These are men and women who planned their elections from the womb, tailoring their education and early employment with the sole focus on running for office.
The dominant feature of these modern politicians is the obsession with apple polishing. In school, they studied hard not so they could become educated. They studied hard so they could repeat to the instructor the answers that most pleased the instructor. Out of school, they became a toady for a local politicians or maybe a judge. Having proven their skills at toadying, they moved up the party ranks getting prime appointments and then running for office on their own.
As politicians, they have carefully crafted positions that are designed to bore the voters into a trance. The idea is to curry favor with the locals, but not sound like a yahoo from the sticks. All of them dream of being president so that last part is critical. No thick accents. No local color. No nothing other than generic poll tested positions approved by the party and its donors.
That was the problem for Jindal in the primary field. He said all the same things the others said, but did it sounding like the guy from accounting telling us how he saved money on envelopes. The worse part for Jindal is that Indians are a successful migrant group in America so they don’t get any piety points. If Jindal were black or Hispanic, he probably would be in the thick of it trying to be the donor party candidate.
His other problem is regional. The GOP, like the Democrat Party, is run by people living in the Acela Corridor and financed by people in the great financial, cultural and technological centers. Money men from Hollywood, Silicon Valley, New York and Boston own the two parties and exert a tremendous amount of influence over the management of the parties. The result is the leadership is Yankee and Midlands, with a few members from the other regions of the country.
Louisiana is one of those outlier regions that Woodard called New France, but most people think is Deep South. I’m not sure any state, outside of West Virginia, carries a worse reputation outside the South than Louisiana. The typical person in the Northeast, for example, thinks Louisiana is a place full or spindly legged rednecks speaking gibberish while wrestling alligators.
But, the Deep South, Tidewater, Appalachia and the Far West have little say in the management of either party and that’s clear in these primaries. On the Democrat side, Clinton is a Midlander with Yankee predilections. Sanders is a Yankee Jew. Bill Clinton was probably the last national Democrat we will see that hails from outside Yankeedom or the Midlands.
The GOP field is similar. Trump is from New York and representative of what Woodard labeled New Holland. Carson is a Midlander.The Party Men may hail from areas outside the two dominant regions, but they reflect Yankee culture. Ted Cruz is perhaps the one exception. There’s a Appalachian dodginess to him that I can’t quite put my finger on with him. Regardless, the only member of the Deep South is Caitlyn Graham and he is a joke.
For Democrats, it makes perfect sense for their party leaders to be from their strongholds. New England, the upper Midwest and the West Coast are where the Cult is strong so it makes sense that they get their political talent from these areas. Modern Progressivism is the religion of Yankeedom now and to a lesser degree The Midlands. It makes sense that their leaders are the truest of true believers.
In the GOP things are different. They rely on votes from the Tidewater, South, Appalachia and the far west, yet they pick their leaders from Yankeedom and The Midlands. Boehner was from Ohio, but he represented a district with a strong Yankee culture. Look at the place names in his district. Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown, Springfield, Eaton, Greenville and Piqua are place names brought by the Yankee settlers from New England.
His replacement is a man from a state that votes just like Massachusetts. Paul Ryan would have been a moderate Democrat thirty years ago. If you look through the GOP leadership in both houses, you find very few people outside the two dominant regions. Mitch McConnell is the glaring exception, mostly because he is a glaring exception. Otherwise, the GOP is a Southern Party with Northern leaders.
Some of this is an accident of history. You rise up in a party by sticking around a long time. The American South just went fully to Republicans in the last generation. There’s a lot of young guys from these areas, while old farts from the dominant regions fill up the leadership jobs based on their seniority. Father Time will remedy this. But, the time is rapidly approaching when the voters will not tolerate the foot dragging and deal cutting of the GOP leaders. Donald Trump says “Hello.”
It’s tempting to think the Trump Effect is all there is here, but take a look at this map:
Minnesota is a good place to use as an example. They have a deranged lunatic as governor. Mark Dayton has repeatedly said that people not in his cult should leave the state. Looking at the neighboring states in Yankeedom, one has to assume he is wildly out of step with the people. There’s also the fact that Trump is drawing huge crowds in these states, solely on the issue of immigration.
I’m trying to make a few points at the same time with this post so forgive the length. On the one hand, we see a sharp divide between Yankeedom and the rest of the country culturally. The Midlands is currently aligned with Yankeedom. The leaders of both parties are from these dominant regions. Demographics and the calendar says the GOP is about to break loose from the ruling coalition.
Parallel to that process is the one issue that seems to unify the nation and that’s immigration. The loopy logic of the Left does not do well outside the faculty lounge. The average person in Yankeedom is paranoid of outsiders and hostile to strangers. In the South, familiarity with diversity makes people wary of adding more of it. The one thing everyone agrees on is we don’t want anymore immigrants.
Putting the two together you have one party that maybe can continue to dominate Yankeedom, but is struggling with core issues that contradict the cultural instincts of the people. Open borders and multiculturalism sell very well in New England as long as they are not applied locally. Otherwise, the locals will look elsewhere for their political leaders. Again, Trump is running the table in New England, for example.
On the other side of the street, the GOP is soon to become a very southern and southwestern party. Mark Steyn famously said that the future belongs to those who show up and right now it is the people from these nations showing up to vote GOP. They will get leaders that reflect their values and desires. Cultural Marxism is not going to be on the table, but maybe a divorce will be in order.