Here are two interesting nuggets from political articles that I’ve read recently. First, from last week’s New Yorker, comes this bit about Gary Hart’s belief that Democrats need to woo western voters, not southern voters:
If we brought the mountain states into the Democratic Party for the next twenty, thirty, forty years, it would make the Party younger. It would make the Party more environmentally concerned and attentive. It would certainly move energy-related issues to the forefront,” he said. “And you will find people here more technologically sophisticated. It would be much more new economy versus old economy. This is not an industrial area. This is small business and cutting-edge technologies. We’re about where California was twenty-five, thirty years ago.”
If you find that interesting, I recommend reading Ryan Lizza’s whole article. Based only on what Lizza presented in the article, I think there’s a good case to be made for the national party to largely abandon Virginia, etc., to focus their resources elsewhere.
The second interesting quote comes from David Frum’s piece in Friday’s New York Times, “The Vanishing Republican Voter“:
As a general rule, the more unequal a place is, the more Democratic; the more equal, the more Republican. The gap between rich and poor in Washington is nearly twice as great as in strongly Republican Charlotte, N.C.; and more than twice as great as in Republican-leaning Phoenix, Fort Worth, Indianapolis and Anaheim…. As America becomes more unequal, it also becomes less Republican. The trends we have dismissed are ending by devouring us.
Frum goes on to cite Fairfax as a prime example of inequity resulting in Democratic victories, and forecasts that the reliably-conservative Prince William will fall for the same reasons. Most troubling to him is that the more uneducated a populace, the more likely they are to be Republicans, while the converse is likewise true. As goes upstate Virginia, so goes the nation.
It’s ironic that Republican leadership has tended to result in inequality (I’d argue that it’s an inevitable result of the Republican philosophy), if that is indeed the cause of Democratic victories. Apparently the political market is self-correcting.