This Tuesday, Representative John Barrow, the last white Democrat in the Deep South in all the House chamber was defeated by Republican Rick Allen. Despite the Georgia representative’s pro-gun, fiscal-conservative stance, he could not win his seventh term. Side by side with this event, Tim Scott became the first black to be elected Senator in the Deep South since Reconstruction. Scott is a Republican.
We see the essential completion of the South’s shift from Democrat to Republican. 40 years ago, almost all of the South was Democratic and seemingly would never change. The association of Republicans with the “invaders” from the north during the Civil War seemed to guarantee that the flip-flop we have witnessed would be unthinkable. But truth is stranger than fiction.
The North has changed too. Whether you believe it or not, Brian told me that the North was once overwhelmingly Republican, but now much of it is the main stronghold of Democrats. Massachusetts and New England particularly come to mind. Massachusetts was the loudest Republican voice in those early days, and South Carolina was the most staunchly Democratic. Now the reverse is virtually true.
It is odd that the North and the South have switched roles, and it is sad that there is so much division along racial lines. There are high-level leaders of every race in both parties now, so at least it is not a matter of exclusion or racism. Instead, the natural tendency of minorities to vote as a block to increase their voice and the targeting of the black community by Democratic social-welfare strategies seems to be the cause.