|I find this map endlessly fascinating. Nominally, this |
is a plot of counties that voted "more Republican" in
2008 than in 2004
The fact that this culture has, to a greater or lesser degree, influenced almost every part of America, doesn't mean that it is America. It's only one color in the mosaic. Yet it claims a monopoly on "American values," and incredibly, the media let it get away with that.
Here's why the media are wrong.
We have two dominant political parties. Each of those parties is built upon two of the four primary waves of migration from Britain that defined America in its earliest years. Historian David Hackett Fischer, in his book Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, identifies these waves as:
- Puritans, who settled in New England;
- Cavaliers, who settled in Virginia;
- Quakers, who settled in the Delaware River Valley; and
- Borderers, who settled in the "backcountry," as Appalachia and the Highland South were termed back then.
Through the 18th and early 19th centuries, politics revolved on a Puritan–Cavalier axis. The Civil War was fought, essentially, between Puritan abolitionists and Cavalier slaveholders. But in the late 19th century, the descendants of Quakers and Borderers settled the West, while the descendants of Puritans and Cavaliers mostly stayed east of the Mississippi River. Consequently, the balance of power began to shift, and the four cultures found themselves on more equal footing. Today, if anything, the Quaker and Borderer strains in our culture and politics are stronger nationwide than the Puritan and Cavalier strains. Since the political realignment of the 1960s, we have essentially had a Northern Party (the Quaker–Puritan Democrats) and a Southern Party (the Borderer–Cavalier Republicans), with the Great Plains and the Mountain West leaning toward the Republicans until just recently.
Knowing all this, we can begin to analyze what's going on in politics right now. Let's begin with an interesting artifact from the 2008 presidential election: READ MORE