Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A recent article in The Birmingham News noted that Democrats, in the wake of the midterm elections, might be nearing extinction in Alabama. That makes you wonder if the same could hold true in other states.
It's an absurd notion, of course. Nothing reminds voters of Democrats' good qualities like several years of Republican rule. But the News' article raises a deeper issue that definitely is worth pondering.
It notes the profound impact of race on the rise of the Republican Party in Alabama--and elsewhere. And that raises this troubling question: Has America's white majority become so addled and agitated with race-based fears that it is incapable of making rational decisions to address the nation's problems?
We can't ponder that question without thinking back to "White America Has Lost Its Mind," a Village Voice article from a couple of months ago. Writer Steven Thrasher presented Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Glenn Beck, and other right-wing luminaries as evidence that white people in America are playing with a few loose shingles.
Thrasher's piece is alternately alarming and entertaining, and here is his central theory: White Americans started going around the bend when Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008.
In our minds, Thrasher definitely was onto something--and the midterm results seem to confirm it. But we can't help but ask this question: Did the unraveling of white America begin way before the rise of Barack Obama?