The “Poverty Belt” And The Republican Party

America has a “Poverty Belt”, recently outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, states that have higher rates of poverty (30 percent or more), and substantially lower life expectancy.

These states are, not surprisingly, the Confederate South of the Civil War years except for Virginia and Florida; along with Kentucky and Missouri, two states of the “Border” South which had slavery, but stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War; and West Virginia and Oklahoma–therefore, a total of 13 states!

These 13 states have not only extreme poverty and lower life expectancy rates, but also high levels of poor education, higher crime rates, poor nutrition, higher unemployment, inadequate food and housing, and less access to quality health care.

And these states with the highest poverty percentages are dominated by the Republican Party, and won all of their electoral votes in 2012, and most have Republican state legislatures and Republican Governors, and elect mostly Republicans to the House of Representatives and US Senate.

Do Republicans, by their words and actions, give a damn about these horrific conditions in their states?

The answer, clearly, is NO, and no one can claim otherwise, as the reality on the ground proves this sad fact!

The question is WHY the voters of these 13 states constantly vote to send, to the state capitals and Washington, DC, individuals who show a callousness to their plight, and set out to make certain that conditions can never improve! What is in the psyche of these voters that they do not get the message that the GOP is not concerned about them, and instead works to limit the freedom and justice of African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, the elderly, and the young?

And, instead of wishing to make the lives of working class or poor whites better, the intention instead is to promote ignorance and fear among them to keep power, and do nothing to improve the lot in life of the citizenry of their states!

What could be more despicable and outrageous than that reality?

12 comments on “The “Poverty Belt” And The Republican Party

  1. Robert July 23, 2013 9:35 pm

    Well Ronald, are you not assuming that somehow these states were coming from a glorious past of wealth and prosperity before they started voting Republicans these last 15 years more or less? I mean were they not governed for over a century after the Civil War by the Dixiecrats? Was not the South always the poor? Would not the correct analysis be to compare the poverty rate during the last 50 years at least? To see it evolution?

  2. Ronald July 23, 2013 9:49 pm

    You have a point there, Robert, in what you say! I am the first to have condemned, long ago, the Southern Democrats, but the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln and TR, should have moved to change that attitude when they came to power, but face it, all that happened is that the “old” Southern Democrats and their descendants became Republicans as a result of the Civil Rights Acts under Lyndon B. Johnson, and abandoned their founding image as a party, which is a despicable act!

    And in so doing, they also continued to victimize the working class and poor whites, not just African Americans and other oppressed groups, using fear of those groups as a way to “control” the white population, and make everyone continued “victims” of poverty and deprivation!

  3. Robert July 23, 2013 10:07 pm

    But I thought the Dixiecrats were also Democrats, did not they vote for FDR’s policies? Was not Huey Long a populist and were not all these Dixiecrats also big government liberals, in spite of their racism? I mean Woodrow Wilson was a quintessential progressive, supposedly for the poor, yet he was also racist. So I don’t think being a populist pro-working class progressive during those years was at any way at odds with being a segregationist. Did not the Southern Democrats always campaigned for the poor and “working class”?

  4. Ronald July 23, 2013 10:24 pm

    The Dixiecrats went along with FDR because they saw the past of the Republicans as still Lincoln, but FDR tried to “purge” the South in the midterm elections of 1938, failing miserably. To call them big government liberals is a distortion of reality at that time. They just wanted to be left alone to practice their segregation and control, and they demagogued the poor whites to support them, as the only way to keep African Americans down and inferior. The Southern Democrats voted against FDR on the Supreme Court reorganization proposal, and often joined many Republicans in opposition to the New Deal. Huey Long was NOT a typical Southern Democrat in any form.

    Woodrow Wilson was horrible on the race issue, and in his time, the influence of Northern Democrats was not yet present, only starting to influence politics during the 1920s, and gaining power under FDR in the 1930s, and the Democratic Party was often split on issues, but had enough votes to get New Deal laws through, due to Northern Democrats and the Progressive Republicans (particularly in the Senate) who I wrote and published about in my book, TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL.

  5. Robert July 23, 2013 10:29 pm

    I will try to read your book when I have time.

  6. Ronald July 23, 2013 10:32 pm

    Thanks, I would appreciate that! And if you buy a copy on AMAZON, and ever are in South Florida, we could meet, have fun debating, and I would even autograph the book for you! LOL

  7. Jane Doe July 23, 2013 10:40 pm

    Answer: low information voters. Their source of political news is their local barbershop.

  8. Ronald July 23, 2013 11:09 pm

    That is indeed tragic, Jane Doe!

  9. Princess Leia July 24, 2013 5:26 am

    Haha! Good one Jane Doe! I know plenty of people like that in my neighborhood.

  10. Rustbelt Democrat July 24, 2013 7:18 am

    I know what you mean Leia. They’ll say idiotic things such as, “Obama’s the Anti-Christ. He’s an evil Muslim from Kenya. He’s going to take our guns away.” And, if gas prices rise or something, they typically will say “It’s Obama’s fault.” I get so sick and tired of such nonsense.

  11. Jane Doe July 24, 2013 7:26 am

    I tend to be highly critical of our mainstream media at times. Many times it tends to be infotainment. Lead stories will often be whatever crazy antics Lady Gaga did at the Grammys.

  12. Princess Leia July 24, 2013 7:31 am

    Because I like to know what’s going on in the rest of the world, I tend to seek out news sites like this:

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