Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Democrats Rural Problems

For years we have heard about "red state" vs. "blue state." Red States are suppose to be Republican or Conservative and blue states are suppose to be Democrat or liberal. This trend was recognized by Tim Russert and other news people and there are things to learn from this, but the big message is that it isn't so much "Republican" or "Democrat" as it is "rural" and "urban."

At the end of a Presidential election, the states are defined as large blocks of red and blue based on the winner of the party, but don't give an accurate picture of how it actually looks demographically. A county by county overview is far more helpful.

For example, when you look at this map, you see that there are huge territories that voted Republican (red) and large pockets of blue (Democrat). Those pockets are virtually always in the urban areas. This is not without exceptions (especially in 2008), where entire states voted predominantly Democrat, (see, in particular, New England states), but the rule largely holds true.

Democrats who were elected to the US House and Senate in "red" areas are finding life rather difficult, according to Politico.com. In fact, many of these Democrats are organizing a rebellion against an Administration and Congressional leadership that seems to have a dim view of anything but the needs of urban areas.

The Politico reports: "Angered by White House decisions on everything from greenhouse gases to car dealerships, congressional Democrats from rural districts are threatening to revolt against parts of President Barack Obama’s ambitious first-year agenda."

“'They don’t get rural America,' said Rep. Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat who represents California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley. 'They form their views of the world in large cities.'
Cardoza’s critique was aimed at Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, but it echoes complaints rural-district Democrats have about a number of Obama administration decisions."
A great example is the demise of auto dealerships, which are not only an important job creator, but a support for community organizations. Little league teams, parks, and parades are often branded with the local car dealers name and when they disappear the towns themselves begin to fade away.

Politico notes: “'In rural jurisdictions, your dealerships are pretty big employers. If you knock out four dealerships, the ripple effects of that are substantial,' said Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.), who represents a largely rural Eastern Shore district and is co-sponsoring a bill that could force the auto companies to honor their contracts with the rejected dealerships."

Furthermore, "Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) questioned how independent owned and operated businesses have any financial impact on automakers. 'None of us can quite understand why they consider dealerships a drag when they are the ones that buy the cars, that take the financial risks. Many of the dealerships that are being closed are profitable.'”

The Democratic leadership seems to be banking on the idea that they can win without the rural areas, failing to learn the lessons from George Bush in 2004. This is also why you hear the Democrats want to see the end of the Electoral College. Without that element in our political process, rural voters would not have a voice (because Democrats spending all of their money in the ten largest cities in ads would obliterate a GOP challenge). This is why those who created this republic wanted an Electoral College and why they want two Houses of Congress (so small states would have an equal voice). The Founding Fathers understood the need of representing minorities long before the "diversity" crowd.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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