11.01.2008

Blue Virginia?

A piece by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate expects perhaps so. WOOHOO!!! Go Virginia. The town of my birth is named in the article, which caught my attention.

And I particularly liked this passage,
A visit to the Obama campaign headquarters in Charlottesville (there is another office at the University of Virginia) yields more proof that this battle for the soul of Virginia isn't a North/South thing. Sarah El Amin is the campaign's regional field director, and she says the Obama campaign doesn't believe that winning the election requires "pumping out the vote in Northern Virginia" and ignoring the rest of the state. The campaign has put field offices in the most rural places in northwestern Virginia precisely because the campaign was unwilling to accept all the old assumptions. "The clich├ęs about military or Christian or rural communities fail to affect our perception of whether he can win there."
I have never accepted the south as monochromatically red. The large majority of my Tennessee high school friends, for instance, have never voted for a Republican. And many if not most of those campaigned for Al Gore, experiencing, by the way, their very first opportunity to vote as heartbreak, but picking up and moving on two years later anyway. I suppose I still feel the loss.

My own grandmother was born a Democrat, and although that distinction may not have meant the same thing in the early twentieth century, she has updated her beliefs with the times. And she steadfastly maintains that the cornerstone of liberalism has always been openheartedness and affirmation of the equal rights of every person to choose her own destiny. Maybe Southern Democrats can stop feeling so outnumbered as to be insignificant and start showing themselves.

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