The Way Down South


I only very rarely can honestly say that I absolutely agree with every word of an article I have read. It is rare that an author states what I already believe to be true, and it is an extra special treat when an author is able to actually change my mind and get me to agree unreservedly. Bob Moser in The Way Down South, written for The Nation, did just that, and I strongly urge you to go and read every word.

I was one of those who endorsed the "no South" strategy for President. I was one who joined in the chorus of "fuck the South" after 2004. I strongly believed that the future of the Democratic party was in the inter-mountain west and desert southwest. I still believe that we stand to make significant gains here, but Moser convinced me it would be unethical and counter-productive to the health and vitality of our party to write off the South. I am guilty of having a stereotyped and narrow view of southern states, which is inexcusable as I have spent considerable time in the South and know first-hand the populist resentment that boils beneath the surface, and the progressive views on race, culture, and government flourishing in the new urban South. I believe I was wrong, and to the extent that you might share my former discouragement about Democratic chances in the South, I encourage you to re-examine your premises and read Moser’s article.

The 2006 elections has lessons to teach us, and I think we are still absorbing the lessons. One of the lessons is that populist and progressive Democrats can and do win everywhere in America; in rural areas, in the south, and in other Republican "strongholds". We have to ask for citizens’ votes everywhere and not neglect to show up and explain our values and our philosophy.

We have also learned that Republican-lite candidates, such as the DLC would urge us to offer, have failed and will continue to fail in Southern states. We need strong and unapologetic liberals and progressives who can and will make the case for Democratic values, including a secular separation between church and state. If we are going to win, state, local and national races in 2006 all point to the conclusion that we’re going to do it as real Democrats, not technocrats, televangelists, or triangulators.

We have to contest every state, every county, and every precinct. We have to keep in mind that even in areas we haven’t carried in the past there are 30%, 40%, or even 49.9% of voters who agree with us and will give us their votes – and many more are so discouraged that haven’t voted who probably agree with us, too. If we don’t show up, we forfeit the right to convince more people that we’re right, and condemn some of our citizens to hearing only one side of the story. Thanks to Bob Moser for putting that simple truth front and center in my mind and reminding me that our Democratic party is so named because we are the party of the people, all the people, everywhere – especially in the South, where we are needed more than ever to help the powerless find their voice.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which he curates.


  1. It is a shame that the racism brought by illegal immigrants to this country is never shown on the media. Here is a list of Hate Groups leading the pro-illegal alien charge:

    1) Nation of Aztlan (This group also promotes hate against Jews)

    2) Council of La RAZA (This group promotes racism against white Americans)

    3) MEChA (This hategroup pretends, to be “cultural organization” but teaches anti-American propaganda)

    4) LULAC (This group used to be a real civil rights group, but is now a hategroup)

    Check out this website:

  2. Oh, and not this is any surprise, but our ‘friend”s email account name is AZGOPBN. I think maybe the idea of Democrats running genuinely populist candidates in ‘red’ states may have made someone in the GOP a little nervous.

  3. I don’t see any reason to be a ‘friend’ to a whack job, so why don’t you just say what’s really on your mind, and leave it at that without any false bon hommie. Oh, and in case you actually ARE still in Kindergarten, calling someone a name isn’t argumentation here in the adult world. If you have a different view, I would be obliged if you would share it; if you have nothing more than this to offer, I think even you might have sufficient imagination to figure out where to stick it.

  4. It convinced me too. I’m guilty of the same sins and have since repented. Ain’t gonna fly no stars and bars, though.

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