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Friday, October 3, 2008

Insomnia: The Southern Strategy Edition

posted by on October 3 at 5:46 AM

An old, old joke from A Treasury of Southern Folklore: Stories, Ballads, Traditions, and Folkways of the People of the South, by folklorist B. A. Botkin:

A Northerner and a Southerner were discussing matters political in the smoking compartment of a Pullman, when the Northern asked:

“”Why is it that you men of the South are practically all Democrats? In the North we divide; there you will find Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Independents, and so forth, while you of the South stick together in the Democratic party. Why is this? Why, for instance, are you a Democrat?

“Well,” drawled the Southerner, “my father was a Democrat, my grandfather was a Democrat, and my great-grandfather was a Democrat, so, of course, I’m a Democrat.”

“Ah,” said the Northerner, “suppose your father had been a horse-thief and your grandfather had been a horse-thief, and your great-grandfather had been a horse-thief, what would you have been then?”

“Oh, I guess in that case I’d have been a Republican,” was the reply of the Southerner.

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I heard that joke two days ago. At my school:
The University of the South. And people still believe it, except you know, the other way around.

Posted by Will in STL | October 3, 2008 7:22 AM

Depending on how old it is, I've got to wonder if that joke refers Lincoln and how his republican party (my how they've changed!) ended slavery, which took all of those "horses" away from the south.

Posted by Hrmmmm | October 3, 2008 8:03 AM

and now, white southerners are all republicans. it all works out.

Posted by max solomon | October 3, 2008 8:26 AM

Amusing ... it just doesn't happen to apply anymore, but still amusing.

I hope this isn't meant to set us up for a wave of other posts having to do with the Old South when what we need to do as a community is look ahead.

Posted by Seajay | October 3, 2008 8:27 AM

Coming from a long line of Southern Yellow-Dog Democrats, @2 has it exactly right. My Grandfather was a Democrat because Lincoln and the Republican party were responsible for Reconstruction and us losing that "War of Southern Independence". In the 1950 & 1960s, Democrats in the south were exactly like the Republicans in the south are today.

Posted by Big_K | October 3, 2008 8:35 AM

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