Friday, February 7, 2014
The South would not have voted for Christie anyway
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have taken a hit in his popularity recently because of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, but it's unlikely it would have any effect on a future presidential run.
Many people in the South are unlikely to vote for a politician of Italian descent, let alone one from New Jersey.
The Tea Party has much strength in the South, partly because of southern resentment toward the federal government. The resentment began with the beginning of the United States in the 1700's and continued after the Civil War and into the 20th century. Even today, residents in southern states still fly the Confederate flag, insisting that it is part of their "southern pride."
Many whites in the rural South - and even in the urban south - still regard the Civil War as an act of "Northern Aggression." You don't even have to travel far. The south begins at the Maryland border. One can tell by the sudden appearance on the radio of country western music. Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas are the states that comprise today's South.
Regional animosity toward the North from Southern states can be viewed through recent events. After Hurricane Katrina members of Congress from all parts of the country rushed to assist New Orleans and other areas in the south that were affected. But when Hurricane Sandy destroyed parts of New Jersey and New York City, republicans in Congress, many from southern states, withheld financial assistance for weeks, saying they wanted to make sure money only went to those who were "deserving" of it. Even then, many representatives from the South voted against providing financial help to New Jersey.
The South's hostility is strange considering that southern states take in more federal aid than they put in. They take more than other parts of the country, due to rural poverty and the location of a number of large military bases in the south. Federal aid that is provided from taxes paid by many Northern residents and citizens on the West Coast, we will add.
So Chris Christie doesn't have to worry much about Bridgegate if he wants to make a run as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate in 2016. Between the South's dislike of the North, and many Americans' suspicion of Italians, he wouldn't have had much of a chance anyway.
I only hope the Tea Party's sway in the South doesn't continue. The old saying was "Save your Confederate money, the South will rise again." We're all in for a world of trouble if that really ever does happen again.