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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Define a Democrat

Living/staying in the South really makes you ask one simple question: What is the definition of a Democrat? You see in the South, Democrats are hardly different from Republicans. Granted the division between both parties is slim anyway these days, but in the South it's even worse.

We filmed some political speeches today at the fair. And, I listened to a lot of different politicians speak their minds to the people. Let me just give you a quick overview of the Democratic candidates with overused paraphrases. I have good Christian values. I support pro-life. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and I will not stop until that is the law. Illegal immigration must be stopped (Hell, there was even an endorsement from Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen. Though, this was from a Republican candidate, but still.). I believe in guns. The Ten Commandments and "in God we tust" must be in schools. Now, these are the Democrats speaking.

So, I really want to know, what the fuck is a Democrat? Although, the national platform for the party is not really "liberal" it at least leans towards the left on most social issues. I sat there thinking to myself that some of the Republicans sounded more moderate than the Democrats. It's just really confusing to me.

I guess one has to remember that the Democratic party was the "conservative," farmer party until FDR, then it slowly turned. Strom Thurmond was a Democrat and he believed in segregation before becoming a Dixiecrat in the 1948 presidential election, then ultimately became a Republican.

One thing I will say about this trip to Mississippi, I feel probably the most liberal I've ever been in my life. Being around all these Jesus loving, Confederate flag flying, gun carrying, conservatives, it's changed my views on some political issues. Most importantly civil rights. The Black man is still suffering deeply down here whether people acknowledge it or not.

How many more years will it take to realize there's still a problem. Hell, it starts with the state flag and it still bears the Confederate symbol. People down here tend to forget their wrong doings rather than acknowledge them and make them right. The older generations have an opportunity to help right the ship by showing the youth that it's okay to mesh with the "different" colors. Granted, I will never deny the greatness of the Neshoba County Fair, but besides being the coolest fair in the country, it's also the whitest. The black district is the horse track, carnival, and the workers. I don't think I've seen a black person walk past one cabin. It's still segregated!

I still have no idea what a Democrat is down here, but does it really matter? Maybe. Maybe not. The more important issues are not about party lines, but building a foundation to be proud of and honestly it's hard to be proud of the South. There are some diamonds in the rough, but most of it is pure trash.

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