I had the chance to visit Kentucky for the first time earlier this year. Back in April, I traveled with my roommates to the Bluegrass State to attend the annual Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, where I hoped to get a glimpse of the “Real America.”
We had a great time there. I wrote about the experience.
Knob Creek was covered in Rand Paul signs. Volunteers were handing out Rand Paul literature. A month later, Rand Paul defeated Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary.
As I suspected, there were plenty of explicit Whites on the ground at Knob Creek mingling with militia types and Tea Party supporters. We met up with a local White Advocate in Louisville and enjoyed drinking a few beers before heading back to Virginia.
I left Kentucky with the impression that the state was showing a lot of promise.
The Real America
My own neck of the woods has always been Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Traveling across the South reinforced my view that the same people live across the region.
I also returned to Alabama with the impression that the real divide in America wasn’t North vs. South anymore. There are people in Wyoming, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and California who are a lot like us.
Going to all these rallies and events allowed me to step across the ideological barrier and observe our situation with a fresh pair of eyes. I was amazed that when you get out in the real world and talk to ordinary people you will find that they agree with us on so many issues and are eager learn more about what they can do to change things.
White Americans know they are getting screwed over by the federal government. They are aware of the threat posed by immigration. They also know about and resent the racial double standards. They resent the hostile media elites like Frank Rich and E.J. Dionne who look down on them.
As time went on, I became more and more convinced that White Nationalists were deliberately isolating themselves with an ideological litmus test and that we could work with a wider audience and spread our message more effectively with a few simple changes.
I was starting to see the world in terms of Reds vs. Blues instead White Nationalists vs. White people. The White Nationalists, most of them at least, are just an angrier and more disillusioned bunch of “Reds” who are isolated by their rhetoric and some bad ideas that have been handed down from incompetent leaders.
The key to changing things is to bridge the divide between White Nationalists and Red America. We need a mass constituency. They need to a clear picture of how America went off the rails. We both have the same enemies. We share the same interests. We will share the same fate.
In a nutshell, that is how From The Provinces came into existence. The trip to Kentucky played a signal role in this development.
The Red Revolution in Kentucky
The House races were a wash. Republicans went into the 2010 midterm elections holding 4 out of 6 House seats. They won all their races in rural Kentucky by huge margins.
The Democrat Ben Chandler survived by the narrowest of margins in Kentucky 6. A mere 600 votes would have swung the race to his Republican Andy Barr. Democrat John Yarmouth was reelected in Kentucky 2 which represents the Louisville area.
The Kentucky House was disappointing. Before the midterms, Democrats controlled the House, 65 to 35. They retained control but lost a few seats, 58 to 42.
Kentucky’s Democrat Governor Steve Beshear is running for reelection in 2011. David Williams, Kentucky State Senate President, will be his likely opponent.
Rand Paul, who defeated Attorney General Jack Conway in the general election, needs no introduction here. Paul’s victory in the Kentucky Senate race was the highlight of the evening. The other Tea Party candidates in Alaska, Nevada, and Colorado were defeated.
To sum up, Republicans padded their margins in the Kentucky state legislature, retained control of the Kentucky Senate, elected Rand Paul, swept all the House districts they controlled, and narrowly lost a close House race in Kentucky 6.
In Kentucky, we came out of 2010 in better shape than we were before.
Kentucky and Immigration
I learned this morning that Republicans in the Kentucky Senate will be moving on an Arizona-style immigration bill in January. Senate President David Williams (R-Burkesville), who is running for Governor of Kentucky next year, announced the good news as being part of the Senate majority’s legislative agenda.
Kentucky is set to join Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia in pushing for Arizona-style immigration reform in 2011. Although I haven’t gotten to these states yet, I know that Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida are moving forward with their own bills. Just a few days ago, Florida state lawmakers filed their own version of SB 1070.
It is a point of pride to see almost the entire South following in the footsteps of Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce. Arizona’s brave stand and the polarizing overreaction of the Obama administration broke through the logjam and opened up the whole South to restrictionist immigration reform.
I haven’t seen any word yet on Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas. Then again, I hadn’t heard any news on this out of Kentucky until a few hours ago, which is why I wrote this post. There is still a possibility that every Southern state will take a shot at Arizona-style immigration reform.
It is unlikely that we will win every battle.
I’m confident that we will win most of them and that the victories in the stronger states will inspire renewed attempts in the weaker ones. If we push hard enough, I get the sense that polarization and momentum will start working in our favor, and more radical legislation will inevitably come down the pike.
Kentucky, Immigration, and NumbersUSA
According to NumbersUSA, Kentucky shakes out as follows on immigration:
Among the Republicans, Senator Mitch McConnell (B), Senator Jim Bunning (A), Rep. Ed Whitefield (A), Rep. Geoff Davis (A), Rep. Harold Rogers (B). Rep. Brett Guthrie doesn’t have a report card.
Among the Democrats, Ben Chandler (C-) and John Yarmouth (C). I couldn’t find any NumbersUSA information on Governor Steve Beshear. I haven’t yet seen a state where Democrats are better than Republicans on immigration. It is a safe bet that David Williams is better on the issue.
Having taken a look at Kentucky, I see parallels with the other states that I have covered. It is no surprise that urban Louisville and Lexington are Democratic strongholds. Rural Kentucky sends Republicans to Congress who have good grades on immigration. That’s also true of Georgia.
Kentucky is a Red State because of its demographics. 42 percent of Kentuckians are conservatives, 36 percent are moderates, and 19 percent are liberals. The mix of ideologies in any given state determines its political geography.
Many White Nationalists have convinced themselves there is no real difference between “system politicians.” This is obviously false. There are real and important differences on immigration policy. This is especially true at the state and local level where politicians represent smaller constituencies.
Simply put, it is a bald faced lie to say that elections don’t matter. “Reds” are restrictionists on immigration. “Blues” are for comprehensive reform.
The preponderance of “Blues” in San Francisco is why Nancy Pelosi (F-) represents that city in California 8. The Bay Area is dominated by “Blues” and they send other representatives to Congress as bad as Pelosi like Pete Stark (F-) in California 13, Barbara Lee (F-) in California 9, and Zoe Lofgren (F) in California 16.
Lofgren of California 16 is the Chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee. She will be replaced by Steve King from Iowa 5 in the next Congress. Needless to say, the change in leadership in Washington from the perspective of San Francisco, California to Sioux City, Iowa will result in sweeping changes in House immigration policy.
Returning to Kentucky, the preponderance of “Reds” in Appalachia is why Hal Rodgers (B) represents that district in Southeast Kentucky. The strength of “Blues” in the Louisville area means Democrat John Yarmouth (C) is sent to Congress by that city.
The reason John Yarmouth is not as bad on immigration as Nancy Pelosi or Pete Stark is because there are more “Reds” in Louisville than San Francisco. That always has the effect of moderating the district. Sanford Bishop in Georgia 2 is another example of this.
The path to victory in Kentucky is clear: the “Reds” who dominate the state must elect Republicans on both the federal and state level who can move us forward on immigration.
Rand Paul’s victory in the Kentucky Senate race is an excellent example of how working within the mainstream, moving the goal posts, and incremental progress can work to advance our agenda.