WHY THE WHITE HOUSE IS WHITE
THE BLUE, RED & WHITE STATES
HOW AMERICA CHOOSES WHITE PRESIDENTS
Why We Hold Our First Primaries In The Whitest States
It's often referred to as a kind of venerable democratic institution, or a folksy type of populist tradition, our quadrennial rite of the First Primaries. Nothing to do with demographics, race or ethnicity. Not on purpose, anyway. It just sorta ... turns out that way.
Every four years, TV news runs the same seemingly stock footage of "flinty" New Englanders and "rock-ribbed" Midwesterners, in their funny hats and mail-order jackets, braving the early Winter cold for a chance to practice their democracy on real live targets.
The rest of us get to watch passively as cranky old ladies and crusty old men with peculiar accents grill professional politicians trying to look human. That ancient creature, the Farmer is dredged up from our collective suburban psyches, as we sit watching from subdivisions built on ex-farmlands out here in the real world. The Farmer, who continues to survive corporate agricultural industrialization only with his morsel of Big Government farm subsidies, gets a moment to yawp out a question or two, before he is forgotten, till the next cycle.
Aspiring Presidents, mostly egomaniacal millionaires, parasitical rich kids and psuedo self-made men, are forced to walk through snow drifts and muddy fields with lower-class yokels, and humiliated into pretending to care about their concerns. But think how much worse it would be for them if they had to answer to the vast underclasses of immigrants and non-whites in the rest of the country: Actual working people whom they will regularly screw once elected.
Imagine if the First Primaries were held in the barrios of El Paso and the South Bronx, or among black sharecroppers in Florida or Asian sweatshop workers in San Francisco. What sort of questions might those folks ask? How on Earth could the pol's pretend to care, or even comprehend?
What if the First Primaries were held in places more like the country as a whole? Places where the white population is not 90%+, as in New Hampshire and Iowa, but 66%, as in the greater US? What if the First Primaries were held in places where less than 80% of the population got to graduate High School, instead of almost 90%? Where the median income was closer to $30,000 than $60,000?
What sort of candidates would get weeded out by really democratic First Primaries? How many white male millionaires would make it to the Party conventions? How many would carry nothing but the upper-middle-class standard all the way to November? What sort of President would we have if the candidates were forced to address a real-world agenda?
As long as we let the White States weed out the wrong candidates, we'll never know. And then it's on to the Red States of the Deep South, to weed out the liberals, and lionize the racists. Is it any wonder that, by the time the candidates get to the Blue States where the majority of Americans live, there is nobody worth voting for left in the race? Is this any way to run a democracy? Where you stand on that depends upon where you sit, I guess.
Here's the stats on the US vs. Iowa & New Hampshire, sites of our first two political Party primaries every four years in this chronically misled country (click on pic to enlarge or download):
US CENSUS BUREAU
State & County Quickfacts
US national data &
New Hampshire State data:
US national data &
Iowa State data:
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