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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 11, 2008 / 10 Menachem-Av 5768

The Ghosts of Political Leanings

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To understand changes in the political map, we naturally tend to look for contemporary explanations. But American political alignments are not written on an empty slate. Beginnings matter, and the civic personalities of states tend to reflect the cultural folkways of their first settlers.


So I was not startled when I compared state poll results in this election with the results of the 2004 election and found patterns that reflect the surges of historic internal migration. For this year's polls, I used the results from FiveThirtyEight.com, which discounts results based on its estimates of pollsters' accuracy and the recentness of the polls. Thus, they don't fully reflect the recent tightening of the national polls.


In two broad swaths of the country, John McCain is running about as well as George W. Bush did or better. One is the route of the westward surge of New England Yankees across upstate New York, northern Ohio, southern Michigan and into northern Illinois. McCain is running ahead of Bush in Massachusetts and just 1 percent behind in New York and (despite its economic problems) Michigan. Historically, this Yankee-settled region has been turned off by Southern accents, such as Bush's Texas twang, and McCain evidently is less off-putting to its cultural liberals.


The other area in which McCain is running even with or better than Bush is the set of states settled by the Scotch-Irish stock, who thronged to the Appalachians in Colonial days and whose descendants followed the southwest path pioneered by their hero, Andrew Jackson. Barack Obama, who has lived in university communities all his adult life, did very poorly in primaries here. McCain, a career military man, runs ahead of Bush in Tennessee and Arkansas and about even in Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma. He's running further behind in West Virginia only because Bush ran especially well there.


Obama is distinctly ahead of John Kerry in two differently settled areas. One is what once was called the Old Northwest but could be called Germano-Scandinavian America: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska and the northern Rocky Mountain states to the west. Historically, this was a dovish, even pacifist region. It produced nearly half the 56 members of Congress who voted against declaring war in 1917, and it was the heartland of isolationism in the years before Pearl Harbor. Michael Dukakis ran well there in 1988, carrying Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota; Obama seems to be running similarly. There are also local factors at work. These states never have had very many blacks and have no history of racially divisive politics. And Bush did unusually well for a Republican in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, where farmers and ranchers bitterly opposed the environmental policies of the Clinton-Gore administration, which now have faded from memory.


The other region where Obama is running better than Kerry or Al Gore is the string of states originally settled by Southern planters — and their slaves — from Virginia south through the Carolinas and Georgia and west to Alabama and Mississippi. None was a target state in 2000 or 2004, but culturally liberal suburbanites in northern Virginia and North Carolina's Research Triangle — plus possibly higher black turnout — may be moving them toward Obama.


Not all of these different shifts in opinion will alter electoral votes. McCain is not going to carry Massachusetts; Obama is not going to carry Wyoming. But they do explain why Obama is targeting North Dakota and Nebraska (where he might win the electoral votes of the Omaha and Lincoln congressional districts); why Virginia, Republican since 1968, is competitive; and why McCain is running better in economically ailing Michigan than in economically thriving Minnesota.


We like to think our political choices are rational responses to issues of today. But the numbers suggest otherwise. Indeed, they just might be linked to the distant past, to what Abraham Lincoln called "the mystic chords of memory."

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Now, more than ever, the melting pot must be used to keep America great. Barone attacks multiculturalism and anti-American apologists--but he also rejects proposals for building a wall to keep immigrants out, or rounding up millions of illegals to send back home. Rather, the melting pot must be allowed to work (as it has for centuries) to teach new Americans the values, history, and unique spirit of America so they, too, can enjoy the American dream.. Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.




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