I’ve been thinking more and more about this idea that a.) Obama lost Tennessee because Tennesseans are unrepentant racists (Though, let us note that at least the “Obama lost Tennessee because Tennesseans are unrepentant racist” argument at least gets us beyond the TNDP v. the Governor and his buddies fight which is “Obama lost Tennessee because Jennifer Buck Wallace ran such a shitty campaign for him here” v. “Obama lost Tennessee because the Governor condescendingly told him to get to Walmart and to not bother to come here.” Which, thought it sucks because it blames the voters, at least is an outward motion better than the circle-jerk that is the Democratic in-fighting.) and b.) some Tennessee Democrats have to act like Republicans or they can’t get voted into office because their constituency is so conservative.
Both of these ideas carry an overlapping theme–that Tennesseans are white and conservative. That the Tennesseans that matter, anyway, are white and conservative. The ones that count, the ones whose votes you court.
That, right there, is an attitude we’ve got to let go of, as Democrats.
Winning in politics is never about what most of your constituents are like–it’s about who can motivate the most voters to the polls. It might be nice if it were different, but that’s the truth. Can you get more people to the polls that your opponent?
Sure, you can continue to go after the “real Tennesseans,” but when you’re only thinking of “real Tennesseans” as white and conservative, you’re going after the exact same demographic that the Republicans in this state are genius at reaching already.