Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Should Be Surprised and Disturbed, But...

... reviewing the results of a recent PPP poll of Mississippi Republican voters does not raise an eyebrow for me. It does not surprise me that a significant plurality (46%) of this voting bloc of largely white, conservative Christians believes that inter-racial marriage should be illegal. It also doesn't surprise me that those voters have strong favorable ratings for Sarah Palin and less-favorable ratings for Mitt Romney. What surprises me is that, because 40% of those voters believed inter-racial marriage should be legal, there are 14% of these voters who are "unsure" of their opinion. When people answering poll questions answer, "I'm not sure" to a question like that, it generally means one of two things: either they are too scared to express their real opinion that they believe whites should only marry whites, or they truly haven't formed an opinion. Either way, there's a good chance that a clear majority of these voters believe it should be illegal for white people to marry anyone outside their own race. And Sarah Palin owns that bloc. The poll also shows that current Mississippi governor Haley Barbour has the highest favorable ratings (85%) among this bloc, and of those who have a favorable rating of him, nearly four-fifths believe inter-racial marriage should be illegal. This confirms for me that, in the south, racism still has a very strong hold among whites, that Jim Crow flows through their veins, and that people who call themselves Christians in that part of the country are oblivious to the distinctly un-Christian values they hold. As Sullivan is fond of saying about the Republicans, it's going to get much worse before it gets better. I'm still betting on a schism between religious nutjobs/Tea Partiers and secularists who are both fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

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