Dames And Demographic Engineering May Turn Battleground Georgia Democratic

Conservatism,Democracy,Democrats,Elections,IMMIGRATION,Race,The South

An “epic political battle” is underway in the State of Georgia, where “runoff elections on Jan. 5 should decide the control of the Senate,” reports the New York Times.

The population surged to 10.6 million in 2019 from 7.9 million in 2000, and the foreign-born population now exceeds 10 percent of the state’s total. Atlanta has gone from corporate bland to youthful dynamic, with its indoor food markets, destination dining scene and rich entertainment culture, including a hip-hop scene that drives trends worldwide. In 2004, 70 percent of voters were white, according to exit polls. This year, white voters made up 60 percent.

Until the 1970s, Georgia was virtually a one-party state, with conservative Democrats dominant. But as conservative voters moved en masse to the Republican Party, Democrats were left concentrated in places like the city of Atlanta, adjacent and urbane Decatur, and smaller cities with significant African-American populations.

Of course, dumb distaff is now a factor:

A new generation of Democratic candidates has left behind the fiscal and social conservatism of its forefathers to embrace a rising demographic coalition of Black voters, college-educated suburban women and a more politically engaged younger generation.

In 2002, it was considered “contentious” in Georgia “to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.”

Back in 1992, Cobb County, for example, was described in “A Suburban Eden Where the Right Rules,”  a New York Times article, as a place for “Sunday-school manners and well-scrubbed sensibilities.” In short, “conservative Southern values”:

Not merely conservative, it was represented in Congress by the former head of the John Birch Society, Larry McDonald, until his death in 1983 and by Newt Gingrich, who represents 70 percent of the county in Congress.

Here is a Karen of old—they’ve always existed—who had come to Cobb County from Yankee Country and proceeded to change it:

“I like that people are more down to earth, more polite, that you don’t have to walk around screaming and yelling and being rude — you know, the whole New York thing,” said Mrs. Wolfe, a native New Yorker who formerly lived in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “It seems crazy listening to myself say this, but sometimes I think that there are a lot of the characteristics that come from some of this fundamentalist religious stuff that I hate that also cause it to be so pleasant here. If they didn’t make it political it might be perfect.

Georgia was once a place for “Sunday-school manners and well-scrubbed sensibilities” and “conservative Southern values.”

WAS.

* Image: Georgia Run-Off, Courtesy NPR

One thought on “Dames And Demographic Engineering May Turn Battleground Georgia Democratic

  1. Musil Protege

    Ilana, your post on Cobb is mainly accurate (minus trace snarkery from NYT). As someone who has worked in Cobb County for 23 years, let me just add a few details regarding the forces that began to coalesce in the 90s to change the place. There is still a lot of natural beauty in Cobb, but a lot has been covered with suburban strip malls & McMansion developments, and to some degree by a few downscale commercial areas and neighborhoods that are downright shabby in comparison to what they were 20 years ago. Current population of the county is getting close to a million.

    Things happen. For one, there was Newt Gingrich, congressman of most of Cobb starting in 1990. I’ve had my own love-hate relationship with Newt. He’s still a bit of a local kingmaker in local GOP politics. Back then, he was a gadfly ultra-conservative, acolyte of Jack Kemp and sort of an enfant terrible to the House Democratic Leadership for a couple of terms. In 1994, two years into the reign of Clinton, Newt hatched the Contract with America campaign, which was, let’s admit it, brilliant politically, for all the good the Contract List did the average person. Bottom line: in the mid-year elections the Republicans, following Newt’s blueprint, flipped the House and Senate, with unheard-of gains. In short order, Newt was crowned Speaker of the House, no small thing. Political junkies (as I was at the time) had always known the GOP would never control the House. You would have been called crazy to think so. So, in 4 years, Newt went from gadfly to two heartbeats from the White House. In fact, Newt was for a time perceived as holding a lot more power than the suddenly irrelevant Clinton. The Intelligentsia took notice and looked for Newt’s Achilles heel (he had a few of them).

    At the same time, back in his home district, the Cobb County Council passed a resolution condemning homosexuality and a concomitant defunding of the arts, after some gay debacle at a community theatre, probably in Marietta, Cobb’s largest city. 25, 30 years ago, conservative places were still allowed to engage in that sort of NIMBY intolerance, if it suited the community-at-large. In the uber-liberal precincts of white Atlanta, however, and especially among its always-burgeoning gay population, progressives seethed, they mocked the rubes of Cobb, and they did what they do best: protest. The committee organizing the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta took notice, and above all wanting to show the rest of the world how respectable they really were, went out of their way to strike Cobb off the venue list. Not one of the zillion Olympic events, major or very minor, that year was held at a Cobb venue, and the Olympic torch run was rerouted around Cobb County, as if it had been disappeared from the map (no matter, the Cobb hotels and inns were full for two straight months, like everywhere else in the metro area).

    Take that, Mr Speaker!

    Around then, I moved back to Georgia and noticed that Cobb had a target on its back (and front). Also, by then, Atlanta had become the Black Mecca; thanks to government jobs (Atlanta was majority black), affirmative action, set-asides, de facto quotas, the growing hip-hop industry, and, yes, a lot of opportunity. There was a huge middle class in the city, and a lot of these people wanted big houses and (dare we say it) a little more distance between themselves and the still-large black underclass, largely located in South Atlanta. They began to look at Cobb, and found that the genial C of C types who inhabited Cobb were hardly retrograde; in fact a lot of them by then had emigrated to the South in search of warmer weather and lower taxes. Atlanta had always been the place where the Yankees got off the train on the trip south and ended up staying, along with their distaff Karen’s. Not surprisingly, more than a few found their perfect landing spot in lovely Cobb County, where the houses were big and living was good, and the neighbors friendly (even if some were too evangelical for Northern tastes, as the lady in your post laments).

    There was also the building boom of the 90s, fueled by a fed-driven economy that also begat the unreal dotcom boom and bust. A lot of people were moving to the Atlanta area by then for the high-tech jobs. To meet the demands, home builders were hiring a lot of cheap immigrant labor, and I’m sure most of that work force was undocumented, because holding the costs down was always a big priority. Those workers, in turn, needed places to live, and they began to settle in some of the more modest parts of Cobb (and the equally huge Gwinnett County to the northeast of Atlanta), driving out a lot of the seniors on modest fixed incomes. When the construction boom went bust, many of those workers stayed. The net effect was not unlike what developed into the banlieus of Paris, wherein the inner ring of suburbs encircling the big city are inhabited by immigrants, legal or (mostly) not. All of a sudden, the suburbs had no-go zones for the white middle class.

    In short, the demographics of Cobb (and Georgia) have been shifting for years, even as the population grows, and the number of congressional seats increases. Democratic politicos took note. More Mexican labor entered the state, not just in the Atlanta area, but in the rural fields of vast South Georgia, where there are all those ag jobs Americans “just won’t do.” Back in Cobb, first one congressional district flipped. More recently another. Whereas in the 70s Cobb was represented by the head of the John Birch Society (a Democrat!), now some of the Cobb-ites are represented by the unwed mother of a police casualty, who parlayed her grief all the way to the US Capitol, and marches with BLM in her spare time.

    As for conservatism in general, well, as I say, in Atlanta, most of them are mild-mannered Chamber of Commerce types and always have been. Liberalism in the Atlanta area tends to be a stronger brew of career victims, snowflakes, civil rights opportunists, and perpetually-pissed off Karen’s, with more than a dash of Antifa and Hollywood. Did I mention our new pride and joy, our $15 billion a year film industry, midwifed into being by a Con-Inc Republican governor, always sensitive to the needs of the movie people at the expense of his own constituents who put the guy in office, but are always embarrassing him with their traditionalism. The film people kill me. They’re constantly threatening to pull up stakes and go elsewhere, every time some rube complains about a deranged man who thinks he’s a woman, using the girls bathroom at an elementary school.

    Georgia itself is purple-leaning-blue at this point, a toss-up state that a decade ago would hardly have elected a Democrat as Dog Catcher. Sorry for the length and disorganization of this comment. This list is by no means complete. Someone still needs to write the great modern Atlanta novel. I use the word modern advisedly. GWTW will always be the standard.

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