I'm not the first person to notice these and know of the importance of them in politics. Kevin Phillips, the Republican strategist who created the plan Nixon used to win and predicted, in this book The Emerging Republican Majority. In 1969, he predicted everything that was going to happen for the next 40 years in American politics: this crazy idea that the Republicans were going to become the majority party by abandoning their former stronghold as the party of greater New England and embracing a Southern strategy and the growing demographic and political power of an area which he called the Sun Belt. All of that happened, and he did it by looking at these ethnographic, historic, and regional patterns across the country. He did that back in 1969 and was able to use it like a political prophet to predict everything that happened since. These things have not been entirely forgotten and are sort of known. We look at them in different fields. Pollsters know some of these things as they look at the map in a certain way, historians look at it in another way, and anthropologists in another, but it's been a long time since it was integrated and synthesized so you could see the grand picture and set it out on the table for us to really talk about, to pull it out from behind the curtain and say look, these divisions we're seeing are largely geographic and this same geography has been affecting our country's history ever since the beginning. That's the contribution I'm trying to make, is I'm trying to draw it all together and deliver it onto the national stage in a synthesized form.
THERE ARE A LOT OF SIGNS THAT AMERICAN CULTURE, UNITED STATES CULTURE I SUPPOSE I SHOULD SAY, HAS BECOME MORE HOMOGENEOUS, WITH YOUNG PEOPLE — BY WHICH I MEAN KIDS, TEENS, TWENTY-SOMETHINGS — SHARING A LOT OF VALUES ABOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC JUSTICE ACROSS SOME OF THESE REGIONAL LINES. WILL THAT HOLD WITH THEM, OR WILL THESE REGIONAL LINES CONTINUE? I think the regional lines will continue to exist. What you're saying is true of a subset of any generation, particularly in their youth, but they're people with all sorts of political beliefs and persuasions. We as individuals think all sorts of things. The question is, are we living in an area where we feel like we're battering our head against the wall with them? Or do we have the wind at our backs and feel like we live somewhere where you feel like you fit and belong and the cultural majority is in agreement with you in applying policies in the same way? If you look at the vote in almost any city anywhere, there's usually 20 to 30 percent of the population voting for the guy that didn't win. That still translates, in most states, to hundreds of thousands or millions of people.