Does not compute
As a good liberal or progressive, Jeff Woods has plenty of reason to be disappointed in Phil Bredesen's performance as governor ("Meet the Amazing Philbot 3000," Aug. 7). But Woods is ignorant of the state's long history as a conservative, pro-business bastion.
Bredesen is a perfect fit for a tradition that began with the land speculator, continued through the pro-business Whig culture before the Civil War, and then picked up when Tennessee became the first Confederate state to be admitted back into the Union. Between 1836 and 1856, for example, when the Democratic Party was largely a creation of Tennessean Andrew Jackson, no Democratic presidential candidate carried the state—not even James K. Polk.
The reasons were complicated, but foremost among them was the belief that the Democrats were bad for business. In short, Tennessee's political sympathy has always largely been governed by voters' financial interests. Which is why Bredesen was re-elected handily after dismantling TennCare; which is why Al Gore doesn't dare run for anything in Tennessee.
Picking Phil Bredesen or Tim Kaine for VP might not satisfy Democratic Party purists, but it would certainly make parts of the Upper South competitive, which they have not been for 12 years. The prospect of Obama winning the White House without carrying a single Southern state would be as worrisome as John McCain winning without carrying a single state in the Northeast. Both results would further polarize the country. I suggest Mr. Woods read Thomas Frank's book and then write one of his own: What's the Matter With Tennessee?Bob Holladay
A word from Mr. White
Concerning the "Black Out" article by Matt Pulle (Aug. 7), are you guys serious? Your paper regularly trashes other media for passing over important news for such trifling things, and then you turn around and waste space on this?
The key word in Belle Meade Country Club is "club." I can promise you there are African-American clubs that would just as soon exclude me, a white person. But that wouldn't make your news, would it?
As a Freemason, I once thought it might be neat to petition one of the local Prince Hall lodges for membership. (Prince Hall lodges are African-American Masonic lodges.) That is, until some black friends of mine assured me I would be wasting my—and everyone else's—time.
But this isn't news unless it's blacks who are somehow victimized, is it? The black community and its supporters such as Pulle are obviously not going to be happy until they've destroyed every last vestige of white history and culture. But they should ask themselves, "Are things becoming any better, or are things becoming worse?"
Even if I, a white person, suddenly won Powerball tomorrow and had more money than 90 percent of the Belle Meade members, I still wouldn't be accepted either! And I'm white! Oh, the horror! Should this happen, can I count on you to write a story about me, and how I'm such a victim? Or are you discriminating against me because I haven't accomplished what you think qualifies a person for being forcefully admitted?
I have a better idea for Mr. Ewing, since he's so wealthy and accomplished. Perhaps he should start his own country club? After all, he could then not only admit whomever he sees fit, but he could also name it as he sees fit.
You know, I'd never really considered a career in journalism...until now. There are all sorts of bigger fish frying, yet your paper is more interested in stirring up racial strife where none need exist. I'm thinking if you guys are having trouble coming up with worthwhile news, perhaps I should include a résumé with this letter of protest? Seems like you could use the help.Robert White
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