James Carville's new book 40 More Years might be one of the more frightening books on the shelves these days.
What happens to a society after 40 years of Democratic rule? Look at Detroit, where the last Republican mayor stepped down in 1962. A third of the city is below the poverty line. Nearly half of all children under the age of five live in poverty. The violent crime rate is more than three times the national average. Less than 1/4 of high school freshmen go on to graduate. How's that Democratic majority working out for ya, Detroit?
Detroit's a festering cesspool though. How about Chicago? It last had a Republican mayor in 1931! The poverty rate in 2007 was 20 percent, far above the national average. The violent crime rate is more than twice the national average. The high school graduation rate is 52.2 percent, far below the national average (but good enough that Arne Duncan, former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, is now our U.S. Secretary of Education!).
Washington, D.C. has never had a Republican mayor. Philadelphia's last Republican mayor was 1952. St. Louis last had a Republican mayor in 1949. Buffalo's last GOP mayor was 1965. New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, Camden... not a single Republican mayor within the past 40 years.
I look at that list, and I see misery for the residents, and opportunity for Republicans. Yes, it would be an uphill climb. It may even be necessary to run as Democrats to begin with, but I've always believed that conservatism should work for everyone, not just suburban and rural voters.
What kind of conservative message could sell in these one-party towns? That'll be the subject of my next post.