Why Do We Long for Ghosts?



Ned Ray McWherter
  • Ned Ray McWherter
Jamie Hollin has a great post up about the state of politics in Tennessee, mostly about how the Republicans need to exert some control over their, shall we say, more enthusiastic members — or voters will exert some control over Republican politicians that they won't like.

But it's this part I want to ask about:

However, the majority of democrats in leadership for those years in the more recent past were what I more commonly call Ned McWherter democrats.

Ned McWherter democrats — for me — were grounded in good, old-fashion common sense and decency — sharing rural, west Tennessee values (much unlike national Democrats).

What does this mean? Not just in literal terms; I don't understand what, exactly these rural, west Tennessee values are, and why I, as a reader, should assume, but not be insulted by the implication, that I lack them. But I mean, I keep hearing this from multiple people, that it was better when Ned was alive, and we should just try to get back to how it was when Ned was alive.

Don't get me wrong. Ned McWherter was a great man and an important foundation for the modern Tennessee Democratic party, and Tennessee politics in general. But my god, there's a difference between building a house with a good foundation and longing to live in the basement, where we can be as near to the foundation as possible. Please, can we not find some way to come out of the basement and work on the house?

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