George Packer argues that the South's disproportional influence on the politics and culture of the rest of the US is fading, thanks to demographic changes. As a result, he argues, there's "a larger historical shift is under way." In this New Yorker article, Packer explores the possible directions this shift could take:
As its political power declines, the South might occupy a place like Scotland’s in the United Kingdom, as a cultural draw for the rest of the country, with a hint of the theme park. Country music and NASCAR remain huge. Alabama teams have won the past four college football titles. After the Crimson Tide’s big win over Notre Dame on January 7th, a Web site called Real Southern Men explained the significance in terms of regional defiance: “Football matters here, because it is symbolic of the fight we all fight. Winning matters here, because it is symbolic of the victories we all seek. Trophies matter here, because they are symbolic of the respect we deserve but so rarely receive.” That defiance is a sure sign, like Governor Rick Perry’s loose talk of Texas seceding, that Southernization has run its course.As I see it, there are only two alternatives: submission and subordination to a Third-World tide, or independence and survival.