In his book Whistling Past
Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South,
published this month, Dr. Thomas
F. Schaller ’89 issues a challenge to the
political party: Build a winning coalition outside the
Thomas F. Schaller
Schaller argues that Republicans now dominate the South.
“Rather than superficial and mostly futile pandering
to the nation’s most conservative voters, Democrats
should begin to build a non-Southern majority by unapologetically
tailoring policies and targeting messages to more receptive
audiences outside the South,” he writes.
His message to Democrats wanting to score big in this
year’s mid-term election is to concentrate on
the "4D rectangle" of states formed by connecting
Dover, N.H.; Dover, Del.; Des Moines, Iowa; and Duluth,
“This is where the key races for control of the
House will take place and where Dems will find the seats
to make gains and possibly take back the House in 2006,”
says Schaller. “Likewise, all five of the most
competitive Senate races are outside the South this
Calling the upcoming vote a “change election,”
Schaller uses a hurricane metaphor to gauge its intensity.
“I think it will be a Category 3 kind of storm.
It will sweep some people out; we just have to see how
The associate professor of political science at the
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has a 2006
election preview in the October issue of In
These Times magazine.
A political commentator for Baltimore
magazine and the co-author of Devolution
and Black State Legislators:
Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-First Century,
part of the SUNY Series in African American Studies,
Schaller credits some of his skill in communicating
to his former teacher at Oswego and still friend and
mentor, Communication Studies Professor John Kares Smith.
"My political knowledge I gained in graduate school,
but my rhetorical abilities are the product of John's
fine teaching,” Schaller says. Smith was helpful
in editing the original book proposal sold to Simon
& Schuster, as well as selected chapters.
Schaller’s editor at Simon & Schuster is the
Mayhew, who has also edited books by President Jimmy
Carter and Bob Woodward.
To October 2006 E-Newsletter