Do you ever feel alienated from large parts of the country? Reading about how radically conservative the South is becoming, I do. In Georgia yesterday, the governor signed into law a bill allowing people to carry guns into schools and airports. The governor of Mississippi just signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks, with no exception for rape or incest. But truth be told, the law probably won’t make a huge difference: There’s only one abortion clinic in Mississippi anyway. Across the South, most Southerners “loathe” Obamacare, even as they think that their state’s health care exchange is working well. And all the time, the South is only becoming more racist; there’s barely a white person in the region who can bring him or herself to say a kind word about President Obama. The whole area is starting to feel like Dallas on November 21st, 1963—a place defined by fear and hate.

This is, funnily enough, not a good thing for the Republican Party, as there aren’t enough Southern racists to elect a president, but there are enough to stop a Republican moderate from getting the GOP nomination. But that’s bad for the country. The Republican Party should be a healthy political force, rather than a toxic one.

I’ve searched for some good explanations why the South has become even more conservative during the past, say, six years. My suspicion is that it’s a reaction against having an African-American president, but it must be more than that, too. Or is that last part just wishful thinking?