In response, I see others point to the "Deep South", and its lack of economic opportunity, as an indictment of "conservative" politics.
Both sides are right, to a point, but both sides are wrong because they are missing the "Big Picture". What's the common denominator?
The violation of individual liberty through the political method.
In other words, both cases are an indictment of Statism as a whole, not of a particular form of statism. But that doesn't fit in with the obsolete and falsified "left vs right" paradigm. So statists of either stripe will keep throwing rocks at their ideological twins while studiously ignoring the root of the problem.
Liberty would fix both places. Stop letting the cowards set the agenda and frame the debate.
And please don't forget.