Us old farts will know what I mean by the “Southern Strategy”……..it was a Reagan idea to gain the support of the Democratic Southern states….by focusing on social issues and not reality…..
But for those that are too young to recall this political strategy……
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans. As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. It also helped to push the Republican Party much more to the right.
The “Southern Strategy” refers primarily to “top down” narratives of the political realignment of the South which suggest that Republican leaders consciously appealed to many white Southerners’ racial grievances in order to gain their support. This top-down narrative of the Southern Strategy is generally believed to be the primary force that transformed Southern politics following the civil rights era. This view has been questioned by historians such as Matthew Lassiter, Kevin M. Kruse and Joseph Crespino, who have presented an alternative, “bottom up” narrative, which Lassiter has called the “suburban strategy“. This narrative recognizes the centrality of racial backlash to the political realignment of the South, but suggests that this backlash took the form of a defense of de facto segregation in the suburbs rather than overt resistance to racial integration and that the story of this backlash is a national rather than a strictly Southern one.
There seems to be a bit of this political strategy being employed by the Trump machine, if we could call it that…….hyper-nationalism and racist undertones……
Contemporary Republican politicians like to invoke the legacy of Ronald Reagan to bolster their policies. However, the type of White nationalism being espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters more accurately traces back to two less appealing Republican personalities: Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, and to the backlash created by the Civil Rights Movement of the nineteen sixties.
It was the Civil Rights Movement that weakened the Democratic Party’s hold on the South, a hold that dated back to the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction. The Goldwater 1964 Presidential campaign took advantage of the opportunity by appealing to Southern White prejudice, and thus pioneered the “Southern Strategy” that was further developed by Nixon and has continued in effect to the present day. Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act and his defense of “states’ rights” won him five Deep South states that had not gone Republican since Reconstruction. Donald Trump’s electoral “base” is of course not limited to the South, but it’s nevertheless true that Southern and border states constitute the bedrock of the GOP today.
Mr. Trump’s largest group are old white men in the South……so he will use the “Southern Strategy” to help vault him into the good graces of other like minded “people”…..
The new South is much like the old South…just with a few minor tweaks….
I Read, I Wrote and now You Know”
“Lego Ergo Scribo”