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« Who Needs Soviet Propaganda? | Main | The Final DeRonja-Holland Report »

11 April 2016


Jake Thompson

And despite all of that . . . JFK was gunned down by a left-wing "nut."


Comments will not appear until the author has approved them, so I assume these will not be approved.

The "Southern Strategy" is a much cherished Democratic myth. Did Nixon campaign in or seek votes in the Deep South in 1968? Not at all. Anyone who reads the numbers will know that Nixon did well in precisely those states that he and Eisenhower had done well in 1952 and 1956. The exception was the Carolinas. Nixon "won" North Carolina but if you pay attention to the numbers, it was with slightly fewer votes than he had received in 1960. The whole myth of the Southern Strategy is based on the fourth-grader history taught about the "Solid South." In many places in the South there was a Republican Party that lost elections but always could count on 40-45% of the vote. What has happened over time is that there was a relatively small shift both from inward migration from other parts of the country, such as in Virginia, North Carolina and the Atlanta metropolitan area) and a dying out of the old yellow-dog Democrat segregationists. What many academics and far too many newspaper reporters like Payne are too careless or willfully stupid to understand is that if you were old enough to vote in 1960, you're probably dead by now. There was no massive shift of white segregationists into the GOP, there was simply the Grim Reaper taking them away.

It is true that Nixon in 1972 won the south along with every other state except Massachusetts. Was this a "Southern Strategy" or an Eastern Strategy, a Western Strategy, or a Northern Strategy? Maybe it was a national strategy.

If you really want to understand Nixon's views on race, which have deep roots in his Quaker upbringing, check out his policies in the Department of Labor. Secretary George Schultz and his deputy set out in 1969 to force the labor unions, which were the major obstacle to fair employment practices, to desegregate. Nixon was also the principal sponsor of temporary affirmative action in employment and contracting. The notion that a president who is suing labor unions to desegregate was someone doing so to seek the votes of white Democrat segregationists is absurd. Mr. or Professor Payne should be ashamed of himself.

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