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The Southern Strategy - The Lee Atwater Interview

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Posted

weird how I had only heard the term 'southern strategy' about twice in my life until we elected a black president. Since then I've heard it 23984843587243 times.

Must be a coincidence.

A lot of younger people have no idea how rare republicans were in the south 40-50 years ago or why it suddenly changed.

Before the Southern Strategy, finding a republican in North Carolina outside of Mecklenburg County was about as easy as finding a hen with teeth. No self respecting southerner would vote for the "Party of Lincoln". Republicans were primarily rich businessmen/bankers and transplanted yankees from the big city of Charlotte.

Didn't take long after civil rights legislation for the National Republicans to make inroads into a region that they had largely ignored since reconstruction.

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Posted

oh i don't doubt the validity of the southern strategy and its roots in the republican party.

I just think the frequency and vigor that it's mentioned in paralleling today's political climate seems like a pretty well-coordinated effort to portray the presidents detractors as a large group of racists stuck in the 1950s.

Rings of a Karl Rove-style hit parade.

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Posted

A lot of younger people have no idea how rare republicans were in the south 40-50 years ago or why it suddenly changed.

Before the Southern Strategy, finding a republican in North Carolina outside of Mecklenburg County was about as easy as finding a hen with teeth. No self respecting southerner would vote for the "Party of Lincoln". Republicans were primarily rich businessmen/bankers and transplanted yankees from the big city of Charlotte.

Didn't take long after civil rights legislation for the National Republicans to make inroads into a region that they had largely ignored since reconstruction.

My grandmother used to say that she'd vote for a yellow dog as long as it was a Democrat. Her kids changed their views with the Southern Strategy storm and always voted Republican

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Posted

Jase you are all over it. I have been watching msnbc all week and they have made a concerted effort to portray this. Sure they get to the middle east and fiscal cliff but the lead stories are still election focused and pouring more dirt on mitts coffin.

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Posted

Ben who?

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Posted

so we've got a former RNC chairman and the guy who more or less won the 1988 election for bush talking about how his party used and continued to use dogwhistles to lure racists to the republican party.

but it's really all about the liberal media

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Posted

It is and here's why. Part of what I wanted to see aybody tackl on the Ron Paul thread. The dems/media don't want the rep party to change or adapt or learn from their mistakes. It takes away so much of their angst and reason for living if the reps get their act together.

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Posted

Maybe they don't want them to because it's a big reason the Republicans lost the 2012 election?

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Posted

So republicans are stupid, and that's just the way you want to keep them?

Who says political discourse is fractured.? Seems fine to me.

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Posted

I would personally love the Republicans to abandon their policy.

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Posted

oh i don't doubt the validity of the southern strategy and its roots in the republican party.

I just think the frequency and vigor that it's mentioned in paralleling today's political climate seems like a pretty well-coordinated effort to portray the presidents detractors as a large group of racists stuck in the 1950s.

Rings of a Karl Rove-style hit parade.

The Southern Strategy saved the Republican party by broadening it's otherwise limited shrinking base. The reason it is a topic again is because the reelection of a mixed race President has provided a motivating factor and the advent of social media has provided a public forum for many of the less savory elements of the GOP.

As a witness to the original migration of die hard southern Dem's to the GOP, I have no illusions as to their primary motivation for switching parties, they made it abundantly clear at the time. There is no sense in pretending otherwise, a key component of the southern strategy was to appeal to racist attitudes. To this day, racist voters know which party is most sympathetic to their views and vote accordingly.

Until the GOP publicly and continuously discourages racist attitudes (President Obama is foreign born Kenyan socialist Muslim gay man who murdered his lover and secretly hates America) instead of encouraging such individuals to run for President, they will have a very difficult time attracting minorities in large numbers to their cause.

And yes, it is worthy of discussion when tens of thousand of Americans are petitioning to secede from what they had previously considered "the greatest country the world has ever known" and were ready to fight anyone that said otherwise. These are largely the same people that reelected the internationally recognized economic and war mongering failure GWB/Dick Cheney and were proud to do it. Now all of the sudden, after decades of GOP failed economic policy they are worried about deficits and freedom? Yeah, right, race and the Southern Strategy have nothing to do with it.

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Posted

It is and here's why. Part of what I wanted to see anybody tackle on the Ron Paul thread. The dems/media don't want the rep party to change or adapt or learn from their mistakes. It takes away so much of their angst and reason for living if the reps get their act together.

As a former registered Republican, I can say all Americans would benefit from a real alternative to the Democratic Party. Sadly, the GOP still thinks it needs the religious nuts and racists to win or they would have publicly repudiated them by now. The downside of the Southern Strategy is growing more apparent by the minute and soon the GOP will need to change or die as a political force.

Then again, others may make that decision for them. If a bipartisan majority in the House allows the Bush tax cuts to expire, it would not surprise me to see the Tea Party/Grover Norquist and the Religious Right/Ralph Reed form a third party. It would free up the GOP to revert to it's natural position on the political spectrum and regain some credibility, while attracting new minority membership.

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