SHAKUR: Here’s why the party switch is a LIE—Debunking the myth of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’

The less racist the South became, the more Republican it became.

Here’s what the former president of the United States had to say when he eulogized his mentor, an Arkansas senator:

We come to celebrate and give thanks for the remarkable life of J. William Fulbright, a life that changed our country and our world forever and for the better. . . . In the work he did, the words he spoke and the life he lived, Bill Fulbright stood against the 20th century’s most destructive forces and fought to advance its brightest hopes.

Bill Clinton

The Southern Manifesto

The Southern Manifesto declared the signatories’ (99 Democrats signed and 2 Republicans) opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and their commitment to segregation forever. J. William Fulbright, signed this manifesto, he was also among the senators who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 83 days.

Who really opposed Black Americans?

The percentage of House Democrats who supported the Civil Rights act of 1964; 61 percent. House Republicans? 80 percent. In the Senate, 69 percent of Democrats voted yes, compared with 82 percent of Republicans. (Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the NAACP, voted no because he thought it was unconstitutional), as noted by the National Review.

As reported by Mona Charen at the National Review, when he was running for president in 2000, Vice President Al Gore told the NAACP that his father, Senator Al Gore Sr., had lost his Senate seat because he voted for the Civil Rights Act. Uplifting story — except it’s false. Gore Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act. He lost in 1970 in a race that focused on prayer in public schools, the Vietnam War, and the Supreme Court.

Al Gore’s reframing of the relevant history is the story of the Democratic party in microcosm, Charen argues. The party’s history is covered with racism and terror. The Democrats were the party of slavery (there is no historical record of any republican ever owning a slave), Black Codes, Jim Crow, and the terrorist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Republicans were (and still are) the party of Lincoln, Reconstruction, anti-lynching laws, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1875, 1957, 1960, and 1964. Of course not all Republicans were moral models on race? But the party at its foundation i.e. why it was initially founded is a lot better than the Democrats. Without question.

As recently as 2010, the Senate’s president pro tempore was former Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.). Rather than acknowledge their sorry history, modern Democrats have rewritten it. The Democrats have been sedulously rewriting history for decades.

When MSNBC was commemorating the 50th anniversary of segregationist George Wallace’s “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” stunt to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama, the network identified Wallace as “R., Alabama.”

Their preferred version pretends that all the Democratic racists and segregationists left their party and became Republicans starting in the 1960s. This is convenient lie. If it were true that the South began to turn Republican due to Lyndon Johnson’s passage of the Civil Rights Act, you would expect that the Deep South, the states most associated with racism, would have been the first to move. That’s not what happened. The first southern states, according to the National Review, to trend Republican were on the periphery: North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. (George Wallace, a very public racist, lost these voters in his 1968 presidential bid.) The voters who first migrated to the Republican party were suburban, prosperous, and as Charen describes; New South types. In other words, the less racist the South had become, the more Republican it became as that was (and is) the party that fought for freedom and civil rights.

D’Souza exposes the big lie.

Dinesh D’Souza says, the Democrat Party’s claim to be the party of the good guys, while the Republicans are the party of the bad guys, hinges on the tale of Richard Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy. According to this narrative, advanced by progressive historians, Nixon orchestrated a party switch on civil rights by converting the racists in the Democratic Party — the infamous Dixiecrats — into Republicans. And now, according to a recent article in The New RepublicPresident Trump is the “true heir, the beneficiary of the policies the party has pursued for more than half a century.”

This false narrative is directly printed in textbooks, shared on the history channel and regularly repeated in the mainstream liberal media. But it is not true. As D’Souza notes no one has ever given a single example of an explicitly racist pitch by Nixon during his long career. One might expect that a racist appeal to the Deep South actually would have to be made, and to be understood as such. Yet, quite evidently none was.

Progressives insist that Nixon made a racist “dog whistle” appeal to Deep South voters.  Evidently he spoke to them in a kind of code. Is this really plausible? How is it that Nixon figured out how to communicate with Deep South racists in a secret language? Do Deep South bigots, like dogs, have some kind of heightened awareness of racial messages — messages that are somehow indecipherable to the media and the rest of the country?  If this is true, how do many progressive, who claim to be anti-racist, hear this dog whistle i.e. coded language that only racists are supposed to hear?

D’Souza asserts that this seems unlikely, but goes on to consider the possibility. Liberals insist that Nixon’s appeals to drugs and law and order were coded racist messaging. Yet when Nixon ran for president in 1968 the main issue on the ticket was the Vietnam War. One popular Republican slogan of the period described the Democrats as the party of “acid, amnesty and abortion.” Clearly there is no suggestion here of race.

Nixon’s references to drugs and law and order in 1968 were quite obviously directed at the antiwar protesters who had just disrupted the Democratic Convention in Chicago. His target was radical activists such as Abbie Hoffman and Bill Ayers. Nixon scorned the hippies, champions of the drug culture such as Timothy Leary, and draft-dodgers who fled to Canada. The vast majority of these people were white, D’Souza explains.

In fact, the very opposite is true about Nixon. He had an excellent record on civil rights. He supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was an avid champion of the desegregation of public schools. A progressive columnist named Tom Wicker wrote in the New York Times, “There’s no doubt about it — the Nixon administration accomplished more in 1970 to desegregate Southern school systems than had been done in the 16 previous years or probably since. There’s no doubt either that it was Richard Nixon personally who conceived and led the administration’s desegregation effort.”

Upon his taking office in 1969, Nixon also put into effect America’s first affirmative action program. Dubbed the Philadelphia Plan, it imposed racial goals and timetables on the building trade unions, first in Philadelphia and then elsewhere. The question must be asked and answered; would a man seeking to build an electoral base of Deep South racist white supremacists actually promote the first program to legally discriminate in favor of blacks? Why would a racist guy blowing a racist dog whistle work to implement policy he felt would help Black people?

Nixon barely campaigned in the Deep South, D’Souza explains. His strategy, as outlined by Kevin Phillips in his classic work, “The Emerging Republican Majority,” was to target the Sunbelt, the vast swath of territory stretching from Florida to Nixon’s home state California. This included what Phillips terms the Outer or Peripheral South.  

Nixon recognized the South was changing. It was becoming more industrialized, with many northerners moving to the Sunbelt. Nixon’s focus, Phillips writes, was on the non-racist, upwardly-mobile, largely urban voters of the Outer or Peripheral South. Nixon won these voters, and he lost the (racist/ segregationist) Deep South, which went to Democratic segregationist George Wallace. In other words, gradually, the less racist the South became, the more Republican it became.

And how many racist Dixiecrats did Nixon win for the GOP? Turns out, virtually none, D’Souza proclaims . Among the racist Dixiecrats, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was the sole senator to defect to the Republicans and he did this long before Nixon’s time. Only one Dixiecrat congressman, Albert Watson of South Carolina, switched to the GOP during Nixon’s time. The rest, more than 200 Dixiecrat senators, congressmen, governors and high elected officials, all stayed in the Democratic Party until their deaths.

The liberal progressive narrative of a Dixiecrat switch is a myth. Though the late Senators Jesse Helms of North Carolina and John Tower of Texas and former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott all switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, none of these men were ever a Dixiecrat.  

The South, as a whole, became Republican during the 1980s and 1990s. This had nothing to do with Nixon, D’Souza asserts ; it was because of Ronald Reagan and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The conservative appeal to patriotism, anti-communism, free markets, pro-life and Christianity had far more to do with the South’s movement into the Republican party than anything related to race.  

This liberal myth of Nixon’s Southern Strategy endures — not because it’s true, but because it conveniently serves to exculpate the crimes of the Democratic Party, says D’Souza.

In an unbelievably dishonest and deceitful manner the party that promoted slavery, segregation, Black Codes, Jim Crow and racial terrorism get to wipe the slate clean by pretending that, with Nixon collusion, the Republicans stole all of their racists.

When analyzing this lie it sounds foolish because it is foolish. It’s time the American people, particularly Black America stand up and demand that liberal progressives stop lecturing us about and weaponizing race and instead come to terms with their own history.

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