Sunday, August 7, 2016

Where Today's GOP Begins and Ends

Richard Nixon ended the Kennedy-Johnson era with the Southern Strategy. His party has been rolling with it ever since.

Nixon scared America into submission, and Southerners were ready to take the bait.

Lyndon Johnson famously said that passing the Civil Rights Act would cause the Democratic Party to lose the South for a generation. He was wrong. Make it two, or even three.

That's where today's Republican Party finds its roots. Sure, Nixon was far to the left of where the GOP is today policy-wise -- It was Nixon, after all, who expanded Medicare and helped create the EPA -- but Republicans didn't start their wild swing right until Ronald Reagan primed the zombie-lie pump with supply-side economics and anti-union screeds. His famous “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem” set the stage for government inattention to domestic policy, while nonetheless engaging in an expensive and at times inane arms race (can anyone remember chasing after "Star Wars" weapons?) with the Soviet Union. That GOP obsession with defense spending continues unabated.

Fast-forward to today. Donald Trump, far from being out of the mainstream of Republican thought, is smack in the middle of it. The central thing that disturbs Republicans about the candidate that they elected is that he comes right out and says it: Blacks are lazy, Jews make the best accountants, Mexicans are criminals and rapists, wives shouldn't work, and Muslims are dangerous and must be monitored at all times. (Not that you need it, but here's a link that verifies the remarks.)

I'm not just blowing smoke. Here's a link to a Vox look at the facts and figures, and below is a chart that is worth a thousand words:

Daniel Byrd and Loren Collingwood/TeleSUR

The more racist you are, the more likely you'll support Donald Trump. But we knew this. The GOP has known this all along, but why couldn't Donald Trump stick with the coded language and dog whistles that herded the white working class into line and got them voting against their own interests all those years? Dammit, Donald, the cat's out of the bag now!

Unfortunately, this is the party the GOP fashioned over the years, and they handed it off to Donald Trump, perhaps not willingly, but if you build it, they will come, and Donald came.

Yes, you built that. What did you expect would happen?

Channeling Nixon? Pretty obvious.

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