a reply to: schadenfreude
Here's my disclaimer:
I am a liberal progressive (not to be confused with a Democrat) and I have a serious disdain for Trump and more importantly, a great concern about
what makes Trump appealing to some of my fellow Americans.
So you have d-bags like McConnel saying if Trump wins "he'll vote for Hillary"
I don't believe Mitch McConell said he'd vote for Hillary. He wouldn't dare.
With that all out of the way, this is my take on the situation and it's necessary to explain some history so this is going to be a little long:
JFK was in my opinion, the real deal when it came to his support for the Civil Rights movement. LBJ on the other hand was known for his fondness of
the "n-word" and imo, only reluctantly supported Civil Rights out of political expediency. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law in an
election year and of course, desegregation was a deeply divisive issue. At the time, the Democrats dominated the South but it should be noted that
just like their Southern Republican counterparts, Southern Democrats almost universally opposed the Civil Rights movement. One prominent example would
be Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace. You'll see some comparisons between Trump and Wallace's demagoguery. Among other things (like
collaborating with the KKK), Wallace popularized (repopularized?) the idea that segregation was a States' Rights issue. On the Republican side, you
had an eventual split between the pro-Civil Rights "Rockefeller Republicans" and the "Goldwater Republicans."
In 1964, Arizona Senator Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater was hugely influential within the GOP. Whatever his true reasons (it very well may have
been his libertarian ideals), Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He'd supported previous civil rights legislation but his 1964
campaign platform was strongly States' Rights and I suspect that had a lot to do with it. LBJ signed it into law (however reluctantly) and as you can
imagine, in the 1964 general election, LBJ garnered the majority of support from black voters as well as pro-civil rights whites. Goldwater lost by a
landslide, in fact IIRC, it was the worst defeat in a presidential race to that point. What he did do was win the South, a first for Republicans since
the Reconstruction Era. Of course outside of the deep South, the only state he carried was his home state of Arizona.
For brevity, we'll skip a lot including the highly contentious issue of the Vietnam War and fast forward to the 1968 election and the Nixon campaign.
This is where what was called the "Southern Strategy" was adopted by the Nixon campaign. In 1970 in a New York Times interview, Nixon adviser Kevin
Phillips revealed the following:
From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that...but
Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the
sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the
whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.
This really set the stage for our current identity politics pandering from both sides. I'm sure lots of people would disagree with me but so is the
nature of partisanship. The Republicans sold out to evangelicals again in the late 70's/early 80's too but that's another thing that would take too
long to get into but it's no coincidence that Trump's new favorite book is "the bible" or that the second place candidate is the son of an evangelical
hate preacher. I will give Trump credit for managing to walk a line between garnering evangelical support and not resorting to speaking at bigotry
fests like Cruz.
This is already longer than I had anticipated so I'll try to wrap it up. The GOP leadership has become aware in recent years, particularly after the
election of Obama twice, despite some of the most open identity politicking I can remember (I'm not quite 40 though) — he's a Kenyan Muslim
Homosexual who hates white people — that they needed to broaden their appeal.
That is, the white Christian male vote is not enough anymore.
This is after initially throwing all sorts of support at the ultra-nationalist, Koch-created Tea Party only to have the GOP establishment's control
over American conservatism challenged. Now it's too late and Trump, being a master of manipulating the public and the media — for some reason PT
Barnum comes to mind — and having already earned his chops as a birther, tapped right into the same vein and reached out to those TP voters. It's a
little more complicated than ultra-nationalism, bigotry and xenophobia. Taking another page out of the TP playbook, Trump has successfully framed
himself as anti-establishment. What kills me is that somehow Rubio and Cruz, both Tea Party backed (particularly Cruz) are in the span of 4-6 years,
both "establishment" somehow.
The Republicans helped create a monster that instantly turned around and bit them on the hand. They see it as a threat to their continued control
primarily and secondarily to their ability to continue winning elections in the face of changing demographics. Donald Trump who I must admire for his
savvy as much as I dislike him for everything else, saw an opportunity and grabbed that monster by its leash.
Not to say that Trump supporters concerns are completely unfounded. The employment situation is going to continue to get worse. Blue collar workers
are facing a bleak outlook. Terrorism does happen. A lot of particularly white people are feeling like they're being unfairly blamed for continued
racial inequality (in my opinion, it's far more about the loss of economic opportunity) and they don't have any organizations dedicated to fighting
for their interests. In some ways they're right to feel that way because no amount of not being racist is going to fix in our lifetimes what was
broken by the racism of previous generations.
edit on 2016-3-16 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)