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The Nation: Audio Surfaces of Atwaters Infamous Republican 'Southern Strategy' Interview

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posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 07:19 AM
From Exclusive: Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy

An audio recording has surfaced of the 1981 interview with Lee Atwater, a Republican campaign strategist, advisor to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Chairman of the RNC, and disciple of Roger Ailes (Fox News)

It has become, for liberals and leftists enraged by the way Republicans never suffer the consequences for turning electoral politics into a cesspool, a kind of smoking gun. The late, legendarily brutal campaign consultant Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves...

Here is the quote from Lee Atwater:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, 'n-word', 'n-word'.” By 1968 you can’t say “'n-word'”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, 'n-word'.”

The 'Southern Strategy' was a political strategy undertaken by the GOP in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where many southern whites felt betrayed by the Democrats for it's passage (L.B. Johnson was a strong advocate for it). They abandoned the Democratic party in favor of the Republican party which began a campaign of appealing to racism without overtly appearing racist.

Lee Atwater's quote above explains it all. This is the first time the audio recording of the quote has ever been released. This has been the GOP strategy in the south since 1968. When looking at the terms used in reference to Obama or Democrats in the 2012 campaign, one can still see the 'Southern Strategy' in play. Birtherism ("he's really from Kenya"), or Obama's a Marxist/Communist ("he's not one of us"), or how teacher's unions are denigrated (why so much focus was put on Chicago teacher's unions), or how the GOP and RW media attack anything related to welfare recipients as "Obama's kind".

"Conservative" media has long denied Atwater ever made such a quote. They have vilified the interviewer (Alexander Lamis) for decades. The entire interview (40 minutes) is now available in the audio recording, and can not only confirm the quote attributed to Atwater is accurate, but that the entire interview was conducted in a scholarly manner.

posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 10:48 AM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

I have studied Atwater...he is the root of much of the GOP strategy today. Did you know who he mentored? Karl kidding. Boogieman is a great movie..see below..fascinating.

FYI...Atwater died of a brain tumor and repented before his death for his tactics. I will find and post.

edit on 14-11-2012 by Indigo5 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 10:54 AM
reply to post by Blackmarketeer

One of Atwaters last public statements...

In a February 1991 article for Life magazine, Atwater wrote:

My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood.

The '80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty.

What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends?

It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.

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