Final Gasps of GOP’s 40 Year Plus Southern Strategy - 1970-2012
On Tuesday evening, November 6, 2012, shortly after 11:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time, television networks were projecting the majority of the United States’ electorate had re-elected Barack Hussein Obama II to the office of President of the United States.
Well, that was most television outlets. Over at the often proven to be alternative universe of the Fox channel, the man behind the campaign of former President George W. Bush, the nation’s two term 43rd president, Republican Party political mover and shaker Karl Rove, whose Super PAC Crossroads USA had poured millions of dollars into the Republican Party ticket for President and Vice President of the United States, former Massachusetts Governor Willard Mitt Romney and his running mate Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Ayn Rand disciple and architect of the budget plan that would gut social programs aimed at helping the less fortunate in the nation, held out hope the Republican ticket had not lost the election.
Even when the Fox network projected President Obama had been re-elected to his second term, an impromptu poll of the behind the scenes Fox staff was taken, the camera following one of the Fox on air personalities back stage, to assure Mr. Rove they were confident in their projection of the winner.
Four days later, on Saturday morning, November 10, with Florida having been negatively impacted by tactics implemented by its Republican governor, Rick Scott, which included shortening early voting hours which resulted in voters standing in line for 7 hours or longer to vote, votes had finally been counted in Florida. It was declared President Obama had received a total of 332 electoral votes. The number of electoral votes needed to win was 270.
Kevin Phillips, Nixon Campaign Analyst, Architect of the Southern Strategy
In short, Kevin Phillips' Southern Strategy assumed the majority of Black (African American) voters to be unattainable by the Republican Party. He projected that demographic would not give the GOP more than 10 to 20 percent of its vote.
Mr. Phillips devised the strategy with its primary objective to attract White men, predominately from the southern U.S., into the Republican Party. The other component of his plan, discussed in the above linked 1970 article, required the anxiety of the same demographic White male voters to fear Black voters' entry into the Democratic Party upon passage of the Voting Rights Act. At the time of the above linked interview, other minorities were not considered in Mr. Phillips' plan.
Fox channel personality and host Bill O’Reilly stated, during Fox’s coverage on election night, that the results of that night had shown that the nation was “…. not a traditional America anymore.”
Former Republican Party presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan, who gave the keynote address at the Republican Convention in 1992 and has written extensively on the inevitable downfall of America due to diversity and multiculturalism for more than two decades, declared the day after the election that “White America had died last night.” Mr. Buchanan is the author of the book, Suicide of a Super Power, in his opinion, as a result of growing diversity in America.
Will Right Wing Madness Totally Consume the Republican Party?
Mr. Buchanan’s views on multiculturalism have been expressed by others within the Republican Party, like TEA Party favorite and former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado. He was the opening night speaker at the first annual TEA Party convention, held in Nashville, Tennessee in February 2010.
Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential running mate on the Republican Party ticket with Senator John McCain, delivered the closing keynote address at the same convention.
Mr. Tancredo opined that evening at the TEA Party convention that maybe literacy tests should be re-introduced into the election process. His opinion received laughs and applause from the audience. Literacy tests were outlawed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of several pieces of legislation many within the Republican Party feel unconstitutional.
Much hand wringing and lamenting has occurred since the night of the re-election of President Obama. Some Republicans point to the need to better package their message to appeal to a wider electorate that would be more inclusive of the demographics that did not embrace the Republican Party or its views regarding its plans for the future of the United States, most notably those identified as minorities, women and young voters, aged 29 and younger.
Anticipating exactly opposite election results on November 6, as forecast by a variety of conservative journalists and commentators, including the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan and Right Wing Fox channel prognosticator Dick Morris, who even conceived a formula for translating opinion polls that did not agree with the views of those ensconced in Right Wing World, which assured the Right Wing of the GOP, which has now consumed the majority of the GOP, that, due to poll bias, nearly all of the polls should be re-cast using his formula for a true look at the expected outcome of the 2012 presidential race, many within the GOP electorate immediately began blaming the top of the ticket, presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney for the loss. It was repeated, as was said during the GOP primary, that Mr. Romney wasn't conservative enough.
Of course, this specific finger pointing exercise requires ignoring how incredibly, terribly wrong, Bizarro World wrong, all of those conservative journalists and writers were in their assessments of the Republican Party's chances to re-claim the White House. The overwhelming evidence of the disturbing reality that the outcome of this election, for so many within the Party, went unforeseen as so many chose to ignore factual input needs to be seriously addressed by the GOP as a guide towards shaping the Republican Party's future.
Still others blamed the bad luck of Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on the East Coast days before the election, allowing President Obama to look, well, presidential, while former Governor Romney was relegated to non-relevance, with no real role to play during the disaster.
A few within the Republican Party even pointed to the specifics of the demographics and decreasing turnout among the nation’s White electorate. 90% of the electorate that voted for the Romney/Ryan ticket were identified as White, with White voters voting to re-elect the President making up 39% of the vote he received, which was down from 43% in 2008. It has been suggested that had more White voters turned out, the Republican ticket would have won.
Until the Republican Party examines and re-evaluates its efforts and strategies to suppress the vote of the demographics that the GOP did not win during the 2012 presidential election, which was done by declaring previously accepted forms of ID unacceptable, closing state agency offices within urban areas in various states where free IDs could be obtained while offices located at greater distances to travel remained open, the nationwide push by Republican controlled states and legislatures to re-define rape, by the way, one of these bills was co-sponsored by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and other issues of concern to women and those within the Party who continually denigrate the Latino community, minorities in general and the not so rich voters on a nearly non stop basis, without official condemnation of these actions and statements being offered from the Republican Party leadership, the Party will continue to be a lightening rod for controversy and it will continue to lose national elections.
- Under the guise of preventing voter fraud, Florida Republican Party's plans to suppress believed to be Democratic Party voters revealed
On November 12, 2012, ABC News released audio tapes of former Governor Romney addressing his base on a conference call with millionaire donors to his campaign. The former GOP presidential candidate is heard offering his version of events and why he lost, which he attributes to President Obama giving ‘gifts’ to the demographic voters of which he won the majority of their vote on election night, like the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which expands insurance coverage to 30 million more citizens and financial aid to students attending college, ‘gifts’ which, of course, were different from the ‘gifts’ the former governor had promised to give his constituents.
Mr. Romney’s constituency included his monetary donor base that can easily afford to pay for health care for themselves and their families and still pay for their children’s higher learning costs. The American people were reminded of this reality during the presidential campaign when Mr. Romney suggested during a campaign stop that students desirous of a college education should borrow money from Mom and Dad to pay for their education.
The ‘gifts’ Mr. Romney promised to his constituency included lowering their tax rates, eliminating regulation on the business community, as well as abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to name a few.
As stated above, 90% of the electorate that voted for former Governor Romney has been identified to be White. On the same conference call released by ABC News, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse offered the statistical facts that 607,000 more African American and Hispanics voted in this election while 900,000 fewer White men voted in this election when compared to voter turnout among each group in 2008.
This all brings to mind the words of American folk legend Bob Dylan’s song, The Times, They are A’changin’.