That Southern Strategy Beast

Spaghetti monster lapel pin you too can buy. Source: Amazon. Yeah, baby.
Spaghetti monster lapel pin. Wouldn’t it be grand if more politicians and pundits wear it? Source: Amazon. (But I ain’t selling it!)

There’s no beating it, dear worst-reader. As Ferguson explodes (again) I can’t help but think about Richard Nixon. Why? Nixon is, without doubt, one of the greatest politicians in #americant history. The reason for that is simple. Few presidents have left so much in their wake as Nixon. Obviously there are a few before him, but I’m comfortable putting him up there in the top five–impeachment be damned! The greatest politician, btw, has to be slick-willy, Mr. Teflon: Bill Clinton. But he’s another worst-post.

As my beloved #americant spirals into chaos and anarchy–at least among the so-called ninety-nine-percent–all I see is the beast in the room that is the cause. It is a multi-headed beast, allow me to presume. Each head, not unlike the heads of Lernaean Hydra, once removed, is replaced by two. Hence the brilliance of some politicians. Yet how did this beast come to be? Unlike the Hydra–and any other Spaghetti Monster nonsense made up by men from never-more to the bronze-age–there is something almost scientific, at the least planned, about what’s going on these days. And what is going on?

Again. I’m thinking of Richard Dick Nixon. Boy do I remember this guy. I remember my mother crying while watching the TV as Dick waved to the cameras, showing the victory sign while boarding Marine One that was parked on the White House lawn–for the last time. I remember Watergate and even visiting the building, a friend pointing to the window where the break-in took place. I remember President Ford on TV pardoning Dick Nixon. Heck, I even remember Nixon trying to impose rent-control on the country in 1971. But there is one thing that I do not remember about tricky-Dick. And I’m kinda bummed by that. I mean. I should remember this one thing. Because if I would remember it, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to figure it out now. Or? Ok. Maybe not.

Do you know why republicans were so blood thirsty to impeach Bill Clinton? I know. I know. They think they did impeach him. But people forget that Mr. Teflon won that whole Ken Starr whack-job hook, line and sinker. Clinton lying about a blowjob is such a minor and insignificant piece in the annals of #americant history that it will forever be referred to only in a comedic context–or bewilderment over the luscious nature of Monica Lewinsky’s lips. Yet what does that whole piece of history say about a batshit, rightwing House of Reps impeaching Bill Clinton and an equally batshit Senate acquitting him? It says that bloodthirsty (or batshit hungry) republicans are incapable of impeaching and/or making a democrat quit the presidency–like democrats did to them! This tiny piece of history is so infuriating to republicans that the foam from their mouths drips down to be the garb they wear.

Lapel flag-pin anyone?

Yeah, I guess I can’t help but drift at times. I blame that on Lewinsky’s lips, you know. So let me try to bring this thing (beast) around. Richard Dick Nixon is one of the greatest politicians in #americant history because he has made The Southern Strategy a permanent part of politics. In fact, post Reagan, that strategy is what governs everything. Yet no one talks about it. Can one talk about it when white cops are constantly shooting young black men? Can one talk about it when batshit conservatives indirectly condone the murder of abortion doctors. Can one talk about it when the so-called middle-class has been systematically drained of its wealth, only so that wealth can be caught by the upper-class? I will assume that most have heard the question: why do people vote for a party or candidate that is obviously not going to govern in their best interest? The answer is more than just blaming the money and the connections politicians make in order to forge their careers. The answer is The Southern Strategy.

So go ‘head. Thank Dick Nixon for Ronald Reagan, etc.

So let’s talk about Ronald Reagan. If it wasn’t for Nixon’s southern strategy, Reagan would have never gotten so far as an actor/politician–even in California. Do you remember his rhetoric? Welfare queens anyone? Big government is the problem? Just because a president was impeached and subsequently pardoned for his (obvious) crimes, doesn’t mean that his way of politicking can’t be copied. Copied, indeed. Ronald Reagan is the first president to use, post 1929 depression politics, extreme right-wing ideology to influence the political process. This process isn’t just about law-making, governing and elections. It is about:

  1. influencing/controlling the entire electoral process through gerrymandering, indirect poll-taxing (requiring state issued photo ID or driver’s license), and redistricting,
  2. appointing judges who are born of and adhere to conservative ideology so that, among other things, corporations can’t be held liable for their actions,
  3. attacking and demonising the education system, especially colleges and professors,
  4. and creating a propaganda system that could influence voters to vote against their best interests.

With #4 in mind, dear worst-reader, sing with me: thank you Roger Ailes for faux newz and for one-upping Joseph Goebbels! And thank you, Mr. Pig, aka Rush Limbaugh, for selling a nation so much grievance, sentiment and belonging.

Although The Southern Strategy is the multi-headed beast, each head representing something strategic, the core or the body of the beast, the animal itself, is racism. Hence politicians using The Southern Strategy were able to make inroads in their politicking that at first glance doesn’t make much sense. Example? George Wallace won presidential primaries in states that one would think he shouldn’t win–and not just because they were northern states. He won the Democratic party primary in Wisconsin in ’64 and again in Michigan in ’72. This can only be attributed to The Southern Strategy while one of the heads of the beast sung its rhetoric of hate among angry and frustrated white voters.

Indeed. We should all be doing more today than just singing thanks and praise to the likes of Roger Ailes and conservative talking heads. We should instead be sticking our heads up the next guys ass–because that’s obviously where it belongs. Or maybe not.

Rant on. -t

Links that motivated this post:

Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon Memo For Creating Faux Newz

How The GOP Became The White Man’s Party | Salon

Architect Of Southern Strategy Dies | NYT, 2007

Team Bush, The Iron Triangle | WP, 1999

The Southern Strategy Comes Of Age | Harper’s, 2008

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tommi

Just another expat blogger.