Friday, February 04, 2011
St. Reagan and white racismPaul Krugman reviewed the record succinctly a few years ago in Republicans and Race New York Times 11/19/2007.
St. Reagan pursued the Southern Strategy of Richard Nixon eagerly, which included using race-baiting. The episode mentioned most often is his speech in Mississippi expressing his support for "state rights", which in the Deep South's political jargon meant support for segregationist ideas and attitudes. He also reminds us of this:
There are many other examples of Reagan's tacit race-baiting in the historical record. ... During the 1976 campaign Reagan often talked about how upset workers must be to see an able-bodied man using food stamps at the grocery store. In the South — but not in the North — the food-stamp user became a "strapping young buck" buying T-bone steaks.In a more recent assessment, The divisive underbelly of Reagan's sunny optimism Salon 02/03/2011, historian Matthew Dallek describes how St. Reagan used race and other culture-war issues to polarize voters in his favor:
Throughout his three decades in political life, he repeatedly seized on people's hopes, but also found their anger and played on their fears. In Reagan's lexicon, optimism competed with anger.Tags: ronald reagan
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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