Prager U on the Southern Strategy

I don't think she's wrong about anything she says, but I would add that 1994 was the turning point because of the Clinton health care grab. Bill Clinton won so many Southern states in 1992 by portraying himself as a new, centrist Democrat with semi-conservative values. He got no less than Zell Miller, the conservative Democrat and former Marine who would later destroy John Kerry's candidacy with a barn-burning speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, to give the keynote address at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. But then in 1993 and 1994, Clinton proved that he intended to govern as a leftist, especially with his (or his wife's) health care power grab.

The South had seen a lot that it liked in Ronald Reagan's vibrant patriotism and a lot they didn't like in Ted Kennedy's anti-patriotism, but they weren't solidly Republican as yet. The 1992 election proved that. They became solidly in support of the Republican Party only after they saw that the Democrats were committed to socialism and New Class values. Bill Clinton lost the South because he lied to them and betrayed their values, as much as for the reasons the good doctor cites in the video.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

We hang on to who we think are allies. We are loyal and often tribal. It often takes a long time, with repeated disappointments, and continuing disillusionment, before we switch to "another team," particularly in a place like America, which often divides into only two teams and we have multiple reasons to not embrace the new allies either.

One can find examples of people who do fit the myth of the Southern Strategy. It's not so much a myth as a ridiculous exaggeration. It was convenient for Democrats, especially Northern Democrats, to pretend that racism was the key to vast hordes of southerners. If Republicans aren't racist, Dems don't have a lot to run on. They can talk about policy-wonk plans, but the details of those don't matter so much as the impression that "liberals are the smart ones," which fits nicely with "and oh, we're the tolerant ones, too." Four legs good, two legs bad and all that.

She said "Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro Small government." I would advisedly add "Pro-God." Southern faith may indeed be a mile wide and an inch deep, as the old saying goes, but verbal assent to Christianity is part of the culture, and people don't like to make a complete break with religion, as many modern Democrats are very willing to do. There comes a point where folks think "I may not like any of 'em, but I am certainly not going there."

douglas said...

Prager has said many a time that he thinks it will be the South that 'saves America', by preserving many of it's essential values.

Texan99 said...

1994 was my turning point.