We know about the latest rallies of McCain and Palin, and how they are getting a tremendously angry, vicious, and self-righteous response in their rallies from their Republican voters. I was reading a comment made in LH's blog - that the Republicans are looking and smelling like the Dixiecrats. It sent me on a tangent of my own, and this is how I responded:
And of course, they look and smell like the Dixiecrats, because they took actual Dixiecrats, who were frustrated in their original party, into the fold once upon a time. Had the Democratic presidents of the sixties not worked with and supported the civil rights changes we were asking for, they’d have had no reason to jump ship. Even today, their arguments for small government and states’ rights echo the arguments of the segregationist Dixiecrats, who found such arguments convenient when being told by the federal government that Jim Crow had to end. (For clarity, I’m not saying that either of these ideas are inherently racist, but they were the best way for segregationists to legally argue against extending full citizenship to blacks without explicitly saying that nigras don’t deserve citizenship, since that argument has no legal merit.)
You’d think that Dixiecrat sentiment would have died out over the past 40 years, as people like Strom Thurman have died off. But Republicans like Nixon and Reagan kept stoking the fire by contributing things like the Silent Majority and the Welfare Queen to political thought. By the time Dubya got in, he really didn’t even have to do any work to keep the Dixiecrat mentality going, because the Angry White Man syndrome had taken on a life of its own, complete with propaganda and coded language. So coded in fact, that I think some of today’s Republicans don’t even realize the racist legacy of the ideas they espouse. Through successful propaganda and indoctrination, they believe that their views are truest to the spirit of the Constitution and the soul of the country itself. They have hijacked and twisted the Republican party, which only a few generations ago wasn’t known as the default party for racists.
Even now, we’re hearing the word Socialist thrown about by them. They’re not worried about the rise of Marxism, believe me - many of them don’t even understand what it’s about. But if you look back to the Red Scare and McCarthyism, many of the people whose lives, privacy, and careers were targeted were minorities and people with sympathies towards minorities and the poor at home and abroad. Same goes for today. If you want the government to get involved in helping people who are having problems helping themselves (name any Democrat here), you’re liable to be branded a Socialist, like Barack Obama has been labeled recently. Anything to get people who care about the minorities and lower classes branded as un-American.
1960’s parlance: “nigger loving Communist”
2000’s parlance: “un-American Socialist”
No wonder John Lewis compared them to George Wallace. He was absolutely right.
I try to view elections through an Independent lens, because depending on the issue, I may feel either conservative or liberal. But the Republicans keep making it hard for me, because of stuff like this.