Monday, November 19, 2007

Right-wing Racists

The publication of Paul Krugman's latest book, The Conscience of a Liberal has provoked several columns in the New York Times, and a bit of controversey in the blogosphere, as well. Many critics point to Reagan's opening salvo in Philadelphia, Mississippi, as the critical point of proof. This is, in my opinion, the apex of rightwing racism, and a critical point in convincing racist white Democrats that the new Republican party was the new political home for them. But that process began in 1948, with Strom Thurmond and his run as a Dixiecrat. Thurmond was then stroked by the godfather of modern Republican conservatism, Barry Goldwater, who helped convince Thurmond to switch parties in 1964--the same year, not coincidently, that Lyndon Johnson convinced Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. There is no conservative "movement" without the support of white racists. For more information, I suggest reading Dan C. Carter's The Politics of Rage and Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm; if those two works spark more curiosity, check out Kari Frederickson's The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South.

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