‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon often gets credit for the Republican ‘Southern Strategy.’ His strategist, Kevin Phillips, gave clearest public voice to the strategy but trying to turn the conservative Southern Democrats to the Party of Lincoln had been going on , at least, since 1948. The Civil Rights Movement ignited southern animosity and those embers were fanned aflame with the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Right Act of 1965. President Johnson knew that the South had been lost with his signing the latter. In 1964 Goldwater took the deep South, then in 1968 Nixon and his advisors knew that those two Acts of Congress would drive more whites their way. The Confederate States of America had captured Lincoln’s Party just a bit more than a century following the Emancipation Proclamation.
At least since the Nixon campaign, the Republican Party has learned to tune-up the racial dog-whistles that have been readily heard by ears that resonate to bigotry. That now a candidate, Donald Trump, takes days and repeated confrontation from journalists before he repudiates the Klu Klux Klan should surprise no one.
And there is US Senator and Majority Leader McConnell in jowly-jawed protest insisting that support of the KKK has no place in the Republican Party. It is decades too late to attempt to change the face and stature of the Party, Mitch. The Hebrew Prophet, Hosea, warned a very long time ago: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7
Neither should it surprise the pundits and newscasters that Trump cleans the table. Had they been talking to my neighbors, out here in the Colonial Frontier, this land of out-of-workers, bill-capped-farmers-dependent-upon-Federal-largess-but-hating-welfarequeens and the armed-fearful-camo-clad with their Mossy-Oak values, way out here west of Philadelphia, they would have known that The Donald is their man.
Our Nation has survived severe storms in the past and we can again; let us hope.