"Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."
"Faith, hope and love - the greatest of these things is love."
- 1 Corinthians 13:13
Lee Atwater famously said, “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can't say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. […] You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger’.”
Tying Republican fortunes to the white vote made electoral sense in the early 1970s. But since 1980, the white share of the electorate has fallen in every consecutive election. During the 1990s, the Southern Strategy was redirected less on the South itself and more on a general concept that successfully uses wedge issues such as family values, abortion and gun ownership.
We now call it “Dog Whistle” politics when they use the core principles of the Southern Strategy on a national level to help generate support in new regions of the country, mostly rural areas and the Midwest. It works because it allows them to deny racism while at the same time playing on fears of “reverse racism” and economic victimization.
The episode of Bill Moyer's Journal that aired last night on PBS featured a discussion with the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Kathleen Hall Jamieson on the role dirty politics may play in the last leg of the presidential campaign.
Jamieson is an especially provacative and insightful guest, having appeared on the program previously to discuss issues relating to the presidential campaign. In last night's episode, she brought attention to one television ad in particular to illustrate a point.
Let me first start by saying that I have been a regular reader and lurker on here for years - at least five, but I can't remember for certain. But I have never written a diary, so this will be my first. If I break some rules, or make a mistake please forgive me.
I have never been so proud to be a Democrat, and so proud of my country as I am tonight. I will always remember this moment in history.
The Democratic party has at long last found its heart and soul, after searching in the wilderness for 40 long years since it was lost on that June day in 1968.
Generations from now, this night will be read about by school children in history books. This night and this campaign will symbolize a renewal of the American Dream. I really believe that, and I think most of you do, too. I'm betting that in November, we'll see that most of America believes, as well. Hope is funny that way.
We have followed our hearts and, at the moment when our future seemed most bleak - just when we needed it the most - our national character and spirit of hope has been revealed to us once again. And, yes, we do believe that the world will never again be the same.