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The writer, Chris Ladd, is an Illinois Republican originally hailing from Texas. He penned this eerily accurate (for a Republican, that is) prediction back in mid-September for the Houston Chronicle. In it, he nails the essence of today's GOP in pointing out that its Presidential candidate has a real chance to win only those states which:
A) Failed to outlaw slavery prior to the Civil War, or
B) Have no major metropolitan areas, or
C) are Ohio, if the voter suppression campaign works
I came across Ladd's article in a comment he posted in response to a related and excellent article at Washington Monthly by Mainer Colin Woodard, who describes the virtual disappearance of the GOP from its former stronghold in the northern regions of the U.S.:
Both of these articles discuss the impact of the GOP's transformation into a party that now has its philosophical and cultural roots in the Confederate South, and both describe the negative national consequences for the GOP of this transformation.
This shift of the GOP from a party originally defined by Northerns roots and opposition to slavery to one now based in the South that is frequently openly hostile to minorities of every description began in earnest in 1968, with Richard Nixon's adoption of the so-called Southern Strategy. Today, the modern GOP has its communications handled by Fox News, which blares a relentless barrage of propaganda that is nakedly contemptuous of those Americans who live in urban areas, who are well-educated and believe in the power and value of science, who support labor unions, and who are not homophobic Evangelical Christians who believe that slavery wasn't really all that bad and that women should be forced to carry rape pregnancies to term. As the recent elections show, this face of today's Republican Party is exceedingly unpopular in wide swaths of the country. What's tremendously ironic is that the man who devised the media strategy for selling Nixon's Southern Strategy way back in 1968 is the same man whose propaganda machine has succeeded in branding today's GOP as the party of choice for ignorant halfwits more at home in the 19th century than the 21st: Roger Ailes.