Saturday, June 27, 2015

Matt Lewis — What the GOP Lost When It Won the South

Why this week’s fight over the Confederate flag is a direct result of the “Southern Strategy” that turned Dixie red—and injected a lot of cultural baggage into the GOP.

Florida Plant City West Reynolds Street Florida Strawberry Festival Grand Parade Daughters of the Confederacy controversial trad. Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown.

(The Daily Beast)

As the Republican field and corporations like Wal-Mart slowly but surely distance themselves from the Confederate flag, a subplot involves a trend I’ve been documenting for a while now: How the GOP is being forced to engage in some major soul searching.

The coalition the GOP assembled to win national elections in the latter part of the 20th century has delivered the popular vote in just one of the last six presidential elections, and it’s not realistic to expect they can win many more by relying solely on old, rural, non-college-educated white men.

Not only have the demographics changed—but so have a lot of attitudes.

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