The Long Southern Strategy Explained
The GOP’s Southern Strategy initiated the realignment of the South with the Republican Party by exploiting white racial anxiety about social changes to the southern racial hierarchy. However, the GOP’s success was not solely the result of its policy position on civil rights. Rather, that decision was part of a series of decisions the party made on feminism and religion as well, in what is called here the “Long Southern Strategy.” White resentment toward a more level racial playing field, for example, was intensified by the threat of a level gender playing field, and the promotion of “family values” by anti-feminists paved the way for the Christian Right. Moreover, Republican candidates did not just campaign down South, they became “southern.” Throughout realignment, the power of southern identity was rarely taken into consideration, but for whites who proclaim themselves to be southern, that has been the only party that really mattered.
Keywords: Southern Strategy, realignment, Long Southern Strategy, feminism, anti-feminism, Christian Right, Equal Rights Amendment, Christian Fundamentalism, Southern white identity, white racial anxiety
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