REVIEWING A BIT OF PROPAGANDA, “THE SOUTHERN STRATEGY”

This post is a sequel to HAVE YOU EMBRACED A LIE? ARE YOU TYRANNICAL?

The Southern United States as defined by the Census Bureau (from here)

Are you familiar with the word, innuendo? When someone uses innuendo to attack the character of others, we generally refer to that as gossip. The mass media has always been filled with a great deal of gossip. That is one of the costs of freedom of the press. To reduce the amount of gossip we find in the mass media, we each have to discern between a factual/logical presentation and innuendo. That is, if we don’t want to read gossip, then we have to honestly think about what we are reading and refuse to read writers who produce gossip. We must wisely discern whether a writer is appealing to our biases or actually telling us something we might find useful.

Here is an example, The 11 Most Racist U.S. Presidents (huffingtonpost.com) by Ibram X. Kendi (en.wikipedia.org). Kendi is a history professor. What is the objective of Kendi’s article? Here he doubles as Santa Claus. He tells us which presidents most deserve black, filthy coal in their Christmas stockings.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t read the minds of live people, much less dead people. Did some of our presidents, including some of those Kendi lists, believe racial differences should be considered in public policy? We know that some did because they said as much, but not all of them advocated racism, including some on Kendi’s list. Yet that problem did not stop Kendi from making his list even though his first obligation as a historian is to set aside his own biases. The very fact he presumes to put together such a list suggests he does not realize that.

Racial politics, unfortunately, has a profound grip on many people. All of us? God knows, but most people struggle with biases of some sort, even supposedly brilliant history professor.

So what about The Southern Strategy? I decided to tackle the subject when I got a comment relevant to it (here from marmoewp). Here is an excerpt.

This one deserves an answer of its own. I have lost count, how many times this argument has been offered to me by Republicans. To get it right out of the way, yes, the KKK was founded and supported by racist white people, many/most of which were Democrats. You have also had the Dixicrats. However, party character has changed since then.

I am pretty sure, you are aware of the party reallignment in the wake of the New Deal. (from here)

When it comes to being called racists, do you want to know how wimpy Republicans can be? That link, Party Realignment And The New Deal (history.house.gov) is on a Congress’ own website, and Republicans run Congress, at least until we get the latest recruits from the last election. Here is some of the nonsense.

The political realignment of black voters that began in the late 1920s proliferated during this era. This process involved a “push and pull”; the racial policies of Republicans alienated many black voters, while those of the northern wing of the Democratic Party attracted them. In 1932, incumbent President Herbert Hoover received between two-thirds and three-quarters of the black vote in northern urban wards, despite his attempts to ingratiate himself with southern segregationists and his failure to implement economic policies to help blacks laid low by the Great Depression. (from here)

If you read this article, Niggers in the White House (en.wikipedia.org), it becomes obvious the situation was a bit more complex. Moreover, Hoover did not segregate America. It was already segregated. In fact, one of his predecessors, Woodrow Wilson, resegregated the federal government (see Woodrow Wilson resegregated the federal government (vox.com)).

Is Vox a reliable source? Not exactly, but  cited a Vox produced video in his comment. So let’s assume Vox tries to be reliable.  Other sources confirm that Wilson did in fact resegregate much of the Federal Government (see here (en.wikipedia.org) and here (usatoday.com)). So let’s consider the video referenced.

There is much in that Vox video that is not true. Was Barry Goldwater a racist, for example? Urban Legend: Goldwater Against Civil Rights (freedomsjournalinstitute.org) argues against that idea.

One of the most prominently held urban legends of our time is that Senator Barry Goldwater, the GOP candidate for president in 1964, was against civil rights because he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This vote of Goldwater marked the start of when “the GOP began to go against civil rights” according to CNN’s Roland Martin’s version of the legend.

The truth is, the GOP has always been in favor of civil rights. From the creation of the party, which opposed slavery; to this present day, you cannot find a single plank on the GOP platform that indicates anything otherwise. In fact, it was Republican President Eisenhower who proffered the first civil rights act of 1957, which was watered down by White Southern Democrats [see Eisenhower on Civil rights]. (continued here (freedomsjournalinstitute.org))

Goldwater opposed the bill because it was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Here is how Goldwater described his position.

Here is a video that provides direct opposition to that VOX video.

The History page at the blog Conservative Government provides a timeline that includes that period when The Southern Strategy is suppose to have taken place. The author argues against any such thing.

The Myth of ‘the Southern Strategy’ (nytimes.com) argues that the South turned to the GOP for economic reasons. Here is how that article ends.

To be sure, Shafer says, many whites in the South aggressively opposed liberal Democrats on race issues. “But when folks went to the polling booths,” he says, “they didn’t shoot off their own toes. They voted by their economic preferences, not racial preferences.” Shafer says these results should give liberals hope. “If Southern politics is about class and not race,” he says, “then they can get it back.” (from here)

Gosh! Does someone at The New York Times think it possible that Liberal Democrats might be calling people racists who aren’t racists? Not likely, but it is possible.

The myth of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ (thehill.com) is an article by Dinesh D’Souza. Since no one can point to an explicitly racist pitch by Richard Nixon, D’Souza wonders what the proponents of The Southern Strategy are talking about.

So progressives insist that Nixon made a racist “dog whistle” appeal to Deep South voters. Evidently he spoke to them in a kind of code. Really? Is it plausible that Nixon figured out how to communicate with Deep South racists in a secret language? Do Deep South bigots, like dogs, have some kind of heightened awareness of racial messages — messages that are somehow indecipherable to the media and the rest of the country?

This seems unlikely, but let’s consider the possibility. Progressives insist that Nixon’s appeals to drugs and law and order were coded racist messaging. Yet when Nixon ran for president in 1968 the main issue was the Vietnam War. One popular Republican slogan of the period described the Democrats as the party of “acid, amnesty and abortion.” Clearly there is no suggestion here of race.  (from here)

I am old enough to remember what that election was about. I was facing the prospect of going to Vietnam in a couple of years. So I was deeply interested. That election was about a war, not racial issues.

What separates America? It is what people believe, but it has little to do with racism. The primary separation is religious. The people in some parts of our nation cling to their Bibles more resolutely than do those in other parts. What is the Bible Belt? (gotquestions.org) and The Most Religious US State Is … (livescience.com) take different approaches to describing America’s “Bible Belt”. Given that Democrats and Republicans have significant differences over the propriety of religion in the public square, should we wonder whether the charges of bigotry have more to do with religious bigotry than racial bigotry?

 

48 thoughts on “REVIEWING A BIT OF PROPAGANDA, “THE SOUTHERN STRATEGY”

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  1. Wow, did you guys ever drift of topic. You’re not separated by religion but your own irreversible opinions. So set in our ways are we that we close our minds to the fact that we are not completely right. I’m not saying wrong because our opinions are just that. What I am saying is that what separates us is the unwillingness to listen, consider and learn. Neither opinion is right or wrong, it just is. Trump, in the eyes of the elite or the establishment was never to hold office. Simply because he defied that idea is why he is under attack. If any of you could just take a minute to examine the history of politics in the US, you’d fin it astonishing. When you feel yourself get emotional, it’s time to step away from the keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @CMarie61

      Thanks for the comments.

      When you feel yourself get emotional, it’s time to step away from the keyboard.

      Our nation’s political discussions generally involve a great deal of name calling. When someone is calling you names, it is difficult to avoid becoming emotional. Our choice is either to master our emotions or give up the fight.

      Are tsalmon and I separated by our irreversible opinions? Well, we are separated, but I think our differences involve which of us has the most correct beliefs about how our country should be run, not our unwillingness to listen, consider and learn. After all, we are debating. Nevertheless, we are each over six decades old. We spent those decades forming our opinions. So it is going to take more than a little debate to change our minds.

      Neither opinion is right or wrong, it just is.

      Not certain what you mean by that, especially when you immediately offered your own emphatic about Trump.

      There is a surprisingly popular notion that each of us has our own truth, but I think there is only one truth. What we each have is our own point of view and our own personal agenda. Since we can give our government huge and sweeping powers, we don’t have much choice except to peacefully (if we want peace) resolve our differences over the truth.

      Consider what resolving our differences means in practice. Here is an example. Our government spends about four trillion a year, yanking huge sums out of each of our pockets, mostly to spend upon social programs (health, education, and welfare). Do you want to see that money wasted? I doubt it. So we have to figure our what is the most correct (closest to the truth) way to run our government.

      Anyway, your opinion about Trump is fairly close to my own. So I will leave that subject to tsalmon.

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      1. Opinions: don’t like or like Trump
        Facts: laws broken or not broken by Trump
        The delusional elite, both left and right, want to get rid of Trump because he is not an insider. That’s my opinion. I have no proof of that.
        The delusional elite, both left and right are investigating him to find laws he has broken if any. They are trying to obtain facts. And, if that doesn’t work, they’ll use opinion.
        I did not vote for Trump but find him to be a competent administrator and leader and would like to see him re-elected. I pray that E. Warren runs…… : )

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom,

    We both grew up in the deep South, I perhaps more so than you. I was a newspaper cub reporter for a couple years in the South. I eventually got my law degree in the South and I practiced law there for a few years. I now reside about as deep in the South as one can get.

    Given that experience, I think racism here, the racism that ultimately drove American blacks into the unlikely arms of a Texas redneck like LBJ and southern whites into the unlikely embrace of California Yankees like Nixon and Reagan is far more subtle than you imagine. That subtlety is the reason why the Southern strategy was said to be promoted with “dog whistles” rather than overt calls to white supremacy.

    No one is saying that there was an overt Republican platform to woo white Southerners or chagrin African Americans with race baiting, but one would have to be pretty naive to think a savvy political operative like Lee Atwater didn’t know exactly what he was doing with the Willy Horten ads.

    Was the slow evolution of white Democrats to Dixiecrats to Republicans.only about Republican race baiting? Probably not. Hardly anything so socially complex as political change is just about one thing. But I think that most credible historians believe such subtle racism was in the mix, and my experience in the South tends to make me agree.

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    1. @tsalmon

      The interesting thing about a dog whistle is that only dogs can hear it.

      What are your assertions based upon? Your feelings. How did the plantation owners justify keeping blacks I chains? They felt certain things were true. For example, blacks were universally ignorant. Of course, it was also illegal to teach them to read.

      Do you think it possible we ought to set aside our biases, that is, our feelings and consider some facts. Aside from trying keep them ignorant, dependent, and aborting half of them, what good has the Democratic Party done for blacks?

      Are the constant, repeated, unfounded accusations of racism from Democrats actually good for the country or just the egos of Democrats?

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      1. Jeez, that is a good deal of straw people for me to defend.

        Yes, it is just my impressions as a white southerner. I thought that I made that clear. As a reporter in Natchez, Mississippi, I once covered the murder of a white police detective and the wounding of his black partner because the white perpetrator was upset that his wife had slapped a black veterinary worker and that worker had the audacity to slap her back. As an Alabama lawyer, I saw a criminal judge who I admired switch from Democrat to Republican, not because party affiliation had anything to do with his job, but because the tide had turned, and there was no way anyone in Birmingham was getting elected as a Democrat, no matter what their record.
        What are you basing you superior opinions in this matter upon? Divine providence?

        Both political parties race bait in their own ways to get votes. If you think that Republicans are innocent victims of unsubstantiated slander in this regard, particularly in the Trump Party, then I have some swamp down in Mississippi that I’d love to sell you. 😏

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        1. @tsalmon

          What are you basing you superior opinions in this matter upon? Divine providence?

          Do I have to do any serious digging to prove that Democrats are into identity politics. Do I have to prove that Democrats accuse Republicans of racism routinely? I think your own words supply the answer, but your “proof” comes down to dog whistles.

          So I ask. Aside from trying keep them ignorant, dependent, and aborting half of them, what good has the Democratic Party done for blacks?

          If you going to accuse Republicans of racism, would you mind taking the beam from your own eye first?

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          1. I should remind you that, although you have set yourself up here as Republican affiliate and advocate, I have not made any such commitment for Democrats. What has the Democratic Party ever done for blacks? You should probably ask a black Democrat. For some reason they are not rare, whereas black Republicans are rarer than polar bears in Hawaii. Why do you suppose that is? Do you think that maybe there is a history behind that that is somewhat less patronizing than just saying that blacks are too stupid to know what’s good for them? Maybe the reason why you poor Republicans constantly keep getting called out for race baiting and racist politics is because you do things like, as one federal Circuit Court wrote about Republican voter suppression laws, “target African Americans with almost surgical precision”?

            I don’t know though. Unlike you, I’m not in the business of being an apologist for either political party. But I do enjoy the opportunity to poke a little objective reality into the bubble of innocent Republican victimhood that you’ve created here.😎

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          2. @citizentom

            I am not happy with some people who call themselves Republican, but I don’t apologize for being a Republican. I have allied myself with a bunch of imperfect human beings, but we don’t pretend to be anything else. We don’t have the presumption to think we are the ones we have been waiting for.

            If you cannot stomach Democrats enough to call yourself one, but you still vote for them, that says something about your commitment to them. Glad to hear it is not as firm as it could be. Perhaps that lack of firmness probably has something to do with your inability to provide a straight answer to my question. Instead, we get this dissembling crap.

            What has the Democratic Party ever done for blacks? You should probably ask a black Democrat.

            Do I think blacks are too stupid to know what is good for them? Of course, I do. I think people are stupid. We live in a fallen world. We are all sinners.

            Think about the sin of Adam and Eve. What do you think about the brains of anyone dumb enough to disbelieve God and trust a snake instead? And they made their decision BEFORE they had fallen from grace.

            Why do you think the founders set up a constitutional republic? Why does our government has so many checks and balances built into it? Back then the American people of had an extremely rare insight. They were able to form a constitutional republic because enough of them had the humility to admit to themselves that no one can be trusted with power over others, that even a majority of Americans would abuse their power over the minority.

            So yes, I think the Democratic Party is full of ignorant people who trust men instead of God, and I don’t think the Republican Party is much better, but it is a little bit better. At least most elected Republicans claim to believe we should adhere to the original intent of the Constitution. The vast majority of Democrats, however, think the constitution is a “living document”, and that is the sort of nonsense they want our children to learn. Not good!

            Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Good News Translation (GNT)
            The Great Commandment
            6 “These are all the laws that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. 2 As long as you live, you and your descendants are to honor the Lord your God and obey all his laws that I am giving you, so that you may live in that land a long time. 3 Listen to them, people of Israel, and obey them! Then all will go well with you, and you will become a mighty nation and live in that rich and fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of our ancestors, has promised.
            4 “Israel, remember this! The Lord—and the Lord alone—is our God.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. 8 Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

            They are some things we should never entrust to politicians. Yet we have. We entrust people mad with pride to instruct our children.
            😦

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          3. Oh, and when you find that black Democrat to ask why he or she is a Democrat, you might also ask him or her how that person feels about the current leader of the Republican Party beginning his climb to that position by advocating the Birther Conspiracy, a trumped up challenge, not of the policies or qualifications of the first African American President, but which instead struck at the very legitimacy of his Americanness simply because of his African ancestry. Nope, no way that black folks might see some dog whistles or race baiting or identity politics in that little piece of demagoguery on the Trump road to the top of your Party, now is there?

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          4. @tsalmon

            This is an example of what I have been getting at. The Constitution stipulates certain requirements to run for president. Challenge a black’s, a woman’s, a LGBTQ, a Muslim’s , or a member of some specially protected identity group’s qualifications and that automatically makes you a bigot, especially if you are a white guy. Your bigotry is so weird it is self destructive. As I said, stupid!

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          5. Ha, ha, ha! Funny then that you hoped that that Panamanian John McCain and that Canadian Ted Cruz would be President, but strangely, you never thought to challenge their legitimacy?

            What is more stupid brother, to imagine bigotry when there is only sweet Republican innocence, or to be blind to your own prejudices? Perhaps a little more introspection would make you realize that the hallmark or Republican racism these days is it’s subtlety and implausible deniability. Despite your patronizing black folks for their infantile gullibility (itself another form of eye rolling racism), the list here is just too obviously legion for black voters to accept one excuse after another for, but I know you’ll try. So who is really being blind and gullible here?🙄

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          6. @tsalmon

            Democrats challenged Ted Cruz’s legitimacy. Cruz is Hispanic. Democrats are exempt from the charge of racism. So Cruz must be a racist.

            That’s where your idiot logic go to. What the Hell does your place of birth have do with your race? You guys are stupid, but Democrats control most of the news media, and the news media says you are smart. So all Republicans are stupid white guys, and calling Democrat stupid or crooked is racist, sexist, homophobic or some damn stupid thing.

            As I said, we are all stupid. I just want Democrats to mind their own stupid business. So that makes me a racist.

            Keep in mind, dear brother, Hitler was an elected official. Every people in some way chooses their leaders. Throughout history slavery, often extremely brutal forms of it, has been normal. And this is what stupid people chose to do others thinking themselves brilliant, no doubt.

            What Christianity teaches is that Jesus is a prophet, priest, and king. We need a king because if we rule ourselves it is not going to be heaven.

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          7. You know, for someone who embraces the Christian concept that the first step to redemption is a recognition of our own inherent sinful nature, you sure seem to be willfully blind to the most obvious flaws of your chosen political tribe. I don’t have to be an ideological white supremacist to fall victim to a sinful prejudice that harms others. None of us are perfectly innocent or perfectly empathetic in this regard, but the place to start is to at least try to recognize our flaws.

            You think that, after hundreds of years of being the subject of infantilization, animilization, imprisonment and outright terrorism, blacks in this country are just being overly sensitive when terms like monkey or lynching or criminality or legitimacy come up in political conversations. You think that they are just being “stupid” when they feel like it’s no accident or that, after all that history, it’s certainly shouldn’t be done accidentally. Perhaps in some cases, you’re right, but a little introspection of the type you preach might maybe make you see that neither you nor your party (nor, for that matter any of us) are completely innocent. It’s just that one party is more guilty in the eyes of the true victims than the other is. Why is that?

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          8. @tsalmon

            I did not say that no Republicans are racists. What I said is that Democrats obsess on the subject of identity politics. Look in a mirror.

            You want to call Trump every name you can think of? Why? He beat H. Clinton, and you find that personally offensive. Normal human reaction, unfortunately. So the news media gives you lame excuses to call Trump names and off you go. Do I call that stupid? Yep! Do I call myself superior? Nope! I have just admitted I am a sinner. Except for the grace of God I would be doing the same.

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          9. You know, I kind of keep up with this stuff, and the only serious contender that I heard challenge Cruz’s legitimacy was Trump, perhaps as a pretense of consistency. But that is neither here nor there.

            I don’t think Trump is a white supremacist, but he sure knew what white identity and white grievance buttons he was pushing with his Birther conspiracy. One doesn’t have to be a genius to see it for what it is, but perhaps a little empathy helps.

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          10. Something just came to me about what you just wrote. You don’t really believe that Trump believes what you believe, do you? When I just wrote that Trump is not a White Supremacist ideologue, it’s because Trump has neither any ideology nor any ideals. Trump is a self serving, opportunist demagogue. He supports your cause because that is where opportunity lies, but you must know that he will drop you in a New York minute if he sees opportunity elsewhere? He’s already making noises to the Democrats that, if they just don’t try to investigate him too much or impeach him, he could be very friendly to their progressive agenda. I get why you support Trump right now since Trump is rowing the ship of state in the direction you want, but you don’t really believe he is incapable of using you or race baiting or any other sort of demagoguery to get what he wants, do you?

            If so, I definitely do have some swamp down in Mississippi that you should buy. 😉

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          11. @tsalmon

            Don’t read minds. Not a news reporter. Just look at what the man is doing.

            Get this through your noggin. I voted for Trump because H. Clinton seemed the more evil of the two. Atrocious record.

            Trump has surprised me. I hope he continues to surprise me the same way. The fact you hate him does not surprise me even if you are not black.
            😉

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          12. Correction: he’s a self serving opportunistic demagogue who loves his country. Donald Trump has been saying the same thing for 40 years if you care to research. And, during those 40 years He was praised and lauded over but, because he broke into the coveted office of the presidency, he’s an outcast because he is an outsider. The proof is in the historical pudding if you care enough to prove yourself not completely correct.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. “I have just admitted I am a sinner. Except for the grace of God I would be doing the same.”

            When you’re bragging about how much fuller your grace bag is than others’, maybe it’s time to take a deeper look inside.😀

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          14. @tsalmon

            Bragging is when you are trying to play God by running other people’s lives for them.
            — Life begins and ends whenever a Democrat says.
            — The oceans rise and fall on the command of Democrats.
            — Marriage and sex are whatever a Democrat imagines them to be.
            — Bigotry is whatever a Democrat reads in your mind.

            You get the picture.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. I know that we have exhausted the current topic when I am suddenly required to defend some supposed Democratic platform of infanticide and human sexuality. Oh ya, Hitler usually makes an appearance too.

            I always get a kick out of these debates Tom. Thanks for letting me in and for your responses. If I don’t get a chance between now and then, I wish you and yours a blessed and Merry Christmas. May God always walk with you. (Your wife can’t always be there to keep you on the right path). 😘

            Liked by 1 person

          16. @tsalmon

            @tsalmon

            Supposed? I have a new delegate to the Virginia’s General Assembly. He thinks he is a she, and he takes hormones to make it so. I guess he has also had a certain operation. I don’t really want to know.

            What does my new delegate want 5-year old children to learn? You figure it out.

            Don’t take the reference to Hitler out context. Just consider that my new delegate is an elected official and proof of the wisdom of the majority.

            Merry Christmas to you and yours, and thank you for your blessing. God go with you and yours too.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. @tsalmon

            Amused? You say so.

            Richest counties in the nation surround our capital. Was not suppose to be that way, but the tail is wagging the dog now.

            I suppose you think the guy who is now my delegate is better off now because he is supposedly accepted for who he is. Isn’t that how the politically correct put it? The reality is that his behavior is self destructive. Because he refuses to do what we were created to do he is a warped creature. He cannot be content or at peace.

            Think about Romans 1:18-32. Instead of blowing it off ask God to help you understand it. Study it. Imagine living among the pagans in the Romans Empire. Their morals differ little from the morals of today’s “tolerant” souls. Given a little time and today’s technology, ….. Well, is there any reason to doubt these nice people could begin to make crucifixion look merciful? Look what they are willing to do to their own bodies.

            What is the difference between pride and humility. What the difference between someone who is thankful to God and someone who insists upon being God? That’s what Romans 1:18-32 explains.

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          18. Sorry brother, perhaps it is just a little guilty Schadenfreude at your expense. When I consider the real suffering that actually exists in this nation and in the world and the grateful joy we should feel for our good fortune to be who we are, where we are, with the basic safety and security of who we love and who loves us, don’t you think that your own extravagant anxiety at the hands of popularly elected transsexual is just a little comical? Oh well, perhaps not.

            I wish you the wisdom and joy that comes from basic gratitude to God for Christmas. Count your blessings and praise God. Start counting with the well meaning lady who represents you. Her sins, if they are sins, have not gunned your family down in the middle of the night or starved them or made you flee thousands of miles from your home for asylum in an unwelcoming foreign land. Kiss her for me for that if you get a chance cause I wish for you and yours that she remains the worst cross that you will ever imagine that you have to bear. Ho ho ho. 🌈

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          19. @tsalmon

            You laugh at me and then you write that? You have writen innumerable diatribes just on my blog complaining about Donald Trump, including your outrage over his sexual proclivities, and then you throw up that smoke screen when I point to a truly sex-obsessed elected official? That is funny!

            What an exercise in self-contradiction! Doesn’t your second paragraph point out the need for good government? Isn’t your first paragraph just a denial of my concerns?

            The Bible has much to say about love, thankfulness, and other virtues. The Bible also has much to say about how we demonstrate love and thankfulness. The Bible tells how to practice virtue. That’s why the Bible has so much to say about such things as government and appropriate sexual behavior.

            You call yourself a Christian? Then why don’t you take the teachings of the Bible more seriously the teachings of the news media and the Democratic Party?

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          20. “You call yourself a Christian? Then why don’t you take the teachings of the Bible more seriously the teachings of the news media and the Democratic Party?”

            Thank you for your concern. I am a very imperfect Christian, but I am trying. That you are a better one than me is one more thing for you to take joy in and to be thankful for this holiday season. It certainly gives me great joy that you find yourself so manifestly enlightened in our common religious practice. Keep it up. I’m even more proud of you than you are of yourself. Hopefully neither the character flaws of your local representative nor those of the leader of the free world will result in the end of our civilization as we know it any time soon. That too is one more thing to be thankful for.😇

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          21. @tsalmon

            God may have His favorites, but I have not made that the subject. Have I judged you? No. Have I said I am better than you? No. I have referred to a reference we both supposedly respect.

            Frankly, given your educational background, you should be far more familiar with the Bible than I am.

            An English major? The King James Bible is central to English literature. The Bible is the finest example of world literature. Unless we try to understand what a writer wanted us to learn how can we appreciate his work? Is that why the Bible is almost ignored? We don’t want to know.

            A lawyer? The Law is a moral construct. The Bible provided the moral foundation of Western Civilization, and for generations American lawmakers and judges deferred to the Bible for instruction. Now, however, our leaders have discovered “we” are the ones we have been waiting for. So we don’t need Jesus?

            What happened? Why does a two-bit science major who never had any interest in the Bible until he was in his 50’s know more about the Bible than most members of Congress? While you are being so proud of me, don’t you think that is something more pertinent to think about?

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          22. “What happened? Why does a two-bit science major who never had any interest in the Bible until he was in his 50’s know more about the Bible than most members of Congress? While you are being so proud of me, don’t you think that is something more pertinent to think about?”

            One of the reasons that I follow your blog is that your conscious and unconscious motivations are interesting to me, partly because of our relationship to one another, and partly because I think that they typify a certain swath of the American polity.

            As I said, I am a very imperfect Christian, but my faith is aspirational. Although I say I am a Christian, it is probably more correct to say that I am in a constant and lifelong state of “becoming” a Christian, a truer follower of Christ.

            Despite what you may say about my ignorance in this regard, let me assure you that I am not completely ignorant of the most important sacred scriptures, holy rituals and theological philosophies of my faith. Just more fully fathoming what I do know, and more importantly, actually living that knowledge, is enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life, and I still expect to be infinitely far from a concluded Christ when I die. I doubt that I will ever do really well what I already know I should do, what all of us already know we should do. And I doubt that even an every waking minute study of the Bible will make me any less flawed at just practicing these basic virtues, but it might tempt me toward a legalistic self righteousness in judging the finer points of when everybody else is screwing up. Yep, I’m enough of a lawyer to hit people over the head with the certainty my Biblical scholarship if indeed I were to claim to be such a of scholar. So be careful what you wish for Tom or you may have a Pharasee to plague you just like they plagued Jesus.

            Like

          23. @tsalmon

            Because of their pride the Pharisees treated the traditions of man, their own traditions, as more important to them than what the Bible tells us to do. They did this by twisting the Law — what the Bible said to their ancestors — to mean what they wanted it to mean. Thus, they ended up with a salvation based upon works, often quite meaningless but burdensome works.

            Read Psalm 119 some time. It is a long psalm, but the author of it loved the Law. Why? The Law — the Bible — tells us how to walk with God. When read the Bible, God reaches out His Hand to us.

            Consider what Jesus said.

            John 14:23-24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

            Red letter Christians — Christians who believe that only the words of Jesus matter, don’t pay much attention to the whole Bible. Mostly, if they read anything, they read the Gospels. Yet Jesus Himself endorsed the Old Testament, and the blood of many martyrs has sanctified the New Testament.

            As Christians, we are not under the Law, but that does not make murder, stealing, and other such sins okay. It just means our salvation depends upon our faith in Jesus. Jesus says if we have faith in Him we will obey His commands.

            Jesus is the Word. The Bible is Jesus’ Word.

            John 1:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 [a]He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [b]comprehend it.

            If you “plague” me with passages from the Bible, I may occasionally be annoyed, but I will be happier that His light overcomes the darkness.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Goldwater opposed the bill because it was UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    I’m not quite sure, whether this is your own position you hold today or your description of Goldwater’s stance back then? Could you please clarify?

    Like

    1. @marmoewp

      More specifically, Goldwater had problems with title II and title VII of the 1964 bill. He felt that constitutionally the federal government had no legal right to interfere in who people hired, fired; or to whom they sold their products, goods, and services. He felt that “power” laid in the various states, and with the people. He was a strong advocate of the tenth amendment. Goldwater’s constitutional stance did not mean he agreed with the segregation and racial discrimination practiced in the South. To the contrary, he fought against these kinds of racial divides in his own state of Arizona. He supported the integration of the Arizona National guard and Phoenix public schools.[4] Goldwater was, also, a member of the NAACP and the Urban League.[5](from https://freedomsjournalinstitute.org/uncategorized/urban-legend-goldwater-against-civil-rights/)

      That reference is in my post.

      Like

  4. Tom

    Interesting how history in the USA transposed over time Political Parties.

    Your conclusion that religion separates us now is only partially correct, in my opinion.

    The real separation is the “religion of money and debt” that has occurred over time since the New Deal, in my opinion.

    “In this way, he says, “money as a supreme value and transcendent obligation shapes the conduct of our lives and institutions. Debt has replaced God as the guarantee for human cooperation, and our modern globalized world is driven by the religion of money.” Goodchild’s “theology of money” is summarized in an article posted online:”

    If interested

    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2012/03/religion-of-money.html

    The political party that produces money in their pockets for the most people will usually win elections unless there is a similar issue like Vietnam, or Iraq, etc.
    .
    The only question is which political party will be blamed when the debt bubble bursts.
    Presently, both are in the running for the blame, in my opinion.

    As for real religion believers, “God help us” when the bubble bursts, to have wisdom and love to sustain them for the consequences they will experience.

    Regards and good will blogging.,

    Like

  5. So what about The Southern Strategy? I decided to tackle the subject when I got a comment relevant to it (here from marmoewp). Here is an excerpt.

    I feel a bit like a coathanger here, as I did not bring up the Southern Strategy.

    Is Vox a reliable source? Not exactly, but cited a Vox produced video in his comment. So let’s assume Vox tries to be reliable. Other sources confirm that Wilson did in fact resegregate much of the Federal Government (see here (en.wikipedia.org) and here (usatoday.com)). So let’s consider the video referenced.

    You make it sound as if I specifically quoted Vox as a reliable source, or relied on it in an argument of mine. Here is the relevant part of my comment

    I came across this video by Vox.com: How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump. If you are willing to spare seven minutes to watch and then some more to comment, I’d be interested to hear your take on it. Fair? Unfair? Too bad to merit discussion?

    I specifically asked for comments, whether the video’s content is fair or unfair from your and other readers point of view. That is not what “cite” is usually used for to describe.

    Like

    1. @marmoewp

      You did not bring up The Southern Strategy? Just a coat hanger? 😕

      You say so. I tried to avoid putting words in your mouth. When so many Americans are fooled, I don’t expect people in other countries to know how devious our press can be.

      I specifically asked for comments, whether the video’s content is fair or unfair from your and other readers point of view. That is not what “cite” is usually used for to describe.

      Whatever you want to call it, I addressed the topic of that video. Did you get what you asked for?

      Like

      1. I was talking voter behaviour and party orientation, you Southern Strategy. Be that as it may, I intend to give my take on that PragerU video, but it’ll take some time to do so.

        For starters a little sideshow: it looks to me like Prof. Carol Swain believes in time travel. 😉 Can you figure out, why I think so? It’s a little thing, but it is a mistake / piece of misinformation I would not expect from a professor of political science in a prepared statement that is meant to be educational.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          Whatever your own motivation and position, you tried to present “evidence” “party reallignment in the wake of the New Deal”. As it happens, I offered evidence no such realignment ever occurred. What we had was a smear campaign. Instead of getting lost in the weeds, please stick to the subject.

          Like

          1. My time travel comment was an oblique pointer to the fact, that Prof. Carol Swain claim that Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock in September 1957 before the 1956 elections.

            As I said, more to come, but it’ll take time.

            Like

          2. @marmoewp

            That’s the sort of mistake that people make. Hard to avoid since we are imperfect, bloopers can be funny. So there are entire websites devoted to bloopers. The more public our lives, the more noticeable our bloopers become.

            Like

  6. Great post. So much of what we think is American history is a lie. Unfortunately, as history is written by the winners, this tells you who’s in charge.

    American politics is about raw power and it’s exercise. Maybe it wasn’t intended to be that way. Great. That’s where we are now. Only one party, one side of the battle, seems to get that.

    Like

    1. @Alexander Hellene

      Thanks for your comment.

      The fellows who wrote our Constitution had recently fought a long and arduous war. They knew all too well politics is about raw power. That’s why they wrote the Constitution, why they wrote it as they did.

      Liked by 1 person

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