1/18 The New “Southern Strategy” w/ Angie Maxwell

January 18, 2022

Sam and Emma host Angie Maxwell, associate professor of political science at the University of Arkansas, to discuss her recent book The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics, on how the Southern Strategy that completely restructured the electoral college behind the GOP’s turn against social progress has found long-term success in bolstering support for the Right on terms of racial resentment, modern sexism, and Christian nationalism. Professor Maxwell begins by situating the party politics after the 40s, with the Supreme Court standing behind Jim Crow laws, and the National Democratic Party being forced into a choice to either stick behind their southern force, or the unions and coalitions that drove their base after the New Deal, ultimately seeing the southern white democratic contingent secede into the Dixiecrats, leaving room for this conservative coalition in the south. Next, she works to unpack the differences between a long- and short-term view of the Southern Strategy, with the former moving beyond the years of Nixon and playing an essential role even in the Democratic victories of Carter and Clinton, before she works to outline the clear roles of racial resentment, with the Civil Rights Movement, and sexism, with the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and abortion fights, played in the GOP’s Southern takeover, before shifting to the role of religion. She, Sam, and Emma dive into the complete absence of Democratic infrastructure in the South throughout the mid-to-late 20th Century – particularly when it came to unions, who made up much of their support – thus making Churches the biggest institutions of community infrastructure, in the midst of a massive ideological shift in Southern Baptist ministers to the right. Next, they turn to the role of Southern white women in bolstering the South electorally, as their religious infrastructure shifted towards fundamentalism, as they took on mass organizing to kill the ERA in their states, looking at feminism as a threat to motherhood, family, and Christianity. After touching on the role that religion played in the early aughts US imperialism and interventionism, Professor Maxwell moves to the contemporary role the strategy has played, looking at how the South, both for the GOP and Democrats, is central to setting the tone for primaries, and how Democratic messaging has to change in the south to begin to unpack and restructure voters’ perspectives and beliefs on progressive policy goals. Sam and Emma also touch on how the month since the filibuster changed has obviously cemented the tool in the Senate, never to change again.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma are joined by Nomiki Konst as they cover the GOP and Democratic analysts coming to the bipartisan consensus that their bases are what’s wrong, and walk through some of the worst and even worse invocations of MLK from yesterday, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s CRT bill, Crowder’s dishonest honesty, and Eric Adams painting a picture of MLK as the baller hick from… Atlanta. Nomiki talks about Crypto bros and their ongoing attempt to recolonize Puerto Rico, Stinchfield admires the hysterical women that want national unity, and Jimmy Dore reminds us of the dangers of the white moderates that got in the way of Force the Vote, like AOC. Matt and Emma round out the show with an olive branch to our short kings, plus, your IMs!

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