The Southern Strategy
The southern strategy is a long gone republican electoral strategy which was steered by ethnic profiling, intended to expand support base among the white voters in the southern United States. The strategy focused on appealing to racial discrimination of African Americans. It was a move that took advantage of the racial polarization in the 1950s and 1960s. the Civil rights Movements and putting aside of the Jim Crow laws had deepened racial tensions and the then Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon, developed such a strategy which would successfully realign white conservative voters into ditching the Democratic party.
Background-the Southern Strategy
From the culmination of reconstruction to the commencement of the civil rights era, the national Democratic Party made room for segregationist members, thereby dominating the southern states. However, in the 1950s and 1960s, Democrats opted to embrace the civil rights movement and this cost them the white southern votes. While this was happening, the Republican Party woed disaffected white conservatives with the “southern strategy.” Nixon and Philips persistently rallied “From now on, Republicans are never going to get more than 10 or 20% of the Negro vote. Nothing more than we need.” And as a result, a rift was created.
Critique The Southern Strategy
While many perceive the southern strategy to be a reality, some scholars, analysts and scientists have termed the ideology as myth. Richard Johnston and Byron Shafer in their book “The End of Southern Exceptionalism” question the basis of the southern strategy. While explaining the occurrences of the 60s, they argue that the shift of the southerners from the Democratic to Republican Party was never overwhelmingly a question of race but that of economic growth. The South underwent a transformation in the post war era from being a backward region to an engine of the national economy thus giving rise to a wealthy but sizable suburban class (Johnston and Shafer). As would be expected, the class then started backing the party which best portrayed their economic interests.
However, the critic fails to stand. While the scholars uphold their economic preference argument, they acknowledge the racial differences that existed at the time. Trying to argue it out, Shafer claims that “many whites in the South aggressively opposed liberal Democrats on race issues. “But when folks went to the polling booths, they voted by their economic preferences, not racial preferences.” Furthermore, working class whites in other regions stayed true to the democrats until the 90s when there was a national shift in congressional voting. As such, the argument on economic preference fails to hold.
Effect-the Southern Strategy
Accordingly, the Southern Strategy succeeded even beyond Nixon’s expectations. It hastened a political alignment which separated the Democratic solid north. Evidently, in 1980, Ronald Reagan swept the entire South except for the state of Georgia, which was Jimmy Carter’s home. Additionally, in 1994, the Republican Party took over the congress after a gain of 19 House seats in the Southern states.
Two generations after the southern strategy’s adoption and the Deep South is reliably a Republican zone. Republicans have benefitted a virtual lock in the House as a result. The southern strategy is even praised for making Donald Trump possible. In states like South Carolina, the president benefited from the GOP’s longstanding appeal to racism. There has been shifts in strategy, like in the 90s and early 2000, intended to draw support from the African-American voters. However, the southern strategy seems to be encrypted in the mind of most voters and many will make decisions based on their racial affiliations.
Various Organizations that Fund Campaigns
The financing of electoral campaigns is governed by the campaign finance law as formulated by the Congress and enforced by the Federal Electoral Commission. The Federal Elections Commission sets the limit on the sources and amount to be contributed to fund elections. In as much as most of campaign funding is always private, qualifying presidential candidates have the ability to acquire public financing for both the primaries and the general elections. There are eligibility requirements supposed to be met so as to qualify for a government subsidy. Such are always restricted to spending a limited amount of money.
The persons who fund federal office campaigns can be classified into four different categories. First is one of small individual contributors (notably those who contribute up to $200), large individual contributors (who contribute at least $200), political action committees and self-financing.
A list of top organizations which funded the 2016 elections include the following: For republicans and conservatives were Las Vegas Sands, Adelson Drug Clinic, Uline Inc, Senate Leadership Fund, One Nation, Republian Governors Association, Mountaire Corporation, Stephens Group, Starr Companies, ABC Supply, Chicago Cubs, Citadel LLC and Koch Industriues. As for democrats and liberals were Fahr LLC, Paloma Partners, Houston Texans, Service Employees International Union, Newsweb Corporation, Priorities USA Action, Saban Capital Group, American Federation of State Employees, NextGen Climate Action, American Federation of Teachers, Soros Fund Management, National Education assn., Laboros Union, Carpenters Jointers Union, Bloomberg LP and Pritzker Group. Organizations such as Renaissance Technologies and National Association of Realtors had an almost fifty-fifty contribution towards the campaign course for both parties.
These organizations contribute millions of dollars into the campaign course to federal candidates, political action committees, parties, Carey committees and federal 527 organizations. There have been arguments that the move to back candidates through organizations is a move towards oligarchy, with the parties feeling entitled to their campaign sponsors.
So, is the Country an Oligarchy?
Yes. The United States is an oligarchy. An oligarchy is a form of government where a small group of people have control of the country and this is exactly what the united states is. There are top economic elites and organized groups standing for business interests which have substantial independent impact on the federal government’s policy, while the many average and low class citizens and mass-based interest groups have virtually little or no independent influence. Precisely, the wealthy few have the ability to move policy, while the average American has little power.
The idea of categorizing the United States as an oligarchy other than a democracy may appear absurd. Democracy is the rule of the people by the people. This is definitely not happening in America. While Americans are accorded the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of association and other features central to domestic governance, policymaking is entirely dominated by the elite business class and a number of affluent citizens. When majority of American citizens disagree with ideologies of economic elites, they generally lose. Factually, the strong status quo bias makes it overly difficult for even a fairly large majority of Americans to get policy change. This is according to answers given to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues by Professors Martina Gilens and Benjamin I.