Keep in mind these weren’t the rough stereotypes of massive resisters but rather the metropolitan white collar middle classes of the New South (see Matthew Lassiter’s ).
Republicans have been bashing “welfare queens” and blowing racial “dog whistles” ever since to win the hearts of Southerners.
He knows his race-baiting backwards and forwards, and he has a knack for forming memes that burrow into the brain, capturing a whole complex of racist assumptions and anxieties in one pithy phrase.
His “food stamp president” line would undoubtedly make Lee Atwater and Sarah Palin proud.
Just as Newt’s political rise began in the heyday of the Southern Strategy, Nixon rode to power on the coattails of Joseph Mc Carthy.
While shamelessly denying his own dubious ethics, Nixon was ready to impugn the character and patriotism of his opponents, wielding the twin cudgels of Communism and Anti-Americanism against all comers.
Though the President did offer loopholes for unions in his wage and price controls, which left many on Wall Street uneasy, he didn’t have to give union hard hats any real benefits—just symbolic ones or a strident but economically meaningless cultural recognition.
In the end, the provided the very image that symbolized Nixon’s ambitions, argues Perlstein, “the stockbroker and the pipe fitter joined in solidarity in the act of clobbering a hippie—their common weapon the American flag.” The defining feature of such attacks is their emptiness.
downplaying his own Republican affiliation,” according to Bruce Schulman.
Nixon wanted his campaign to promote “the new American Majority …