Chapter

Conclusion: America's Appointment with Destiny—A Cautionary Tale

Glenn Feldman

in Painting Dixie Red

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036847
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813036847.003.0014
Conclusion: America's Appointment with Destiny—A Cautionary Tale

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This conclusion connects the southern experience to the national one. It explores in detail the southern (and increasingly American) propensity for plain people to put emotional issues ahead of their more rational and class interests. And it examines how conservatives first ingeniously engineered a “Great Melding” of white supremacy and economic rightism in the South to vilify government, glorify capital, and capture the votes of masses of plain people. The import of media and technology revolution, the Religious Right, the Reconstruction experience, think tanks and policy institutes, Democratic timidity, and a “new racism” of muted white supremacy combined with vague emotional issues are explored. Attention is paid to Republican success in mainstreaming extremist thought as well as policy attacks on New Deal progeny like Social Security and labor rights, as well as taxes, regulation, Medicare, and public employees. The chapter posits that#x2014;although the South has altered its partisan affiliation from Democratic to Republican#x2014;there has been little actual change due to the pre-eminence of deep, distinctive, and enduring southern cultural mores and conservative values. And the implications for American politics are potentially seismic….

Keywords: Republican Party; Democratic Party; The South; Alabama; Politics; Liberalism and Conservatism; Race and Civil Rights; Southern distinctiveness and exceptionalism; Cultural Continuity; George W. Bush

Chapter.  22338 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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