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The Long Southern StrategyHow Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics$
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Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190265960

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190265960.001.0001

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Southern White Privilege

Southern White Privilege

Chapter:
(p.70) 2 Southern White Privilege
Source:
The Long Southern Strategy
Author(s):

Angie Maxwell

Todd Shields

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190265960.003.0003

In order to solidify support among its southern white base, the GOP offered powerful characterizations of the haves and have-nots, of the taxpayer and the tax recipient, of the makers and the takers, all of which promoted the belief that some Americans deserved privileges but others did not. Thus, the techniques of the Long Southern Strategy are more complex than simply elevating whiteness to maintain the racial hierarchy. Additionally, the Long Southern Strategy turned the political arena into a zero-sum economic game, in which only one group could prosper. GOP leaders framed federal entitlements as big government waste and minority advancement as tantamount to white persecution. In turn, opposition to both safeguards white privilege by championing fiscal conservatism and pretending whiteness is a meritocracy. While a popular and effective dog whistle, these messages make southern whites vulnerable to identity politics and subject to vote against their economic self-interest.

Keywords:   white privilege, health care, reverse racism, economic competition, prospective economic evaluations, big government, federal government overreach, federal entitlements, zero-sum economics

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