November 28, 2003
Dean's Real Opponent
In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War protest, following the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and months of protests, riots, & political unrest, GOP presidential candidate Richard Nixon began several morally dubious strategies to ensure his election to the Oval Office, such as using Henry Kissinger to undermine President Johnson's peace negotiations with the North Vietnamese. But one of the cornerstones of his campaign was the so-called "Southern Strategy". Poor rural whites had traditionally been Democrats until the advent of the Civil Rights Movement. Nixon appealled to their prejudices and fears about the Blacks asking for their rights through the use of code words like "law and order" and "the great silent majority" and the old Confederacy has been in the pocket of the elephants ever since.
Which is ironic, when you consider that Nixon & his predecessors have largely treated these people like their subjects instead of their constituents. They do nothing to improve the economic fortunes of the South, and then point to affirmative action & Willie Horton as the root of all their woes.
It's also worked for so long because so many Democrats look down their noses at poor whites, overtly treating them as inhumanly as their Republican representatives do behind closed doors.
So, in yet another move where he attempts to actually follow the ideals of the Democratic Party instead of just it's rhetoric, Howard Dean has decided to address this issue head-on.
Bush & Co. are offering poor Southern whites prayer in the school, a ten commandments monument, and the comfort of knowing that no homosexuals are running around getting married behind our backs.
Dean is offering them health insurance, better schools, and better jobs.
In other words, the same thing he's offering everybody else in the country. The radical nature of what he's doing is that he's a Democrat who's actually acknowledging these people as a part of the country.
Let's see if they'd rather have a monument instead of a paycheck.