The Old Right, the New Right, and the Southern Strategy
April 3, 2008
This intriguing dialogue on the origins of the Southern Strategy which built the conservative movement as we know it ignores an important bit of history, that, in fact, its origins extend past the early 60s and even to the early 50s. Not only that, but its origins were closely intertwined with the downfall of the old right.
The key component of the already strained case made by many Rockwellites that Eisenhower stole the Republican nomination from Robert Taft in 1952 had to do with the credentialing of the southern Black and Tan Republicans, many of whom were backing Taft. Once Eisenhower was president he abolished the Black and Tan Clubs in anticipation of the southern strategy.
This shift is an often ignored component of the transition from the old to the new right, obscured in no small measure by being claimed by many paleos who have sought to make the impeccably bourgeois liberal Taft (raised Unitarian and married to a pacifist – how’s that for Mr. Republican!) an icon of white nationalism.