The Media’s Failed “Southern Strategy”

By November 17, 2016Blog
Source: Washington Post

Source: Washington Post

After its usual clichéd arguments weren’t lessening Trump’s momentum, the mainstream media tried to associate his supporters with its negative caricature of Southerners. The mainstream media has had success in this “Southern strategy” in the past, so it thought it could smear Donald Trump by associating him with its version of a maleovent South. But this time it didn’t work.

The Left rarely discussed Trump’s ideas or positions. Instead they piled on with inflated insults and unfavorable caricatures. We heard the tiresome put-downs so popular with the Left – racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and so on. The Left even compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and called him a fascist from the same mold as Mussolini. President Obama stated that Trump would ignore the Constitution and condone the Ku Klux Klan. Of course, Obama also claimed that our Constitution is over 2000 years old, placing its creation around the time of Jesus, which would certainly make it more significant. PBS host Tavis Smiley predicted that Donald Trump would bring back slavery if he became president.

The entertainment field had its share of bombastic, wacky Trump slurs. None of us were surprised that Cher equated Donald Trump with Joseph Stalin but we were surprised that Cher actually knew who Stalin was. Self-avowed atheist Bill Maher, who describes religion as a “neurological disorder” that “stops people from thinking,” demeaned Trump’s candidacy because of the support received from Southern evangelicals. The Hip Hop artist known as Meek Mill , whose net worth is reported as 4 million, gave his opinion of Trump: “… ‘most’ of the the older white men his age come from a racist era! And they still racist!”

Because the “evil Confederacy” slur has usually worked in the past, mainstream media dredged it up again. The New York Times reported that a substantial portion of Trump supporters believe that the South should have won the Civil War and slaves should not have been freed. Like other Leftist elites, the New York Times thinks the South is populated with white supremacists who belong in Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.” It must have been frustrating for media to realize that associating his supporters with the Confederacy could not derail his candidacy

Writing for Florida’s SunSentinel, Gary Stein associated Donald Trump with the Confederacy without much evidence other than some supporters at Trump rallies were spotted with Confederate flags. Stein states: “Not surprisingly, the flag has become a staple at Trump rallies. White supremacists love Trump almost as much as they love the confederate flag.”

Leftist columnist Stephen D Foster Jr used tired tactic of stating opinions as though they were facts in order to smear Trump and his supporters: “It’s time for conservatives to face facts. The Confederate flag is racist. The Civil War was fought over slavery. And the Confederates were a bunch of traitors whose descendants are still whining about a war they lost and are now supporting Trump because they believe he’ll help them revive the ’cause,’ which again is all about subjugation, hatred, and oppression of people who don’t have white skin.”

Earlier in the campaign, ABC News polled all presidential candidates regarding their opinion whether municipalities should allow the Confederate flag to be publicly displayed. Although voters were concerned about issues far more serious than the display of the Confederate flag, ABC News stuck with its trite reporting. Those candidates who agreed to answer the question, mostly gave the politically correct response that ABC News wanted to hear: the flag should be banned.

Although Leftists think their opinions are facts, they cannot manipulate the public as they once did. Also public opinions have life spans, so an overzealous media cannot continue to shove its opinions down society’s throat indefinitely. Southerners should be encouraged that a substantial segment of the public is no longer swayed by media’s demeaning of the South and its heritage. Hopefully, the media’s attempts to have all vestiges of the Confederacy trashed will also fizzle out.

Gail Jarvis

Gail Jarvis is a Georgia-based free-lance writer. He attended the University of Alabama and has a degree from Birmingham Southern College. As a CPA/financial consultant, he helped his clients cope with the detrimental effects of misguided governmental intrusiveness. This influenced his writing as did years of witnessing how versions of news and history were distorted for political reasons. Mr. Jarvis is a member of the Society of Independent Southern Historians and his articles have appeared on various websites, magazines, and publications for several organizations. He lives in Coastal Georgia with his wife.

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