Pat Buchanan blames Democratic policies for the overwhelming whiteness of the Republican Party.
The conservative pundit writes Tuesday in his syndicated column that the U.S. South had been “as solidly Democratic as it was solidly segregationist” prior to the Voting Rights Act – which President Lyndon B. Johnson accurately predicted would doom the party in the former slave states for at least a generation.
“(Richard) Nixon believed that once desegregation was done, its natural conservatism would bring the South into the party of Goldwater, Nixon, and Reagan,” Buchanan writes. “History has proven him right.”
Republican Barry Goldwater began peeling off some of those white Democrats during his unsuccessful 1964 presidential bid by linking states rights and segregation, but Nixon perfected the “Southern Strategy” by adding a “law and order” element to appeal to racist white voters.
Strangely, Buchanan writes as if those racist Democratic voters simply ceased to participate in electoral politics after the Voting Rights Act was passed – although many of them followed South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond to the Republican Party.
“Southern white Democrats, descendants of the men who voted for that Southern Manifesto, are an endangered species, a dying breed,” Buchanan writes.
Even more bizarrely, Buchanan argues that Republican gerrymandering helps black candidates in the South more than it does white candidates.
“Required by law and the Justice Department to create districts where African-Americans would be competitive, Southern legislatures began to draw up majority-minority districts where the black vote was so concentrated as to ensure the election of an African-American,” Buchanan argues. “The GOP offer on the table for black Democrats was safe seats in Congress they could hold for decades, to build up sufficient seniority to garner real power to use on behalf of their constituents.”
However, using 2014 results in just one state as an example, Democrats won just three of 13 available seats in North Carolina despite winning 44 percent of the vote.
Buchanan argues that Republican legislators will further reduce the status of white Democrats by carving out districts for minority candidates – as if that is necessarily a bad thing.
“The end result of the Voting Rights Act is likely to be more districts represented by blacks, Hispanics and Asians,” Buchanan argues. “These will be largely Democratic and come to represent a plurality of Democrats in the House, as white Democratic congressmen shrink in number.”
He never suggests – or even seems to recognize – that Republican policies might repel minority voters, but he’s sure that ethnicity-based voting blocs are bad for America, unless they’re white GOP voters.
“As ethno-nationalism pulls at the seams of many countries of Europe, it would appear it is also present here in the United States,” Buchanan writes. “When political appeals on the basis of race and ethnicity are being made openly by liberal Democrats, as in 2014, we are on a road that ends in a racial-ethnic spoils system – and national disintegration.”