Here's how Trump has taken a page from Nixon's racist ‘southern strategy’ — and made it his own
Des Moines Iowa, USA, 8th December, 2016 President Elect Donald Trump at the Victory thank you rally in Des Moines. Trump addresses the crowd of supporters that swept him to victory in the campaign

On Saturday, writing for The Guardian, Daniel Strauss explored how President Donald Trump's politics has its roots in the Republican backlash to the Civil Rights movement.


"The president is taking a page or two out of the 1960s 'southern strategy': the playbook Republican politicians such as Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater used to rally political support among white voters across the south by leveraging racism and white fear of people of color," wrote Strauss. For example, he has warned his supporters that Joe Biden would allow an "invasion" of low-income housing into the suburbs, and has called Black Lives Matter a "symbol of hate."

"Trump’s own version of the southern strategy is an updated one for 2020," wrote Strauss. "It’s not a carbon copy, and the president has mixed this angle with other pitches to voters. Yet as tensions over police and protests have increased across America, Trump has increasingly made these arguments the centerpiece of his campaign in the closing months of the election."

"The southern strategy was the plan used effectively by Nixon to increase voting among white voters in the south," wrote Strauss. "Nixon’s campaign put a heavy emphasis on law and order and states’ rights to attract white voters concerned about racial integration. Critics argued the language used in this strategy was a thinly veiled appeal to racists and an ugly response to the successes of the civil rights movement."

Trump has copied this playbook in many ways, trying to claim he alone can put down the civil rights unrest in cities around the country.

"He’s throwing gasoline on a fire," said Isaac Wright, a Democratic strategist who has operated campaigns for Southern and rural elections. "He knows what he’s doing. He’s making a political calculus that by stoking the worst parts of the American psyche that he can somehow gain political leverage from that."

There is evidence, however, that this strategy is not working as well, with many voters in the Midwest saying they want Trump to address real threats to their jobs and security.

You can read more here.