Opinion: The ‘Southern Strategy’ runs amok

Money — not the Dems — is calling the shots.

  • By Jerry Smetzer
  • Monday, May 23, 2022 2:09pm
  • Opinion

Yesterday, a Facebook correspondent blamed the Democrats for all that is wrong because they are “ …in charge.” Though no response was requested, here is mine:

No. The Democrats are not in charge. The money is in charge. A year or so ago, Charles Koch pledged a billion (with a “B”) of the Koch family’s then $100 billion (plus) of wealth toward putting the money in charge of the government. As a result, he and the people bought and paid for, directly or indirectly, with Koch money, are having great success blocking every Democratic initiative to do anything. It is so bad that I found myself – a lifelong democrat — amazed that the Democrats were able to get their recent and very well-qualified nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court approved.

Koch is actually nothing new in this process of turning the U.S. government from a “We the People…” democracy to a Deep South version of plantation fascism. That process has been going on since Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater began to develop the “Southern Strategy” back in the 1970s. Those guys, now both deceased, are also doing remarkably well in realizing their original goals. At the end of the U.S. Presidential campaign of 2000, Bush family Consigliere Jim Baker got the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Florida from evaluating the remaining 500 or so Republican ballots challenged as bogus by Florida Democrats.

By stopping the Florida ballot review at 500-plus Republican ballots, The U.S Supreme Court enabled the appointment — by reason of winning the Florida and, therefore, the U.S. Electoral College vote — of the Republican candidate as President of the United States in 2000. That is no small achievement. Those same wealthy guys created Donald Trump and now Trump (and whoever puts words in his mouth) are recreating the wealthy to better conform to their unspoken purposes.

This is grim but I do see signs of hope. There are some interesting pushbacks against the Trump-inflated, plantation-fascist takeover developing in some of the southern state primaries. I can’t wait to hear the results of the Georgia Primary election and the effects of Stacey Abrams mastery of the turn out the vote efforts there. Stay tuned.

Jerry Smetzer is a longtime resident of Juneau. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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