Harrop: When blue-collar whites went Republican
Liberals strain to understand why so many blue-collar whites have made their home in the Republican Party. Yes, the GOP better connects with this group on social and lifestyle levels. Still, with working people under so much economic strain these days, it seems odd they’d let a culture war centered on emotion trump their bread-and-butter concerns.
When did this all begin? A good answer is 60 years ago, when a Republican congressman named Richard Nixon gave the “Checkers speech.”
The address “foreshadowed the emergence of a new conservative populism
in America, emphasizing appeals to social and cultural ‘identity’ rather than economic interest,” Lee Huebner, a speechwriter in the Nixon White House, writes.
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