Coming in July, 2021: A book about the events that led to the Southern Strategy.
Published in December 1947, “To Secure These Rights” was a report from President Harry S. Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights. One political commentator called it “the most mischievous document published since the Communist Manifesto.” Nevertheless, president Truman spent the subsequent years pushing Congress to pass civil rights legislation. However, Conservative Democrats from the once Confederate States saw Truman’s push for equality as a betrayal.
In 1948, the Southern Democrats bolted from the Democratic Party and began a third party, the Dixiecrats. Their 1948 campaign was unsuccessful, but the Dixiecrats had an unyielding dedication to white supremacy. Northern Liberal Democrats sided with President Truman on civil rights, which drove a wedge between the Conservative and Liberal wings of the Democratic Party.
Simultaneously, the Liberal and Conservative factions of the Republican Party experienced infighting and an ideological split over labor, specifically the Taft-Hartley Act.
Initially driven by a hatred for President Truman, Conservative Democrats (Dixiecrats) and Conservative Republicans teamed up in Congress to pass or block legislation beneficial to each one. Conservative Republicans helped the Dixiecrats block civil rights bills, and in return, the Dixiecrats helped Conservative GOP members stop pro-union bills.
The unholy union between the Conservatives of both parties became known as the Dixiecrat-Republican Coalition, sometimes called the “Dixiegops” in newspapers. The Coalition lasted for decades, through multiple presidents, and had long-lasting repercussions in American politics.
What can you expect from my book?
Dixiegops is a well-sourced account of what happened after the Dixiecrats bolted from the 1948 Democratic National Convention, how they never made amends with the Northern Democrats, and how Conservatism was eradicated from the Democratic Party.
My book will cover crucial moments in the Civil Rights Era and how the Conservatives in Congress reacted. Slowly, over time, Southern votes for Dixiecrats were replaced by Southern votes for Conservative Republicans. While the Republican Party once had a robust Liberal wing, their adoption of the Dixiecrats eventually drove all of their progressive voters out of their party.
Who is the book about?
When we think about the Southern Strategy, most of us think about Strom Thurmond, but he wasn’t as important to the movement as history portrays. Between 1948 and 1972, there were dozens of men who each played their role in realignment.
The book is about America and how events in the country led to actions or inactions in Congress. “Dixiegops” will show when and how American voters changed the party they voted for while retaining their ideologies.
Why I wrote this book.
Several years ago, a few right-leaning political figures began spreading the lie that the Southern Strategy wasn’t real, and it never happened. This lie spread and engulfed the minds of Conservative Americans. Now, rarely a day goes by when a Conservative on TV, Social Media, or in the House of Representatives doesn’t use Southern Strategy denial rhetoric.
Like the Lost Cause or the Big Lie, Southern Strategy denial is a form of revisionist history that hurts our society. The Southern Strategy did happen. More so, the realignment of political parties and ideologies occurred over the two decades leading up to the Southern Strategy.
In my book, “Dixiegops: The Untold Story Of The Dixiecrat-Republican Coalition,” I revisit those pivotal moments in history that broke both the Democratic and Republican Parties, changed the allegiances of American voters, and became lost stories in the annals of history.
About the author.
That’s me. I’m Michelle H. Davis and the blogger/editor for Living Blue in Texas. If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you probably already know how much of a political geek I am and how the Southern Strategy is one of my favorite subjects.
I started researching the Southern Strategy almost ten years ago when I wanted to explain facts to people who didn’t understand how the once-party of slavery is now the party of progress and human rights. I became fascinated with some of the things I learned.
After years of research, I am excited to share with you an untold part of American political history, and help others understand the events that led up to the Southern Strategy.
Dixiegops: The Untold Story Of The Dixiecrat-Republican Coalition will be available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook in July, 2021. Check back soon for the exact date and how to pre-order a copy.
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue for the price of a coffee. Sign up now.