Nixon, Reagan Paved Way for GOP’s Race-Charged Health Agenda

By | March 16, 2017

After a presidential campaign filled with racist rhetoric, the Republicans have proposed a healthcare agenda that will harm many black, brown, and poor Americans while helping the white and wealthy. It’s the same cynical strategy Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan pioneered decades ago.

To be sure, the Democratic Party has its own legacy of racism. They couldn’t have prevailed for so long in the Jim Crow South without it. Richard Nixon, who was openly racist in private, sought to undermine Democrats with his 1968 campaign’s “Southern strategy,” which welcomed segregationists into the Republican party.

It worked. Urban riots in 1967 had already provoked fear among many white voters, who didn’t understand their underlying causes. Mass demonstrations for peace and civil rights confused and disturbed them. Nixon’s “law and order” rhetoric, which foreshadowed Donald Trump’s, sent a thinly-disguised message to white voters that he would protect them from blacks and hippies. (LA Progressive)

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