GOP`s Southern (=Sailer) Strategy Rises Again. Actually, It`s Never Been Down.

Republican Party`s venerable Southern Strategy was

tarred and feathered
as racist and obsolete by all
the most “Righteous
” Beltway  “conservatives
back during the Trent Lott brouhaha. But (ahem) it
remains the

electoral strategy
that actually, you know, WINS


As last

Republican gubernatorial victories
in the South

In Kentucky,
U.S. Representative Ernie Fletcher was

Governor 55 percent to 45 percent, ending 32
years of Democratic control of the statehouse. Down in
Mississippi, Republican Beltway insider

Haley Barbour
defeated Democratic incumbent Governor
Ronnie Musgrove 53-45. And Republican Amy Tuck was
easily elected lieutenant governor, 61-37, over

Barbara Blackmon
, a wealthy Democratic lawyer who
had attracted national media attention in her bid to
become the first black elected to statewide office in
Mississippi since


After her
walloping, Blackmon complained she was the

of, guess what, racism.

Now it can
be told: this comports exactly with what happened in the
2002 House elections across the South. You may recall
that on Election Night 2002, the national Voter News
Service exit poll`s computer reporting system

crashed and burned
, so only spotty demographic data
has been available on that election. Fortunately, the
raw data was checked over by a team of academics and
polling professionals and was recently put on sale by

. I`m currently up to my eyeballs in crunching
the numbers, but I can give you a preliminary peek at
the regional 2002 vote for the House of Representatives.

In the East,
the GOP`s 2002

efforts did relatively well among
blacks, garnering whole 18 percent of their votes. In the
South, the GOP did very badly, earning only seven

This would
suggest that the Republican Party must be doing better
in the East than in the South … if you believe the

unspoken assumption
behind almost all articles
published on the subject of the racial demographics of
voting: that a nonwhite person`s vote somehow counts
more than a white person`s vote … or at least, morally
speaking, it ought to.

Well, it

work that way
under the United States Constitution.

equal in the voting booth
—even if the media thinks
we ought to be more interested in minorities.

winning some black votes, in the East, the GOP did
poorly in the 2002 House races—because it won only 48
percent of the white vote.

In the
South, however, the GOP performed strongly—because it
captured 69 percent of the whites. Turnout among whites
was also strong.

My theory:
despite putting up a smokescreen about how crucial
the minority vote was to the Party, Karl Rove

put tremendous resources into a
get-out-the-vote drive aimed especially at the kind of
less-educated whites who

don`t always show up to vote.

At VDARE.COM, we refer to this shocking idea of
appealing to the white vote as "The Sailer Strategy"
because I`ve

described it
in several articles. It shocked Jim Robinson so much
that he banned us (and
readers posting
us) from Free Republic!

it`s not attracted as much attention, the challenge
facing the GOP in the South is very like the problem
notoriously confronting the GOP in California: there are
a lot of minority voters there. (26
in the South in the 2000 election, compared
to 29 percent in California). Haley Barbour`s
Mississippi, in particular, is almost


In the

Golden State
, this

demographic fact-of-life
caused the Republican Party
to panic from 1998 through 2002. But GOP Southern
strategists apparently kept their cool by bearing in
mind this

simple truth
: "Minority voters are a minority."

(I say
apparently because it`s always possible GOP strategists

don`t know
why they`re winning. They don`t have to:
Southern whites instinctively vote as a bloc in a way
that California whites do not—yet.)

This does
not, of course, mean Southern Republicans favor a return
to Jim Crow—a symbol, let it be noted, of the days when
white Democrats monopolized the South.
Practically everyone in the South understands that the
entire region is vastly better off without the onerous,
inefficient burden of a Hindu-style

caste system
. According to Michael Barone`s

2004 Almanac of American Politics

"Per capita income in Mississippi [traditionally
the poorest state] was 36% of the national average in
1940; in 1999, it was 72 percent, well below the
national average, but given the lower cost of living
here, a level recognizably American.

But it does
mean that instead of

neutering their positions
out of fear of

playing the race card, Southern
Republicans have

on issues that advance the interests of
the white majority. With hugely successful

Barbour, for

ran against
affirmative action, against Head Start,
against welfare, against Mississippi`s notoriously
pro-plaintiff legal system, against vote fraud, and for
keeping the

current state flag
(Musgrove had attempted to delete
the Confederate battle cross from the flag). All of
these are now

to be

positions, although a black Mississippian
50 years ago would have found the liberal media`s
complaints incomprehensible.

No exit
polls results from either of last week`s races have been
published. However, a pre-election poll in Mississippi
showed Barbour losing among blacks

, but winning

among whites. (Similarly, a pre-election

in Kentucky showed the successful GOP candidate
carrying only 12 percent of African-American voters.)
That`s less polarized, however, than the 2000
Presidential results in Mississippi. Gore won 96-3 (!)
among blacks, but Bush captured the state easily (58-41
overall) by winning 81-17 among whites.

Democratic Presidential candidate

Howard Dean
said, "I still want to be the
candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their
pickup trucks. We can`t beat George Bush unless we
appeal to a broad cross-section of Democrats."

After the
other Democratic

got done jumping on his head, he has

I think it`s obvious that
those who display the

Confederate flag
in 2003 do not want to secede and
reinstate slavery. It`s simply a symbol of

regional pride
and orneriness. This is demonstrated
in a roundabout way by the fact that in Texas few wave
the Confederate flag, even though Texas was part of the
Confederacy. Texans don`t need a regional flag—they
already have a famous flag, the ubiquitous

Lone Star flag
, dating from the

independent Republic of Texas
of 1836-1845.

Clearly, Dr. Dean, a Park
Avenue WASP turned Vermonter, and

white Southerners,
have problems with each other on
fundamental cultural grounds. The great historian

David Hackett Fischer
, author of the landmark
1989 book,

Albion`s Seed: Four British Folkways in America

has told me that Dean has positioned himself as a
"classic New England candidate who closely fits the
cultural framework that evolved out of 17th-century


So if Dean
really wants to show he`s not the

latte-sipping liberal snob that
everybody south of the Mason-Dixon line automatically
assumes he is, he`s going to need to take a stand on a
21st Century issue—not a 19th Century one.

What would
flummox Bush more than running to his right on
immigration, out where the

great majority
of Americans already are?

But I would
be flabbergasted if Dean actually did anything that
sensible. Instead, he`s pandering to win the


union bosses
corrupted by their

greed for dues

new illegal alien members

the working people of America.

On the

long term
issue of immigration, you can expect the
2004 election to provide the edifying spectacle of

Tweedledee and Tweedledum
jostling to see who can
stake out a rhetorical position farthest from what
American voters want.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily