Bless their hearts.
Pretty much that’s what it comes down to. Being dumb. Note, by the way, that Reagan still won all the states there in the map below except Georgia and West Virginia. Then again, he was in a winning state of mind that election cycle, which is why he wracked up 489 Electoral Votes in 1980.
The truly absurd bit about the Left’s beloved Southern Strategy nonsense is that the people who espouse it have precisely zero conception of the time scale necessary for it to work. We’re to believe that Richard Nixon created this elaborate racist scheme to win the South that took almost thirty years to cook off. Because between 1968 and 1996 the GOP ‘won’ the South three times: once during the disastrous McGovern campaign, once during the even more disastrous Mondale campaign, and finally during the slightly less disastrous Dukakis campaign*. During each of those times – and in the 1980 election, which is immortalized in the map above – the GOP cleaned up everywhere else, too. Meanwhile, the South continued to field significant numbers of Democratic Congressmen and Senators until well into GWB’s first term. State legislatures and Governors took even longer for the GOP to dominate. Translation? Nobody in the Democratic party who duckspeaks the Southern Strategy meme ever bothers to look at a map.
Put simply: Occam’s Razor allows us to use a much simpler answer than Mystical Ninja Shadow Racism to explain what happened. To wit, the South went GOP in my lifetime for two reasons. One: the national Democratic party ended up being run by Northern and West Coast liberals who [expletive deleted] hate the South. Two: the old school (and often extremely racist) Southern Democrats died out, and their (often quietly embarrassed) children decided that some traditions didn’t need preserving – like segregation, other forms of institutionalized racial prejudice, and voting for Democratic candidates. Backing that point up is the amusing little quirk of American political life that white Southern Republicans seem to have no problem whatsoever with electing minority conservatives – which is a trick that white Southern Democrats still seem to have not really mastered. Or white Democrats in general, honestly**.
Shorter Moe Lane: you may safely assume that anybody who spouts the Southern Strategy nonsense at you is ill-educated at best, in the kiddie wading pool that’s just beyond the shallow end of the gene pool at worst. Which would certainly explain why they’re remarkably childish, and always vaguely smell of pee.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: If you’re looking for a more erudite examination of this silly little meme, it was written by Dan McLaughlin in 2012.
*Moral of the story: Democrats probably shouldn’t run Northeastern/Midwestern liberals in Presidential elections.
*Yes, I know: Barack Obama is black. I wonder what excuse white Democrats will make for not voting in more minorities, once Obama’s out of office and everything in 2017?