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Archive for the ‘George Wallace’ Category

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Was Governor George Wallace a racist? Well, the same question can unfortunately be asked about our President of the United States Donald Trump. Or was George Wallace an racial opportunist and demagogue? Someone who used racial issues in Alabama to gain popularity with the actual racists there and members of the KKK and other racist European-American especially Anglo-Saxon groups in Alabama and in South in general.

The actual definition of a racist is, “a person who shows or feels discrimination against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race it superior to another.” ( According to Wikipedia ) You could expand that to people who simply dislike or even hate, show violence to someone of another race, or other races simply because that person or people are from another race. I don’t believe we know that George Wallace believed that European-Americans were superior to African-Americans and other racial groups in America. We also don’t know that George Wallace hated of races of people.

George Wallace wasn’t a career politician, he was an addicted politician. Someone who could only be happy if they held a public office and dealt with public policy on a daily basis as an elected official. He was also power hungry and was always seeking the most power for himself politically that he could politically could. Which is why he ran for President of the United States four times. He was also from Alabama which obviously had a lot of racists in his state and knew for him to be successful politically it was going to have to be in Alabama. Which leads into me believing that George Wallace was a racial demagogue and opportunist.

Governor Wallace was a man who used racial divisions and the hatred of racists in Alabama towards African-Americans as a way to further his own political career. I don’t think we know if Governor Wallace was an actual segregationist in the sense he believed the Caucasians and African-Americans, should be forced to live separately. What we do know is Alabama back then at least was a deeply poor underdeveloped, undereducated, ignorant state even and that Governor Wallace wasn’t going to be popular in Alabama because people there loved the economy so much and felt so great about their own lives. But Wallace knew that if he could communicate with the racists there that he was with them and that it was them against African-Americans and the Federal Government, he could get elected on that alone and be popular there.

George Wallace was a very complicated man who similar to Richard Nixon had a lot of flaws and even some pluses. Not as many pluses as Richard Nixon and Wallace was also an intelligent man especially politically and a good lawyer. To simply flat-out call George Wallace a racist because he spoke in favor of segregation I believe is too simple. To call him a demagogue who used racial issues to scare people and who over blew them to gain political popularity I believe would be accurate. I believe George Wallace was a bad guy and a bad politician in the sense that he had a hard time telling the truth and even lied a lot to gain political popularity. But I think labeling him a racist would be going too far.

Governor Wallace: Alabama Governor George Wallace- On Meet The Press: June 30th, 1968

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Attachment-1-1622

Source: David Hoffman

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The video is not about segregation but poverty in Alabama instead. Why David Hoffman who put the video together called titled the video about segregation instead, you would have to ask him.

The man who questions Governor George Wallace in this video asked his about poverty including starvation in Alabama, with Governor Wallace essentially saying, “what about New Jersey and states up North that also have poverty in them? How come you aren’t asking about them.” Trying to change the subject and do a what about. “Things might be horrible here, but what about these other places where things are bad?”

Alabama is different today and no longer a big state geographically with poverty everywhere. Alabama has become a lot more urban and more educated. While still dealing with high levels of rural and even urban poverty, but back in the 1960s and before that Alabama was a big West Virginia or Arkansas. Deeply rural and undeveloped with a lot of ignorant people at least in the sense of people who simply didn’t finish school and perhaps never even made it to high school. A lot of that having to do with their families needing them to work early so they could have food and a place to live.

Governor Wallace who had already served two terms as Governor of Alabama by the time 1968 came around, obviously knew all of this. But instead tried to distract and deny the obvious about high levels of poverty in Alabama.

David Hoffman: Governor George Wallace Defends Segregation on TV in 1968

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Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Was George Wallace a racist, or a demagogic career politician, or perhaps both things? Well, the same question could be asked about Donald Trump and Patrick Buchanan, unfortunately. One of those men being the current President of the United States. Or, was George Wallace a Progressive? He was a big believer in education and even public education and infrastructure investment. Wallace envisioned Alabama as becoming state that would be less poor and rural that could move past its reputation as being a redneck backwoods ignorant state that expected Jesus to solve all their problems for them and instead have Alabamians go out and solve their own problems for themselves starting with a good education and a modern infrastructure system.

You could also debate whether George Wallace was a Progressive or a Conservative. He was a Federalist and a true believer in states rights even to the point that he believed Bible States could deny African-Americans access that Caucasians had simply because of race. Franklin Roosevelt was a true Progressive, but he wasn’t that far to the left of George Wallace on civil rights issues. They both opposed civil rights laws. But they both believed in a strong safety net, public education, infrastructure investment, strong national defense, both were strong anti-Communists. George Wallace’s politics was pretty complicated similar to Richard Nixon and now Donald Trump.

But you can’t put Wallace in one box as a Conservative or a Liberal, because he was neither. You could call him a Progressive because Progressive is actually different from Liberal. One focusing on progress through government action. The other centered around individual rights. And as far as Dixiecrats or right-wing Democrats, George Wallace was to the left of many of his fellow Dixiecrats on economic policy and believed again in public education, public infrastructure, progress, and even raising taxes to promote these objectives. Dixiecrats back then not only opposed civil and equal rights, but opposed public safety net programs and were more libertarian on economic policy.

And George Wallace changed his stances on civil rights issues by the late 1970s and became a believer (at least officially) in not just civil rights but equal rights while retaining his progressive leanings on economic policy and still remaining a strong anti-Communist, as well as Federalist, and believer in a strong national defense. He was to the right of Teddy Kennedy, but to the left of Strom Thurmond and many if not all of his fellow Dixiecrats. Which is why neither the liberal or conservative labels, fit George Wallace’s politics. Which makes him very similar to Richard Nixon.

Connor Higgins: George Wallace’s Life in 16 Minutes

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President Lyndon Johnson
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

President Lyndon Johnson talking about the need for Alabama Governor George C. Wallace’s need to enforce the law in Alabama. And in this case the law was a Federal court order that said civil rights marchers in Alabama had a right to march and that Alabama was responsible for keeping the peace and keep order in Alabama. What Governor Wallace I believe was trying to tell the President was that keeping order during this march would be difficult. And what President Johnson was saying was that he would help him do that in anyway he can.

The LBJ Library: LBJ & George Wallace- 3/18/1965

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Lyndon Johnson
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Lyndon Johnson vs. George C. Wallace was a mismatch at least when it came to persuasion. Because Governor Wallace was a master at propaganda and touting his own, well excuse my French, but bullshit. Even though I doubt he believed his own bullshit, but instead use it to hold power. But LBJ wasn’t someone you bullshitted without any response and LBJ would cut people off if they knew they were simply wrong. And tell them “don’t shit me! We both know better and tell them what is actually going on” and ask them “what you intend to do about it?”

What I believe happened here during this conversation between President Johnson and Governor Wallace at least according to the LBJ tapes, was the Governor trying to convince the President that he was limited in what he can do to see that everyone in Alabama can vote. Because he governed his own administration, but not all of the local governments in Alabama. And what the President said was “don’t shit me George! We both know who has the power in Alabama and that person is you. Now are you going to enforce the civil rights laws down there or, am I going to do that for you?

The LBJ Library: LBJ & George Wallace 3/18/1965

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If George Wallace couldn’t win in Florida in 1972, he wasn’t going to win anywhere outside of Alabama. Because Florida looked like Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina culturally and politically in 1972. Not to pick on those three states, but only Florida has progressed somewhat economically and culturally to the point where you don’t have to be with the Religious Right in order to do well in the state politically. So if Governor Wallace doesn’t win Florida, he might of well just ended his presidential campaign then and there.
George C. Wallace For President

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The Democratic Party didn’t have a traditional frontrunner for president in 1972. They were out of the White House and even though Hubert Humphrey who was their nominee for president in 1968 was still running for president the Democratic Party was very divided between the progressive establishment that then in 1972 Senator Humphrey came from, the New Left in the party that I least call the McGovernites led by Senator George McGovern and the George Wallace Dixiecrats.

The New Left

The New Left

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