The Switch That Never Happened: How the South Really Went GOP

Editor’s note — this is from American Greatness about the great switch in the south that so few people understand:

This article is adapted from Dinesh D’Souza’s new book Death of a Nation, out July 31 from St. Martin’s Press. His movie of the same title opens nationwide on Friday, August 3.

Here is an excerpt:

An interesting phenomenon in politics is the flip flop. What would cause a politician who takes a stand on an issue to reverse himself and take precisely the opposite stand on the same issue? Even more interesting is the about face or volte face. The volte face goes beyond the flip flop because it represents a total and usually lasting shift of course, as when Reagan abandoned the Democratic Party and became a Republican.

More interesting even than the volte face is when a whole group or party makes this shift. Perhaps the most dramatic example in our lifetime is when the Soviet Communist Party in 1991 abolished itself. It’s one thing for an individual to undergo a wrenching conversion but what would cause a whole party to reverse itself in that way? Could it be a transformation of the collective conscience, or a new perception of group interests, or what?

Our exploration of the subject is deepened by a new possibility introduced by Winston Churchill, who in one of his essays takes up the subject of consistency in politics. Himself accused on more than one occasion of reversing himself and taking inconsistent positions on issues, Churchill defends himself by invoking the apparent volte face, the change of tactics that is not a change of goals or values.

Churchill writes, “A statesman in contact with the moving current of events and anxious to keep the ship on an even keel and steer a steady course may lean all his weight now on one side and now on the other. His arguments in each case, when contrasted, can be shown to be not only very different in character but contradictory in spirit and opposite in direction. Yet his object will throughout have remained the same . . . We cannot call this inconsistency. In fact, it can be claimed to be the truest consistency. The only way a man can remain consistent amid changing circumstances is to change with them while preserving the same dominating purpose.”

Read more: American Greatness