En la imagen: Stuart Spencer, Ronald Reagan y Lee Atwater (derecha) a bordo del Air Force One en la campaña electoral de 1984. (hacer click para ampliar imagen)
Como anticipo a mi próximo artículo sobre la evolución histórica del Partido Republicano, en una entrevista de 1981 publicada en Southern Politics por Alexander Lamis, el difunto Lee Atwater, quien es acusado incluso de haber acabado con la música funk, nos explica con su habitual crudeza en qué se basaba la famosa Estrategia Sureña del GOP para hacerse con el voto del trabajador hombre blanco del Sur en nombre del "federalismo" y los "derechos de los estados". Todo era bien simple según él.
"As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964… and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster…
You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say 'nigger'—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now that you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is that blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."