Richard R. J. S. Gao discussed on Stephanie Miller


Is your house Richard R. J. S. gao my next guest has written a book on a subject that I have long pondered and long thought about he has done far more than that he's researched it he has written a book that I think I would like to know more about although I have the book you can't see it but it's in this electronic device so without any further ado let me introduce him Ian Haney Lopez is a professor R. he is the death of law he is a director of the racial politics project at the I'm going to try to get this radiant the Haas institute for a fair and inclusive society and and he's also Chief Justice Earl Warren professor of public law at Berkeley could I get that right I I don't know whether with all those titles that that's that sounds like just you know buffering or something but well I just don't I you know that's what I want to make sure we had a half hour right and the S. important the person and the it's just hard you have a car that's like an accordion as something he has a new book he wrote the book dog whistle politics which I recommend his new book is entitled merge left with good title fusing race and class winning elections and saving America and without any further ado and Haney Lopez welcome to the program thank you I'm so glad to join you so but rather than not me do it why don't you just briefly state what are the theme of the book as also there's two there's there's the analytics team that is that say Hey this is still dog whistle politics when you look at Donald trump's numbers I in terms of which demographics you want whereas the percentage of support he garnered they are very very similar to Mitt Romney's number so one is yeah I'm a late claim this is still dog whistle politics trump is building on a fifty year tradition it precedes him it will not go away when he goes away we've got to figure out how to beat so that's one part of it but the other part and in some ways the most important part is because I'd already published a book on dog whistle politics when trump was elected I realized it was really important to go beyond the analysis and figure out okay well how do you actually beat dog whistling out actually beat the strategic exploitation of coded racism in American politics so with communications specialist with labor union help with our corporate collaboration from DeMoss I think tank I co founded a two year research project it didn't swell used focus groups and national polling and message testing specifically around how you beat that message we ended up with is shockingly good results and merge left is about those results merge left is a way to understand where we are in terms of trump and the larger trajectory of the exploitation of racism in American politics and it's about how we can actually beat trump with what is now the most politically potent message available to the last way and it's more important even than the message on the right so I want to I want to explore both those avenues obviously the latter is of more as you say more importance because it involves the future we helped to create but I do want to explore the dog whistle the analytic side for a second because I was one of my concerns about the political discourse now among Democrats or the left and I think it's gotten a little better in the last few months but is a kind of trump exceptional isn't something that says that the the the dog was sleeping with the racial themes offend the Havering racial themes of the trump era of the trump administration particular this is somehow that something new and distinct and that if we could just expelled this man from our political life it would go away and that's why you know I mentioned the dog was politics your earlier book because it was long but my assertion home well that kind of thinking leaves out the welfare queen mythology of Ronald Reagan and it leaves out the Willie Horton ad and George H. W. bush it leaves out you know Richard Nixon's comments and so on and do you know personal observation I'm from a working class white neighborhood to me it also leaves out something like a Geraldine Ferraro as a Sir regard for Hillary Clinton in two thousand and eight saying of a black man Barack Obama it's not his turn to me in my white working class neighborhood it's not history had a very specific dog whistle me Menashe she denied it maybe I misunderstood her body I would say that a dog whistle blow dog whistles lane although Democrats have thankfully abandoned it as far as I can tell he was not something I'm familiar to members of both parties and is much older than trump right I absolutely agree and I think you we went through a lot of that history so all to a different version of it we know that the Republican Party in the summer of nineteen sixty three decided that they were going to shift from being a relatively moderate on race T. using race as a as a way to try and pool white voters out of the democratic coalition that included working class whites African Americans and white liberals we know that because it was reported at the time by a conservative journalist Robert Novak who said that many of the party's political leaders many of the Republican party's political leaders saw political gold to be mined in the racial crisis the civil rights movement by becoming in fact though not in name the white man's party we know the moment that decision was made it was made by a Barry Goldwater his reactionary faction of the Republican Party this is what they proceeded to do through Nixon and then through Ronald Reagan and then you see Bill Clinton are reacting to the success of it a good joke joke H. W. bush and Willie Horton ad by saying Democrats are going to imitate it and this pattern continues on up until two thousand eight and then again in two thousand and twelve if you look at the numbers essentially what's happening as Republican presidential candidates are winning about ninety percent of their support from white voters that is it's ninety percent of their support for Republican presidential candidate comes from white voters ninety eight percent of Republican elected officials are white three and five or sixty percent of whites are voting for Republican presidential candidates no democratic candidate for president has won a majority in the white vote since nineteen sixty four in other words that white man's party that Republicans talk about creating in nineteen sixty three they effectively created it those numbers I just gave you those are the numbers for Romney those are the numbers from a chain and those are the numbers for Donald Trump they did not much ship so it's very important understand that in one sense Donald Trump dress right represents the continuity of a fifteen year old trajectory but in another sense he is exceptional and dangerously so what made trump exceptional it wasn't that he was using race is that he felt completely unconstrained in the way we use race Donald Trump never thought he was gonna get elected and so he never thought that he needed to constrain his racial appeals in a way that would protect his ability to win a general election or to govern working electric moreover he had no loyalty to the Republican Party so as far as he was concerned what was important was to go as far as he needed to go to win the primaries and whatever damage was done to the party is an institution was a matter of utter indifference to him because he was on constrained in its ability to pander to racial fears and resentments in the Republican base he essentially ran the table on the more mainstream more cautious Republican candidates in twenty fifteen that's what allowed him to win the primary and then he went on and managed to squeak through with an electoral college victory not a popular the majority but he did manage this winter okay that's the difference about Donald Trump he feels himself unconstrained he's got no loyalty to the party frankly he's got no loyalty to much of anything besides himself and his reputation or as I should say his ego because I think for trial he's internalized the idea that all publicity is good publicity so is long as people are talking about him he's pretty happy that's what makes him especially dangerous he's exceptional in that sense but a beer Norma's mistake to think he's exceptional in being the first Republicans really exploiting race he's not he's doing something that's been fifty years in the making and that frankly now is the predominant modus operandi for almost every elected Republican official and it will continue to operate that way Intel Democrats figure out a way to defeat it and again we're talking with professor Ian Haney Lopez about his book merge left in this perhaps Ian gets us to the kind of event we can make between the analytical and and at the instrumentation or whatever you wanna call it the the implementation ideas and that's this are you have long watched in frustration as the laugh seems to splinter between those who are emphasized I wouldn't say it's absolutism on either side but those who emphasized economic issues which is one I've tended more to write about more but and work within more but the idea somehow are rising in the laugh is that there is I'm a decision to be made a breach between whether you support well what's come to be called identity politics what I would consider an extension of the civil rights social justice tradition in this country or whether you have a size economic issues and for reasons that perhaps we can go into there seems to have been in recent years a friction between those two embassies or tendencies where I didn't see you know historically that there was a fraction in the sixties or seventies but nowadays yeah you know he's like a Bernie Sanders or something he's that he talks about economic justice over there over here and they talk about perhaps some form of identity jazz does but they don't care about the working class so this this fact fiction it seems to me one of the goals of your book I don't want to speak for you the one of your the goals of your book is to address and redress that but what what are your thoughts I I think you really frame the question clearly accurately it's important understand the origins of this split as I said we we know and and you can bet democratic strategist no since our publicans made the decision to use race to hold voters away from the Democratic Party now to be clear they were gonna do so in code to allow plausible deniability they'd say things like lawn owner or welfare queen and then denied it was about race at all what is clearly a racial strategy the Democrats knew his original strategy they've known this since at least nineteen sixty four how to respond became the issue and what quickly became apparent to Democrats is to.

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