Barry Goldwater, Nixon, Congress discussed on WXAV Presents...

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

As a conservative but he's also running as a moderate conservative here i must say as a historian i need to sort of give you some background or context law and order was a phrase that was frequently used in the south by segregationist politicians and sheriff's against civil rights activists so there is a history here to the use of this phrase law and order it's used against those who are fighting for racial justice in the south and it's important also that the politician who brings the phrase law and order into national presidential politics is barry goldwater in nineteen sixty four now in my opinion goldwater was not personally a racist there's plenty as background to suggest that in fact he was in favor of racial integration although gradually and without government intervention but goldwater was one of only six republican senators vote against the civil rights act of nineteen sixty four and so when he utters this phrase law and order there's a lot of racial baggage attached is like states rights right exactly it's like states rights now by contrast nixon had quite a moderate even progressive record on civil rights as a republican politician coming up and he did not vote against of course the civil rights act he was not in congress at the time but nor did he oppose it and and in fact nixon uses law and order to argue you know that the problem is not with the civil rights act the problem is the way that nonviolent civil disobedience has been misused by thumb and so it's sort of a way to indirectly attack violence that is associated with african americans but i don't think that nixon is using it as a sort of dog whistle although this is a point that is debated among scholars plus the fact that as nixon was using that term law and order so george wallace george wells was an interestingly george wallace by being more extreme conservative reactionary in some ways buffers nixon from that charge because nixon is able to point to his more progressive record on civil rights meant to suggest that he's not using it in the same way so i think i mean wallace is important for allowing nixon to pose as the more moderate responsible conservative in the race.

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