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Another Myth from 1968

A persistent myth in academia and media is that Richard Nixon did not want to debate in 1968. To be accurate- he wanted to debate Humphrey but not in a three-way debate that included the other Democrat in the race- George Wallace. Humphrey wanted a three-man debate. I do not think anyone would want to debate two wings of the same party. Nixon did not. As it turns out- The Humphrey wing of the party was closer to the Wallace wing than most have the honesty or objectivity to admit.

While Nixon was condemning the race politics of the Democratic Solid South- Humphrey was putting his arms around Lester Maddox- calling him “a good Democrat.”

If you total up all the votes in the states won by Mr. Wallace- the Humphrey ticket got the second highest vote total.

Democratic control of the West crumbled when the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket became the moral conscience of the nation in the 1950s and ended the Korean War while pushing a Civil Rights agenda.

The Democratic South would only crumble in 1972- not due to race- but due to patriotism- Nixon getting us out of Vietnam and taking segregation off the table by peacefully desegregating Southern schools by cabinet level committees.

The South will always return to its conservative roots.

 

 

 

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