Running on race: racial politics in presidential campaign 1960 -200
Within the book Running on Race the author Jeremy D. Mayer discusses in detail the presidential races from JFK’s campaign in 1960 to George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000. Each time he noticed the difference the black vote has made in each election. Mayer states, “Race and the array of issues surrounding it have been crucial to every presidential election since 1960.” Some of the concepts within the book can relate to our course of study include the civil rights issue, segregation, and reverse discrimination. In the book Mayer discusses the 1960 election where John F. Kennedy dominated the civil rights issue. Kennedy had the dilemma between a while segregated audience and black voters. What was interesting to me was how Mayer says that in the primary race between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford was “the last time the black vote mattered for Republicans.” After this election every Republican path to presidency has almost entirely white. This has allowed Republicans to rightward on race without there being any costs. The coalition of white Republicans is still around in the modern era. A well-known presidency with this topic would have to be George W. Bush’s presidency. This coalition was “nurtured” by Bush’s contradictory attitude toward the confederate flag. Something that I learned through reading this book was when Ronal Reagan called Coretta Scott King while her husband was imprisoned. This was an attempt to gain black voters. Also, how powerful the race issue is and how significant each party’s strategy with a “race card” is one of the most significant factors in our process of “determining who governs us.” Mayer shows the audience a pattern within the presidency except for 1969. He states “ Democrats won only when they emulated Kennedy’s calculated and symbolic outreach to racial conservatives,” therefore submerging race which was provided by Republicans. I...
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