Analysis & Comment

Opinion | G.O.P.’s Formula for Success: An Appeal to Racism

To the Editor:

I had to read Daniel McCarthy’s Nov. 5 essay, “The G.O.P. Is Trump’s Party Now,” twice to convince myself that I had not missed something. Incredibly, his analysis ignores a fundamental source of the party’s political success over the past five decades: its appeal to white racism.

From Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy to Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen” and “strapping young buck” to George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad, the G.O.P. has prospered by pandering to prejudice. Donald Trump has simply taken this longstanding strategy to a more blatant level.

Perhaps Mr. McCarthy ignores this indelible stain on the G.O.P. because he realizes that whatever adjustments the party might make in response to election losses, it will not abandon a position so critical to holding its base together.

Lawrence Modisett
Portsmouth, R.I.

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