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Saturday, May 06, 2006

A True Neo-Conservative??????

When I was a political science student at the University of Florida close to fifteen years ago, my favorite professor, Dr. Richard Scher always referred to commentator Kevin Phillips as the "smartest Republican in America." From that point forward I took particlar interest in Phillips writings as well as his televsion appearences on CBS News and C-SPAN. I was shocked to see such a prominent Republican making so much sense on every major issue of the day. As it turns out Phillips, the architect of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy went from the brightest Republican operative in late 1960s to partisan outcast in the mid 1990s and finally left the GOP and Washington for good in the late 1990s.

Kevin Phillips who wrote the seminal political work of a generation, "The Emerging Republican Majority," in 1969 while working as a political advisor to President Nixon, has now written two important books in the past five years: Wealth and Democracy, a History of the American Rich and most recently, American Theocracy.

Phillips' work with Nixon, led the President to adopt the "Southern Strategy" which has helped the Republicans hold the White House for 7 of the past 10 national elections. But these days Phillips seems contemptuous of the GOP coalition, and especially of the Bush Family whom he has labeled an "American Dynasty." As traditional conservative, Phillips expresses disappointment with the GOP's current alliance with the oil industry, big business and fundamentalist religious forces from non-traditional churches. (Such as the Penacostals, and the Southern Baptist Convention)

Beginning in the late 1980s when he expressed disdain with the Reagan legacy, Phillips has laid out in several books, public appearances and essays the historical background for the current GOP governing coalition, and its dangerous excesses which could create a collapse of both American hegemony economic and political as well as the groups that make up the coalition. Phillips is not only a brilliant contemporary political analyst, but he's about as good as anybody in understanding historical precedence and its significance in current times. The underlying point of his works is that the Republican coalition he helped assemble in the 1960s has run amok and has skewed its priorities and to where not only the coalition is endangered but so to is the American nation.


Tim L said...

Phillips analysis is right on the money about how we may lose America's future and go the way of Rome, Spain, Holland and England if we allow religion to dictate governmental policy both domestic and foreign. What he does not explain is his own role in forming the coalition which first brought fringe relgious groups into the GOP in order to capitalize on the overly secular and mixed racial composition of the Democrats in the late 1960s.

Anonymous said...

Phillips is an intellectual master. Unfortunately he's not telegenic or passionate enough to generate much of a following beyond academia. The depth of his research is beyond impressive.

I'm reading Wealth and Democracy now. In it, Phillips explains the relationship of the two better than anyone.

How, after all, can you get a people to vote AGAINST their economic self-interest???

Phillips explains how the wealthy use race, communism, gender, religion, and "class warfare" rhetoric to keep the middle class stagnant and the working poor sick.

Phillips lays out in extensive historical detail how class warfare is as American as apple pie.

Unlike what the GOP and the media will tell you though, it's not what you think.

It's actually the wealthy lead the class warfare battle. Phillips explains how they have been winning, and will continue to do so?

Need proof? Look at the last election. Or look at the newspaper?

Is the Congress looking to expand health care or tax breaks for the working poor. Just the opposite actually.

This Congress is putting in overtime to reduce or eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividend income and estates of more than $1 million.

Of course, they're doing it to help working class folks, right?


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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.