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THE EMERGING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY by Kevin Phillips

THE EMERGING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY

By Kevin Phillips

Pub Date: July 11th, 1969
Publisher: Arlington House

According to this young lawyer, who recently joined the Nixon administration, the upcoming cycle in our politics will match a majority Republican party composed of Northern blue-collar workers, Catholic and ""Sun Belt"" suburbanites, Southern whites, and Midwesterners, against a minority Democratic party drawn from Northeastern and Northwestern liberals and Negroes. His prediction is based on a theory which shows American politics moving in thirty to forty year spans dominated by one of the two parties, and on a careful historical survey of regional and ethnic voting patterns since the Civil War. Phillips marshalls some impressive evidence for his views, citing in particular the conservative implications of increasing suburbanization. But there are deep flaws. With satisfaction, the author notes that the Nixon administration owes little to Negroes or to the cities. And yet, if the GOP fails to deal effectively with the racial and urban crises, it is questionable whether any of the socio-historical trends he describes can sustain it in power. One wonders too about the durability of the rightward drift shown in the last election, should an end to the war permit an easing of taxes and a reallocation of priorities and resources. Also ignored by Phillips is Teddy Kennedy, whose liberal charisma could upset the applecart in '72. All of which is to suggest that seen from another angle, the Republican (read conservative) hegemony envisioned here is not that secure. Still, despite its weaknesses (and its length, redundancy, and dull writing) the analysis is interesting, and should unsettle those who are hoping that the Nixon reign is merely an interregnum.