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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 9 years ago

Perspectives: Chris Jepson

Why's everybody always pickin' on Newt? Better yet - Who's doing it?
by: Chris Jepson Staff Writer

He’s a clown, that Charlie Brown (Newt Gingrich?)

He’s gonna get caught

Just you wait and see

(Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?)

—The Coasters

That’s a good question. Why’s everybody always pickin’ on Newt?

Better yet — Who’s doing it?

Why, it’s that nasty ol’ Northern liberal media elite!

And who they doing it to? Why, the Newster! And all those poor misunderstood good’ol’ boys and their big-haired women. Confederate crackers through and through. Moon pies and moonshine. Rebel flag and rebel-yelling goobers who feel belittled, bedeviled and besieged. They get no respect for their “tradition.” Their way of life. Their religion. Or their region! The holy South! Where noble, free men once died so slavery might endure.

Newt Gingrich played the “media” card during last week’s South Carolina Republican debate and the attending crowd — poor besieged dears — ate it up. They rose to their feet and hooted and hollered their roaring support. Just who do those media elite think they are? You tell’um Newster!

Condescending, intolerant bigots! Why it’s a new day, in the New South! Home of the Republican Party! Exactly! Home of the Republican Party. Let’s briefly examine why that is.

The South lost the Civil War in 1865. It, the remnants of the Confederacy, instituted Jim Crow and for another 100 years, the South’s black citizens were marginalized, exploited, terrorized and hung from trees like sides of beef. The Democrat Party, which ruled the South, willingly participated (led) in this violent injustice and resisted any attempts at desegregation. In 1948 Southern Democrats began exiting the party because of a civil rights platform plank adopted by the Democrat Party. The Dixiecrats were born. In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, secured both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. As a result, President Johnson sadly observed, “I’ve lost the South for the Democrats.”

In 1972, Republican President Richard Nixon initiated the political policy called “The Southern Strategy.” It was designed to aggressively win over disaffected Southern Democrats to the Republican Party. Disgruntled over giving civil rights (Horrors! Equal rights!) to blacks, fearful of lawlessness, and resentful of the perceived government overreach, Southern whites flocked to the Republican Party and resurrected the holy banner of “states rights.”

On Aug. 3, 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan traveled to Philadelphia, Miss., to give his first address after receiving the Republican nomination. There he gave his now famous “States Rights” speech. Why there? Fast forward 32 years later and you have yet another Republican presidential candidate playing the race card, pursuing the “Southern Strategy,” by characterizing President Obama as the “Food stamp” president, a not-so-veiled slam against black Americans and our first black president. What a coincidence that Gingrich in 2011 described Obama as displaying “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” Here’s a breakdown for you who are “code” ignorant: Kenyan = Africa = Black = Obama = Un-American. That Newster! Such a subtle Southern dawg!

So as our South Carolinian Republicans whooped and hollered over Newt’s feigned outrage at the “elite” media for having the temerity to ask him to comment on his second wife’s assertion that he, in essence, is morally unfit for office, well, out came Newt’s “heartfelt” indignation of discrimination and bias. And all those put-upon southerners jumped from their seats and they may as well have broken into a rousing “Gone With the Wind”-like chorus of “D-I-X-I-E!”

All I can say is, know your history and check the histrionics.

Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. He’s fiscally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at [email protected]

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