The Democratic South

The Democratic South

The Democratic South

The Democratic South

Excerpt

A brilliant and puckish professor I know once asked a Ph.D candidate who had just completed an intensively-researched dissertation on South Carolina politics during the first two decades of the twentieth century if he would agree with the proposition that everything of importance in the politics of the Palmetto State could be explained by the formula expressed in the South Carolina vernacular as "Niggers, Whiskey, and Bleaseism." On the surface it was an innocent, almost facetious, question but, while the candidate knew in the depths of his being that it did not fully explain South Carolina politics, he found the proposition difficult to refute. And well he might, for the politics of the state he had studied so carefully seemed more often than not during those years to revolve around nothing more substantial than the endless discussion of the race question, the furious squabbling over the best means of controlling the "whiskey evil," and the demagoguery of Coleman L. Blease.

Most of the other ex-Confederate states--and Kentucky and Oklahoma to a lesser extent--have had their share of anti-Negro political campaigns, emotional and seemingly pointless issues, and so-called demagogues, and like South Carolina they have demonstrated a remarkable attachment to the Democratic party and a passionate devotion to the . . .

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