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RfC about Southern StrategyEdit

is the suburban strategy notable enough to carry the WP:WEIGHT required for inclusion in the lead? DN (talk) 03:33, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Why are you asking this? More specifically, what changes do you think need to be made to the article? What evidence are you suggesting one way or the other? First, the SS is clearly a top down strategy as described in the article. The SS refers not to why the South changed from blue to red but to the idea that a top down Republican strategy caused that change. Even if turns out the blue to red shift was actually caused by martians that doesn't change what "The Southern Strategy" was. However, I think what you are asking is, do experts see the Southern Realignment as due to top down or bottom up influences. The article says the mainstream view (and the first one to be established) is the top down view. It also establishes that the bottom up view is a significant dissenting view on the subject. The balance of the content reflects those views. Springee (talk) 03:40, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't see the point of this RfC as it does not propose any changes to the article and suggest you close it. Obviously a political strategy is top-down by definition. Whether or not there was such a strategy (which I imagine is your concern) is entirely separate. TFD (talk) 03:52, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I see your point, I have adjusted the question. DN (talk) 04:18, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Post Change DiscussionEdit

The scope of the RfC was changed per above comments. To avoid confusion I've opened this section for the discussion of the new RfC question and moved two comments from above to this section Springee (talk) 12:55, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

  • Yes, the scholarly debate associated with the southern strategy including the top down and bottom up theories of southern realignment, that is did the realignment occur due to a top down or bottom up (or both) movement. Any discussion of the effectiveness of The Southern Strategy includes this debate. Since the debate among scholars is a significant part of the body of the article (and the topic in general) it should be included in the lead. Springee (talk) 04:22, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
That said, having looked over the intro to the article it does seem to conflate the actual "southern strategy" with the causes of southern realignment. It's clear that "The Southern Strategy" refers to a top down plan to win white southern votes by using racist appeals during the time Nixon was in office. What is less clear is if that was in fact a strategy used by Nixon or Republicans in general (at the national and/or local levels). Were the campaign promises/claims actually intended to appeal to "racism" or were the points in question ones that were important to a largely conservative voting block that could be swayed to red? Given the shift from red to blue was this because of actual appeals to racism? Was it because of appeals to economic/other interests instead? Did the blue to red shift happen because a top down message appealed to white southern voters or conversely, did white southern voters decide the red ticket vs blue ticket was better aligned with their political leanings. Finally, is the GOP still using similar appeals and are they intentionally racism based or simply appealing to a middle class, suburban voting block that is also largely white and conservative?
If someone is ambitious enough to take on the task perhaps this article should be broken up and aligned with the Solid South article and one on the Southern Realignment (I don't think that exists now). This would allow one article to narrowly discuss the "Southern Strategy" while spending less time focusing on the causes of southern realignment. I think that material ended up here because it is part of the debate regarding if the Southern Strategy as a top down appeal to racism ever existed and if such an appeal could explain what we see today. Springee (talk) 04:53, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • I am not knowledgable enough on the subject to weigh the different sources and whether these sources have been accurately summarized. I think this article could do with expert input. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 10:07, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Undue for the lead. It's worth mentioning somewhere, but the sourcing and coverage (relative to the massive coverage of the Southern Strategy as a whole) is too slight to give it such focus in the lead. In fact, the entire scholarly debate paragraph is broadly undue in its current framing and focus - the debate is real, but not so prominent that it deserves an entire paragraph making up half the lead. We're also giving Lassiter in particular undue weight in the body - he's mentioned eight times across four paragraphs. He is not that noteworthy; we can mention his view, but we should do so once in a single paragraph. --Aquillion (talk) 12:48, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
The problem with this view is that we cover not just what the SS was reported to be but also what impact it may have had etc. Also, the "massive coverage" in general isn't research into the subject rather it's oped's that take the SS as a given rather than critically assess if there was such a deliberate strategy and if such a strategy actually explains the southern realignment. However, I do agree that the scope of the article isn't well defined. Perhaps a better way to discuss this topic is say what should the structure and scope of this article look like. Springee (talk) 12:59, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
Speaking as the OP of this contention that the "suburban stratagy" is not WP:NOTABLE enough to take up so much of the lead, I feel the problem is just that not only are there lots of other opinions given in this section that get no mention at all in the lead (let alone in bold).
There are no contemporary mainstream RS talking about SS with Mark Lassitor, Kevin M. Kruse and Joseph Crespino that ive found. I'm not saying we shouldn't include their POV in the lead, but compared to the rest of the article it takes up far to much space in the lead for the WP:WEIGHT it carries according to WP:PROPORTION. DN (talk) 03:11, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, brieflyThe academic literature seems to be trending in that direction, so I think so.Rja13ww33 (talk) 13:29, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
    Which academic literature? There needs to be some reliable sources. DN (talk) 21:41, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
See a source cited in the article: 'Painting Dixie Red: When, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican....', it contains a number of essays and citations. By the way, about the 2 sources we cite to back the statement This top-down narrative of the Southern Strategy is generally believed to be the primary force that transformed Southern politics following the civil rights era......I cannot access one and the other essentially says that may be the narrative....but it's wrong.Rja13ww33 (talk) 14:37, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes It appears worthy of inclusion in the lead. Though I would tend to agree with Springee that the scope of the whole article needs to be better defined. This appears to be more an article briefly explaining 100+ years of racial politics and realignment rather than focusing on what the Southern Strategy was, how it was developed and implemented, its possible affect on the shift of the south from blue to red, and its place in today's political climate. Tchouppy (talk) 21:12, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
    What reasons do you have for why "suburban strategy" is worthy of inclusion in the lead? DN (talk) 21:40, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Lead suggestions to fix UndueEdit

I believe this version is what seems most appropriate considering the current scope. DN (talk) 04:02, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

  • The "Southern Strategy" refers primarily to "top down" narratives of the political realignment of the South which suggest that Republican leaders consciously appealed to many white Southerners' racial grievances in order to gain their support.[5] This top-down narrative of the Southern Strategy is generally believed to be the primary force that transformed Southern politics following the civil rights era.[6][7] This view has been questioned by historians who recognize the racial backlash to the political realignment of the South suggests that this backlash took the form of a defense of de facto segregation in the suburbs rather than overt resistance to racial integration and that the story of this backlash is a national rather than a strictly Southern one.[9][10][11][12]
I think this could be a good change. I'm not sold yet but I think you are making a good case that the lead doesn't need to mention specific historians etc. When looking at the lead and honestly the whole article I think it would be good to decide what is actually in scope. As I've mentioned previously, it looks like much of the content has come from people dumping news bites and news opinions rather than trying to put together a comprehensive article. The "modern" section in particular is very problematic.
If we were to zoom out I would suggest drastically closing the scope to just what is classically known as the Southern Strategy, just the Nixon era stuff. I'm thinking something like a three part article, "What Nixon did (or was reported to have done)", what those actions are reported to have produced, what critics say about that second section. This would drastically cut down the article. However, there is a lot of good material here which could go into a Southern Realignment or other article. My concern is could we get enough editors to buy into a new structure? I will admit part of my reluctance to change parts of this article is it was really quite a fight to get some content in since the topic is political and partisan. It was one of those articles where you end up with an uneasy trues and leave it at that. There is still plenty of material in here that I think it being presented poorly or for partisan gain vs to help the reader gain a better or more nuanced understanding of the topic. Anyway, that's a bit rambling. Do you have thoughts on cleaning up some of the other sections? Springee (talk) 04:25, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Sources 6 & 7......I cannot access one and the other essentially says that may be the narrative....but it's wrong. So I guess the question becomes: is there a RS for that?Rja13ww33 (talk) 15:03, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Southern strategy" page.