Steve Benen, writing about Trump's "Hillary is the bigot" nonsense:
The Democratic Party, in the first half of the 20th century, was home to two broad, competing constituencies: southern whites with abhorrent views on race, and white progressives and African Americans in the north, who sought to advance the cause of civil rights. The party struggled with this conflict for years, before ultimately siding with an inclusive, liberal agenda.
The result was a dramatic shift in both parties. After “Dixiecrats” began their exodus in 1948, and in the wake of LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the Republican Party welcomed segregationists who no longer felt comfortable in the Democratic Party. Indeed, in 1964, Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater boasted of his opposition to the Civil Rights Act, and made it part of his platform.
It was right around this time when figures like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond made the transition – leaving the progressive, diverse, tolerant Democratic Party for the conservative GOP.
In the years that followed, Democrats embraced their role as the party of inclusion, while Republicans became the party of the “Southern Strategy,” opposition to affirmative action, campaigns based on race-baiting, vote-caging, discriminatory voter-ID laws, and politicians like Helms, Thurmond, and others.
Benen is absolutely correct here, but again—Trump is not trying to actually appeal to African American voters. He is trying to convince white voters that it's okay to vote for him, that the real affront is being accused of being racist, not actually being racist.By Pete Brown