American political memo

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Acharya, Blackwell, & Sen (2014) reveals that because of the war, the southern whites faced both economic and political incentives to reinforce racist institutions and norms. This further resulted to, racially conservative political attitudes running down across all generations. Harada (2012) defines strategic policy making as the exploitation of future strategy resources by the sitting government as it awaits a change in policy by the future administration. The article indicates that, after assuming office, the segregationist government increased expenditure on education, highway spending and long-term debts compared to the other parts of the country. The author’s finding is an addition to previous research on southern politics, which shows how the government in the south restricted nonwhites’ input on policy formulation through preventing them from registering as voters as well as their representation.

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Knuckey (2006) postulates the contributing factors towards a shift in party identification in United States of America. The reasons include polarization of social class, racial attitudes, cultural and social attitudes and the general social change. Despite the changes, there remained regional differences between the south and other parts of the country. According to Key (1949), politics was the main problems for southerners. The author argues that when all comparisons are drawn, justifications made and all exceptions are considered, the south and all those who support the region are left with the hard fact that the region failed to develop a practice or system of leadership or political organization that was enough to resolve it political challenges. He affirms that in its inadequacies, the south had all the shortcomings that are common in most of the states in America.

Analyzing changes in partisan identification among southern

Knuckey (2006) argues that the southerners have continued to align with the Democratic Party despite a republic advantage in previous presidential elections. In the 1990s, most southerners had identified with the Republican Party. The author suggests that social class, racial attitude, general ideological realignment and social and cultural attitude determines changes in party identification among the southerners. Despite the author’s contribution on reasons for changes in party affiliation, he has failed to acknowledge that party identification is not a pointer to partisan changes but a lagging indicator to partisanship. The fact that it recognizes an underlying and durable change in individual’s support towards a party allows one to unswerving in confronting the question of party dealignment and realignment in the south. This is one of the critical question that has been tackled with so many scholars who are studying the trend of party identification in the south and therefore it is important for the author to articulate the relationship between partisan change and party identification.

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One of the question that emerges in the article is the impact of party identification on the party system and electoral landscape of southern whites. The author has revealed that the 1990s was a critical moment in the realignment of the southern whites. Additionally, it is important to recognize that elections in the south will be more partisan centered in the near future and therefore it will be a challenge for candidates who have aligned with the Democratic Party to attract support from the south (Knuckey, 2006). These changes may impact negatively on the electoral landscape and party systems in the south and therefore I recommend the author to conduct a research on the impact of party identification and realignment on the electoral landscape and party system among the southern whites.

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  1. Acharya, A., Blackwell, M. and Sen, M., 2016. The political legacy of American slavery. The Journal of Politics, 78(3), pp.621-641.
  2. Harada, M., 2012. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Strategic Policy Making in the South. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 12(4), pp.456-482.
  3. Key, V., 1949. Southern politics in state and nation.
  4. Knuckey, J., 2006. Explaining recent changes in the partisan identifications of southern whites. Political Research Quarterly, 59(1), pp.57-70.
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